Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
Best for: People who like a whole lot of randomness in their novels.
In a nutshell: Woman who was likely abused when a child believes she’s a fairy and travels Dublin searching for her real home.
Line that sticks with me: “A politician is calling on another politician to do something. I would like to call on someone to do something but I don’t know if anyone would listen.”
Why I chose it: On independent bookstore day in Seattle, I visited 19 bookstores. Many were giving away mystery books wrapped in brown paper. These were galleys they’d received to determine if they’d carry a book. This is one of three I picked up throughout the day.
Review: The reviews on the back of this book trouble me a bit, as I feel like they are treating the main character, Vivian, as though she is simply quirky, when in truth she appears to instead be experiencing some form of mental illness that could likely benefit from some assistance. So much of her time is taken up searching for entrances to the fairy world to which she belongs. She was also likely abused by her now-deceased parents and treated very poorly by her living sister, but this isn’t explored deeply as Vivian is our narrator.
Author Caitriona Lally is talented with her prose and invokes very specific images – and smells – in the reader. As someone who has visited Dublin a fair number of times I did enjoy the recognition I felt in many of the places Vivian visited. There were certain aspects of Vivian’s personality and thinking that I could relate to, and all of it I could to some degree understand; I just don’t think the book as a whole worked well for me.
I almost gave this book three stars, but I think it needed either much more or much less; it didn’t work for me as an average-length work of fiction.