The Glorious Heresies
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 9th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .
Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland’s twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.
My Mini Review:This novel is a maze of narratives that are interconnected with cleverness that makes the reading process quite the roller coaster. From Maureen who kills a shiftless intruder with a Holy Stone, to her son Jimmy the gangster who cleans up the mess, we next meet Tony Cusack the widowed drunk with six kids to feed, and soon thereafter it’s Tony’s son Ryan the drug dealer and the partner of the dead man, a prostitute who buys her drugs from Ryan. These dissimilar characters reside the poorest section of Cork. The Glorious Heresies has a lot going on. That was my first hint at the chaos that might arise. There is quite a lot of language and other somewhat taboo behavior throughout this book that might be interesting to many readers. There was a lot going on in this book that made it hard to follow but as I kept reading I did find a bit of a rhythm throughout this book, which was helpful in the duty of finishing it. Do not read this book expecting happy thoughts. It’s dark, sad and gritty. It’s the sense of inevitability throughout that keeps the tone somber despite some gallant attempts at humor. The Glorious Heresies is a well-crafted piece of writing, but I wasn’t completely enthralled. It is worth the read for those who love murder and mayhem.