Blessed Art Thou a Monk Swimming by Miriam Dunne
Challenges - New Author, 100+, A to Z title.
I was lucky to be lent this book by a good friend, who thought I would enjoy the humour of the story. She was definitely right there.
The book is about the eventful teenage years of Marian, brought up as a strict Catholic , growing up in Ireland, living in the next street to an asylum where the inmates regularly make a run for it. Her family are completely dysfunctional. Her sister is on the verge of joining the inmates in the asylum, but everyone takes it as normal behaviour, her mother is forever trying to turn her mad daughter into an actress and her father drinks heavily to escape them all.
Marian spends most of the book trying to escape them, even to a point where she gets herself enrolled into a convent boarding school, just for some peace and normality. Also during these years, she spends time discovering boys.
The story was warm, very entertaining and extremely funny. There were elements of it which took me back to my own teenage years. The story is very character driven and you can't help but feel sorry for her parents in parts.
This is Miriam Dunne's first novel. She is presently writing her second.
On the back of the book, they recommend it if you liked reading 'Paddy Clarke Ha,Ha, Ha' and 'Angela's Ashes'.It reminded me of the book 'Anita and Me' by Meera Syal, which was a book about 'coming of age' in an Asian family living in London.
I would recommend it as a light, entertaining read, to take you back to your teenage years.