The Irish Quarter
I am looking for reading suggestion for contemporary Irish novels
Paula Spencer is a sequel to The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, with eight years gone by. (My post of The Woman Who Walked Into Doors is here.) Paula's abusive husband has been dead for almost a decade now and she is still single. Her four kids are growing up fast. Her daughter has followed her footsteps into alcoholism and one of her sons is a heroin addict. Paula has been sober for four months and five days as Paula Spencer opens. The Celtic Tiger is riding high during this period. One of Paula's old cleaning lady cohorts is now rich enough to buy a second apartment, this time one in Bulgaria. Dublin seems to Paula to becoming over run with foreigners and shockingly to some black people. We can see this kind of bothers Paula but she deals with it. She still cleans houses and offices but she has become a supervisor at the service that cleans offices. She is still a spectator into the lives of those better off than her by looking at their houses and offices when they are not home. There are a lot of really telling class indicators in the novel.
It was sad to see her daughter headed down the same path as Paula and any parent can feel the heart ache of a son hooked on heroin who steals the family TV to feed his habit. Paula still fancies men and even talks about them pretty frankly with her teenage daughter in which they discuss men they consider possible "rides". She is a little worried one of her sons might be gay. (I have learned lots of new slang from Doyle's novel and I know now that if you want to offer to take someone somewhere in your car in Dublin, you do not say "would you like me to give you a ride?".)
For sure first read The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and if you like it, most people do, then read Paula Spencer. Doyle has written two other trilogies and I bet there will be a third Paula Spencer novel. I hope so and I hope she is OK.
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