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Review of Bodies by Christine Anne Foley


An Irish coming-of-age story with an edge. What a ride this book was! It was messy and chaotic and darkly subversive. From the naivety of teenage romances to toxic relationships in her twenties, Charlotte’s drawn to the wrong men time after time. There was Johnny and Dave, then Kyle and Adam, then you, and that was when the trouble started. With the passing of her sister, she’s chasing something in life which she feels has been taken away from her.


What I loved about this book was how daring it was. The dialogue was listed in dashes, a style of dialogue I’ve not seen before and it fitted the tone so well. 


This book felt very different to other contemporary novels, exploring a young woman’s relationships through adolescence into adulthood with sharp wit and a cutting twist. It was raw and nuanced in the way it portrays growing up in a patriarchal society where young women are vulnerable to the threat of violence and male dominance. In many ways it slotted into the cannon of Irish literature with its perceptive, honest narrative of girlhood, similar to Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey, which gives this an addictive taste. I raced through this book, hungry for all the juicy details and desperate to know how it ended. I’ve not felt this kind of rush to finish a book in one sitting in a long time.


Review by Victoria.

Bodies was published on 04/07/24 by John Murray Press.


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