Friday 6 March 2020

Breeda Looney Steps Forth - Oliver Sands

How far would you go to bring a dead parent back from the grave?

Breeda Looney tells herself she’s happy with her life in a small Irish fishing village. Sure, there are days she talks to no one but the cat, her Aunt Nora considers her a waste of skin, and her panic attacks have become public spectacles. Still, what’s the use in complaining?

Then Breeda makes a shocking discovery that flips her world upside down. Her father, said to have died when Breeda was a child, might actually still be alive.

Breeda’s search for her father will strain her sanity to its limits, pitting her against her formidable Aunt Nora and threatening everything she holds dear.

And as she digs up the family dirt to find him, Breeda will begin to wonder… has she taken a step too far?

Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineA Man Called Ove and The Likely Resolutions of Oliver ClockBreeda Looney Steps Forth is a smart, irresistible and darkly delicious debut which promises to make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

What did I think?

I'm seeing a lot of books springing up claiming to be for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine but I wondered how many of them can actually match up to Eleanor.  I am delighted to say that Breeda Looney Steps Forth certainly does match up to Eleanor as Breeda perfectly filled the Eleanor shaped hole in my life.

You can't help but take 37 year old Breeda into your heart as she grieves for her mother and suffers from embarrassing panic attacks.  It is when clearing out her mother's things that she finds an 18th birthday card that had been sent to Breeda from her father.  The only problem is that Breeda's dad died when she was 12.  Is the card a delusion of her mother, as Aunt Nora claims, or has Breeda been told a pack of lies?

As Breeda searches for the truth, she uncovers a boat load of family secrets.  There's nothing I love more than a book full of secrets, so Breeda Looney Steps Forth gets a big tick for that.  Set in Ireland and London, the lyrical prose carries the beautifully heartwarming story forward at a rate of knots and I absolutely raced through it.  I really would have liked to savour the story a bit more but I got totally carried away in my haste to discover everything about Breeda.

Although at first it would appear that Breeda has led quite a sheltered life, she is a much stronger character than I first took her to be.  Breeda has some tough decisions to make and her inner strength shines through in her dogged determination to find her father: the man with a reputation for having an eye for the ladies, infamous Mal Looney.  I also loved reading about Breeda's tempestuous relationship with her Aunt Nora; it felt like they were always pulling in opposite directions but there are always two sides to every story and this all pulls together nicely at the end.

Hilarious at times but ultimately totally heartwarming, Breeda Looney Steps Forth is an outstanding debut from Oliver Sands; it's completely brilliant and wonderfully charming.  I loved every single moment and, as I plan to read it again, I most definitely recommend it.  A well deserved 5 sparkly stars for my new friend, Breeda!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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