Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O'Donoghue

 

Charlie Regan's life isn't going forward, so she's decided to go back.

When Charlie finds herself into yet another hospital room, sharing stories about Ireland with her father, and feeling a bit lost in life after making a bad movie with her best friend Laura, Charlie decides it's time to uncover the truth about her father's past and dig into her family's Irish roots. 

In search of a place and people to belong to, the two best friends find themselves surrounded by secrets involving the mysterious death of a class of children way back in 1963 of which Charlie's father was the only survivor and the grudge of those who still inhabit the small Irish town.

Charlie is the perfect archetype of the starving artist: jealous of her friends who are way farther in life than she is, trying to put her hands into different baskets to pay her rent - which, in her case means selling porn - and feeling that sense of longing for something else, something bigger. 

Her need for belonging is very clear and present throughout the whole story. It's this feeling that gets her in trouble in the first place and that makes her come back later, to tell her story. But it's also this same feeling that allows her to trust another human enough to give her heart away.

I saw a lot of myself in Charlie, as bad as that might sound. I also compare my life and where I'm at to my friends' and as ridiculous as that sounds, I understand her on a deeper level. The need to do something good, to show people she's actually able to make good art. 

Caroline O'Donoghue does an excellent job at portraying such a raw character with her highs and lows, the battles in her head, the failure. All these characteristics make Charlie such a vivid protagonist, you feel like picking your phone up and giving her a call. 

But it doesn't stop there. The author gives us another layer to the story that keeps us entertained and on our toes. The mystery behind the children's death is so intricate and well done that it feels like you're in front of the tv watching a thriller, with one hand on your boul of pop-corns and the other covering your mouth, so many are the GASP! moments.

It's a beautiful result of vivid characters and a thrilling plot, all knitted together to make a cosy blanket to snuggle with, all winter long.


Scenes of a Graphic Nature 


After a tough few years floundering around the British film industry, experimenting with amateur pornography and watching her father's health rapidly decline, she and her best friend Laura journey to her ancestral home of Clipim, an island off the west coast of Ireland. Knowing this could be the last chance to connect with her dad's history before she loses him, Charlie clings to the idea of her Irish roots offering some kind of solace. But she'll find out her heritage is about more than clichés and clover-foamed Guinness. 

When the girls arrive at Clipim, Charlie begins to question both her difficult relationship with Laura and her father's childhood stories. Before long, she's embroiled in a devastating conspiracy that's been sixty years in the making . . . and it's up to her to reveal the truth of it.

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