PositiveCultureflyAs well as detailing how she juggled her research with caring for her newborn child and young sons, Ní Ghríofa also interweaves details of her own history, her youth and university years and imagined scenes from Eibhlin’s 18th century life, both before and after the killing of her husband. For me, in these two points are both the strength and the weakness of the novel. I found the chapters on Ní Ghríofa’s own experience of giving birth to her daughter prematurely and the aftercare endured in the hospital particularly moving, and another chapter on the period of time she attempted to study for a dentistry degree revolting and captivating in equal measure. In comparison, the pondering of what had happened to Eibhlin never quite captured my imagination in the same way that is so evidently did for Ní Ghríofa ... Her passion for translating is infectious, and you will find yourself flicking back and forth to the poem itself, enjoying its taking shape ... It is the latter half, where Ní Ghríofa endeavours to find tangible evidence of what had happened to Eibhlin, where the pacing can become somewhat sluggish ... n unusual but engrossing memoir and prose debut. In Ní Ghríofa’s effort to breath life into the ghost of a woman, she simultaneously breathes life into the minutiae of her own. It is, most undoubtedly, a female text.
Robert Jones Jr
RaveCultureflyThis is an intimate story told on an epic scale. Jones has made clear his inspiration from authors Toni Morrison and James Baldwin, and the echoes in his style is clear, without feeling derivative. Morrison’s influence in particular in clear in the poetry of his writing, in the passion and complexity of his female characters ... In some cases the writing can be slightly overwrought and bringing attention to itself, but this is only rarely ... As with any book of multiple viewpoints, some characters are more engrossing than others, but the complexities of the women in the story were particularly well written, and the inclusion of a lesbian character offered further depth ... Overall, the lasting impression is one that is suitably biblical; the chapters themselves named \'Leviticus,\' or \'The Revelation of Judas.\' And yet it is also a book with a modern gaze looking back ... a confident debut, invaluable for the lost stories that it finally brings to the centre.