Wednesday 1 September 2010

An Embarrassment of Riches - Gerald Hansen

I first came across this wonderful book on Authonomy so it was no surprise to learn that Gerald Hansen was a Semi Finalist in this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

If you like a superbly written black comedy with a barrel of laughs then look no further than Gerald's excellent ‘An Embarrassment of Riches’.  There’s even a Derry Speak glossary which you’ll soon discard once the dialect gets under your skin.  Set in present-day Derry, Ireland, Fionnuala Flood –  whose many children are involved in a variety of shady activities, including drug dealing and making petrol bombs – is at war with her sister-in-law, the hapless Ursula who has recently won the lotto. You would almost empathise with Ursula if it wasn’t for the fact that she keeps digging her own grave. An Embarrassment of Riches is deftly plotted, with twists and turns and ironies especially where the feisty Dymphna’s pregnancy is concerned, and the scene where she and Rory are talking across purposes in the ChipKebab will have you in stitches. Meanwhile, Fionnula’s youngest daughter, Siofra, may only be eight years old but she has learned a scam or two along the way.  She wants the Maria Theresa dress, the parasol and the tiara with lights on for her First Communion and nothing is going to stop her. With this gritty book you are in for a hoot and a ride as bumpy as mother-in-law Eda’s stairlift.  But be warned, there are moments of tragicomedy where you least expect them.

Highly recommended

Watch out too for Gerald's follow up book 'Hand In The Till' which promises more feisty frolics from the Floods.

 For more details click on the link to Gerald's website below

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