Title: All We Shall Know
Author: Donal Ryan
Length: 192 pages | 2025 Locations
Melody Shee has done very shameful things. Getting pregnant at 33 by a 17 year old was the most recent one and the final drop. Will she finally go insane?
My oh my, what an amazing book.
The opening lines are among the best I have read:
Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller and the father of my unborn child. He’s seventeen, I’m thirty-three. I was his teacher. I’d have killed myself by now if I was brave enough. I don’t think it would hurt the baby. His little heart would stop with mine. He wouldn’t feel himself leaving one world of darkness for another, his spirit untangling itself from me.
The novel is told in the form of a diary and I have never read anything quite like this. The Irish expressions and the colloquial style of writing enthralled me. Unlike with other books, here the long lines just kept me wanting to know what came next. Were it not for obligations I have no doubt I would have read this in one sitting.
The book explores the life of Melody, who is not a good person. She is not a bad person either. She is real. Everything she says is real, though some brushes insanity. However, it’s an insanity to which we can all relate to, and that is why the book is so very engaging.
There are so many subtle nuances to what Melody writes and there is such depth to this character.
Melody is insightful and we get to know the characters surrounding her so well because of that. She does not judge, she says things the way they are. She is the personification of every time we look at something in hindsight, wondering if we would have done it differently if we knew the outcome.
I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Just please read this book. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Nov 7th to Nov 9th, 2016