This past weekend in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to review a work of Irish literature, you know put a little festivity in the air. Being from Louisiana, where there is a festival for everything, I carry the tradition of celebrating with me in adulthood. As time progresses, you’ll find I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate, and I’ll incorporate it into my writing. In fact, Wednesday 3/14 was Pi Day. Don’t worry, I still <3.14 you.
And now for my pseudo review of The Morning After by Sally Clements, a title which implies way more scandal than the actual morning after, at least from what I got out of it. Anyway, I call this a pseudo review because I’m not really going to pick apart the content. We’re celebrating, remember?! I really just wanted to read a work of Irish literature to see if I could pick up the Irish-ness.
So before anyone starts to ask questions as to how I decided to review this work, I tweeted a request to the Twitterverse, and @Sallywriter responded to my request for Irish literature. As a marketer, kudos to you, Ms. Clements for seizing the opportunity to promote your work. And everyone else out there, I really am reading the tweets!
I’ll classify the work as an easy-breezy romance. No heavy lifting up top, and the love scenes are relatively tame and tastefully done compared to other romances I’ve read. It’s an entertaining and sweet story of two good friends who fall in love and struggle with acknowledging and communicating their true feelings.
The book takes place half in Ireland and half in Malibu. I thought it interesting however that the Irish town of Donabridge does not exist! At least according to the Internet. It’s supposed to be located in County Kildare, but after fruitless Google searches and a Wikipedia search of County Kildare, I came up empty handed. Darn, I like the idea of setting being a real place. I’ve been to Ireland before, and I wanted to extrapolate my memories to a real place. I did that anyway, but it would have been cool to compare my ideas with actual images of Donabridge; I was sorely disappointed in my inability to do this.
I particularly enjoyed the deliciously Irish character names. Ethan Quinn, Michael Maguire, even the screen character Ethan plays in his profession as an actor is great, Crash Carrigan. BUT my favorite character name, by far, is Aoife Fitzpatrick, Ethan’s ex-girlfriend who pops back into his life — I’m still very unclear as to how to pronounce this name, but in my head it’s a great name. I can just picture having a conversation with these people and their lilting Irish accents. In my mind Ethan is a better looking version (at least more my type) of Colin Farrell with the bad boy behavior to match.
The liberal use of the word “niggle” (among other things) alerted me to the distinctiveness of this work when compared to traditional American English. I’d like to believe I’m fairly educated, but I’ve never heard this word before, and I read it five times in the book. It was very much a Baader Meinhof experience. Another thing I picked up on was the author’s use of the very specific description of “polystyrene cups”. I probably would have just gone for plastic, but maybe that’s just a difference in American vs. Irish vernacular.
During Cara’s flight from Ireland to the U.S., the flight attendant says to put the tray table in the “clipped up” position. Cute. And then Doris, a makeup assistant on set offers Ethan a “cuppa” something. Also endearing, and very Irish, even though I think Doris is supposed to be an American.
Overall, if you’re looking for an entertaining quick read, I’d recommend this book. In fact, I’m going to recommend it to my friend who just moved to Cork for her boyfriend, who was her friend first. It’s sweet and simple, and most importantly for the sake of this post, of Irish influence. So I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m looking forward to reading more works.