The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

15995144This book takes place at the decline of the Cetlic Tiger in Ireland. Pokey Burke is an unscrupulous builder who is at the center of this particular story. The story happens in a village on the outskirts of Limerick. Pokey, who hasn’t paid taxes or stamps for his employees, shuts up shop leaving housing estates unfinished and a trail of woe behind him.

The book is told by 20 odd people with a chapter each going into detail how they were screwed over in some way shape or form by Pokey, from employees who can’t collect the dole because he didn’t pay their stamps to people left behind in dealing with the fallout, mainly his father. I liked how the book was laid out, the individual stories and how each person dealt with their own misery. The take on rural village life is spot on in how people gossip and act, the language used as well as the typical Irish mentality of looking out for number one when the need suits.

There is a lot of swearing in this book, also the dreaded “C” word is used less than a handful of times, but it is used quite a bit in Ireland, so consider yourself warned. I think that some of the vernacular might be hard to follow for most people.

I think that this is an amazing first book and very well written. It brought me back to when I lived there. I look forward to reading his other book.

ARC copy provided by Netgalley

5/5 stars


Buy: Amazon

Buy: B&N


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