Harry N. Abrams
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.
Why I Read This:
Review Copy Cleanup
On a rainy day on her way home from school, Mary is introduced to a woman who she first assumes is her new neighbor. She quickly realizes that there is something quite strange about her. First of all, she tells Mary that she lives nowhere, and though she looks young she also acts and dresses very old. What follows is the journey of four generations of women (including the young one Mary) all trying to overcome their fears of death and the memory of their past.
The book was quite different than I expected from the summary. The second half of the description led me to believe that the whole book would be a "journey into the past" with the four women all together in the car, when in reality, it was only during the last quarter of the book that this happened. Then the journey was really only a ride to the old family farm. Quite disappointing in that respect.
As for Mary, Scarlett, Emer, and Tansey I was really enthralled with their personalities. They were all fun, witty, and loving people. I especially loved Mary who ended almost every sentence with "I'm not being cheeky." or alternately, "I'm being cheeky now." I thought that was really cute and actually had me laughing in a few places.
The relationships between all the women was wonderfully written. It was a good exploration of how we can all be afraid to die, afraid to lose someone, and how some people overcome that fear. I just wish there was a little more to it.
I received a free e-copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.