This beautifully rendered portrait of life in rural Ireland charms and delights with its authentic characters and gentle humor. This vivid portrayal of the universal search for love brings with it a darker tale, one that is heartbreaking in its poignancy.
Let me start by saying, the only reason I read this book is because it’s sequel was picked to read next in our book club. I was worried that I would miss something by not reading it. Ok, now on with the review.
The Misremembered Man was a bit slow for my tastes, but I liked the way it was written. The quotes were well done and accurately reflected the Irish brogue. Before reading this, I noticed several people had complained on Goodreads that they had a hard time with the way McKenna wrote the Irish dialect, but it did not seem to hinder my reading. (If you can read Br’er Rabbit, you’ll have no trouble with this.) I actually enjoyed reading the dialect. There were several times I found myself reading things out loud just to enjoy the sound of the words.
Now, when I say this book was slow, I mean SLOW. The book seemed to move at a snail’s pace in several sections. The only thing that really kept me going was the intermittent storyline about a young boy named “eighty-six” who was growing up in a Catholic orphanage. Unfortunately, these chapters were also gut wrenching. McKenna described the rampant abuse and appalling living conditions of these orphans to such a degree it literally made my stomach turn. The really bad thing is that I think this was based on fact, not fiction.
My biggest complaint about this book was the way everything wrapped up in the last 2-3 chapters. It just chugged along, then it slapped you with a BIG TWIST and then it was over. Unfortunately, I had guessed the “big twist” about half way through, so I was very underwhelmed.
If you require a good bit of action to keep you interested, I wouldn’t recommend this book. If you are happy with just reading about people and their situations or rural Ireland, this might just be the book for you. Personally, I’m going middle of the road with 3 out of 5 stars.