Disclaimer: My copy of this book was kindly gifted by the publishers, Atlantic Books (Allen & Unwin U.K.). All thoughts/opinions are my own.
When Kevin Gogarty’s irrepressible eighty-three-year-old mother, Millie, is caught shoplifting yet again, he has no choice but to hire a caretaker to keep an eye on her. Kevin, recently unemployed, is already at his wits’ end tending to a full house while his wife travels to exotic locales for work, leaving him solo with his sulky, misbehaved teenaged daughter, Aideen, whose troubles escalate when she befriends the campus rebel at her new boarding school.
Into the Gogarty fray steps Sylvia, Millie’s upbeat American home aide, who appears at first to be their saving grace—until she catapults the Gogarty clan into their greatest crisis yet.
With charm, humor, and pathos to spare, Good Eggs is a delightful study in self-determination; the notion that it’s never too late to start living; and the unique redemption that family, despite its maddening flaws, can offer.
Since I visited Dublin a few years back, my love of all things Irish (apart from Guinness I’m afraid) heightened. So, when I saw proofs of this book – a book early reviews said fans of Derry Girls would love – I knew I had to have one. Aside from a quick scan of the blurb, I didn’t know what to expect with this one – Hardiman’s debut novel.
The book splits between three members of the same Irish family: Kevin, his mother Millie, and his daughter Aideen. In their own ways, each of the characters have flaws and obstacles to overcome (Millie has a penchant for taking what doesn’t belong to her, Kevin is struggling to juggle all of his responsibilities and Aideen can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble) but I think – as the narrative moves along – the reader will grow to love them.
Admittedly, I did gravitate towards (and favour) the chapters from the two female characters points of views – as I didn’t find Kevin’s narrative all that interesting or his character that nice – but I think it was interesting how the three characters fit together and how each of them dealt with the chaos that ensued.
Every family has a menacing, mischievous streak and I think Hardiman demonstrates this brilliantly through the entertaining- if a little far fetched – scenarios the characters find themselves in. I think it really says something if an author manages to have you rooting for the characters, in their debut novel no less.
I think my only problem with this one was the ending. The ending wasn’t bad, exactly, but I think after it took a while to get started the end section of the book felt a little bit too jam-packed with information and plot.
Regardless, Good Eggs was an entertaining contemporary debut, a perfect comedy antidote for the trying times we find ourselves in.
You can find out more about Rebecca Hardiman (and purchase Good Eggs) here.
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