Tue, Jan

A Wicklow Girl: By Brian O'Dowd


Set in Dublin and surroundings, briefly in New Orleans, the novel explores difficulties encountered by return of the emigrant. The story is narrated by Brian who lived in Canada for many years, his aunt left him her house on Howth head over looking Dublin bay. (Cover illustration, Shutterstock image.  By Peter Kim.)

Attempts at connecting with old acquaintances do not prosper and Brian is living his lonely life. As he tells the tale, a year earlier he met Wicklow girl Noreen O’Boyle in Louisiana. We learn that life away was tough for Noreen and she plans to return. In the interlude waiting for Noreen, Brian had a moment of meditations in the local church. This event led to a scandalous impersonation of the parish priest with Aniky, a young nun visiting from Bruges. Buy Book Here!

Green-eyed tempestuous Noreen arrives in Dublin, however Brian and Noreen have only one summer together. Events of brief dalliance with Aniky comes back to haunt at Halloween.

About the Author
I live near Lake Ontario in Toronto.  Born, educated by Brothers in Dublin.  Very Irish, as I’ve lived life away from the auld sod, clueless about GAA and what’s going on over there.  I lived in Trinidad  for 3 years, they have cockroaches that fly! Once fluent with gaelic.  I have a Ph. D and discovered a protein, named APJ receptor, makes the human Heart Beat.  (Check Wikipedia).  In a tiny red cottage in Northern Ontario I wrote unsuccessful screenplays.  One was about bringing back a Dodo bird.  Right?  I did publish science discoveries with Nobel prize winners at Duke University.  My only son passed away.  In Tobago one early morning picked up a toothbrush.  It wriggled and dropped!  Disturbed iguana vanished under the door.  ‘Wicklow Girl’ love story explores broken hearts, every word considered.  Great craic altogether!

5 stars on Amazon
David R. Hampson
A Wicklow Girl is one unique novel. Its style and prose are quite unlike all other novels that I have read. It took me a few chapters to get into the rhythm and flow, but once there, I could not put the book down! A totally witty and a beautiful love story interspersed throughout with the most brilliant word play that I have encountered in decades.

5 Stars on Amazon
Patrick Ballagh
Mashed potatoes, black pudding with more than a dash of cajun sauce, A Wicklow Girl charts the narrator's quest for a soul mate that takes him on a roller coaster ride from New Orleans in the sweaty sensual south of the US to the windy wet village of Howth on the eastern Irish seaboard before finding his peace in the rolling green hills of Wicklow county Dublin.
The narrator's voice is mesmerising, high octane, it drives the novel forward in a compelling and unique way. This is a novel I thoroughly recommend for its universal theme and the sheer poetic beauty of the narrative voice.

5 Stars on Amazon
This is really well written, honest and enjoyable book to read. And I totally agree with this sentence from the Preface: "It’s everything a serious reader would want from a novel.”

5 Stars on Amazon
The main character is a nightmare, and you want to shout at him with what is going wrong. His mind is unique, to say the least; especially the particularly Irish bits, and not just the Irish language phrases popped in all over the place. But then there are also nods to other countries and continents, after all he is essentially a returned emigrant after a few decades' residence in north America and elsewhere. Essentially Irish for all that.  But, do not be put off as the quirkiness adds to the book; if you get it all, and the poetic interludes, you are really enjoying a first class novel. If you miss a few bits here and there just keep going. The continuing love story is worth it without a shadow of a doubt. I gave it five stars.
Abbreviated, you can read my sister’s review in full on

"It's everything a serious reader would want from a novel. Suffice to say I read it spellbound. The novel is perfect, a classic, satisfying love story. Being language driven, the love story itself is transformed into an epic. Regardless of any plot or theme, it's the voice, the acerbic, relentless observations, the exhilarating metre of sociological dissection, the skewed homecoming poetry of it, the anger and energy and bitterness. It's superb, every word of it held me enthralled. Making this the fuel of a love story is a supreme achievement. It's more than the great Irish novel; its very language is dependent on a narrator's voice corrupted by his wandering. You take a scene to its linguistic origins, refract its meanings and create myth, the voice is contemporary and so compelling in its delivery. Delighted in the puns, the literary and cultural references, the brilliance of the wit and one liners, the put downs to die for and the absurd and crazy, surprising twists of storyline."
UK Writers Workshop review