Review: The Convent by Maureen McCarthy


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‘I woke up with a feeling about today,’ Stella says dreamily. ‘Something truly amazing is going to happen.’ ‘To us or to the world?’ I say. ‘To you.’ ‘To me?’ I laugh. ‘Nothing ever happens to me, Stella.’ ‘But today it will.’ ‘Will it be good?’ She looks thoughtful and then frowns. ‘I . . . I don’t know.’

Peach is 19 and pretty happy with the way things are. She has her college work, two wildly different best friends, her sister, Stella, to look after, and a broken heart to mend. But when she takes a summer job at a café in the old convent, her idea of who she is takes a sharp turn into the past. Where once there were nuns, young girls and women who had fallen on hard times, Peach discovers secrets from three generations of her family. As their stories are revealed, Peach is jolted out of her comfort zone. But does she really want to know who she is? Warm and real, intense and provocative, this novel shows in vivid detail how fate and the choices we make ripple and reverberate through time.

I have to be honest, I have no idea what made me pick this book up and buy it in the first place, but I can assure you I’m really glad I did! I’ve never read anything by Maureen McCarthy before, but I do believe I will be hunting down every single book she has ever written now.

Firstly, how cool is the main character’s name? Peach! I mean, come on…that is awesome. Even though at times I wanted to pull  her out of the book and slap her around for being so frustrating and stroppy, I had to pull back and remember what it was like being nineteen. She is whole, but broken all at the same time, her friends are detrimental to her sanity, but she loves them fiercely. I wanted to scream at her and pull her into my arms for a big squishy hug all at the same time.

The book follows the lives of four women, a great grandmother, grandmother, mother and daughter, who have all been separated from each other in different ways. It shows the flow on effect that one tragic separation can have through the generations.

If you want laughs, this is not the book for you. I don’t think I even giggled once. I cried, though, a lot. It was an emotional wringing out of the soul. So much heartache graces the pages of this book, all real, and all painful, but don’t let that stop you from picking it up and reading it. Once I started I couldn’t put it down and I read on through the blur of my own tears.

AOaR_4star (3)

Suse is a wife and mother of two always looking for new adventures inside her head. You can follow her at The Scribbling Post, on facebook and on twitter.

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