18 January 2010

Someone Special

By Sheila O'Flanagan
Published by Headline Review, 2008

Anyone who reads Sheila O'Flanagan's novels already knows this is not the romance novel the marketing department would have you believe. O'Flanagan's female leads have interesting jobs, full lives, and the romance is often incidental. I'm not complaining; I wouldn't have been able to read her fourteen previous novels, otherwise.

Romy Kilkenny is a forensic archaeologist living in Australia. Her sister, Kathryn, is a forensic accountant living in New York. Darragh, the older brother, runs the family manufacturing firm in Ireland. A reunion of sorts occurs when the matriarch, Veronica, needs back surgery and the Dolan/Kilkenny clan ends up back in Ireland.

O'Flanagan has a keen eye for family dynamics and the child placement theory gets a run for its money in this story - older brother as family head, middle girl having to prove herself and Romy, the baby of the family, feeling left behind.

Romy's romantic life is a thread throughout the story, but the family is the story here. Now, who can I speak to about stopping the girlie cover art for O'Flanagan's books?