Flight, Oona Frawley


Covers and book blurbs and descriptions can be deceiving. Was this a guaranteed title at The Book Centre in Waterford? Can I still return it even though I bought it over a year ago? I want my 13 euro back.

For almost the entire time I read this book, I thought about how I wanted to take a flight from it. Flight had so much potential, and I blame Oona Frawley’s long-winded prose. Every sentence was too long. On the cover: “beautifully told by a real writer”–I should have known something was up when I need to be told by another writer that this book was indeed written by an existent person who writes. This story was not beautifully told; Frawley circles around superfluous details and jumps carelessly through time (I think a character has a flashback every third page that sometimes lasts for a paragraph, sometimes until the next chapter) to tie together a narrative that takes place over maybe twenty years? (I put that question mark there because I don’t know and I don’t care.)

The novel centres around Sandrine who moves to Ireland from Zimbabwe and takes on a job as a carer for an elderly couple, Tom and Clare, who are both suffering from dementia. I expected this book to focus more on the immigration narrative, but it wasted too much time (at least 50 pages) talking about Tom and Clare’s daughter Elizabeth’s cliched problem that she’s sad to leave all of her friends when they move away from New York. Once the novel began to focus on what I thought it was actually about (Ireland’s citizenship referendum in 2004) in the final 50 pages, everyone was dying and I was like, “Oh good, this book is over now.”

Another blurb on the back reads, “This book doesn’t suffer fools.” Well, I guess I’ll put on my fool’s cap now.

Books read: 10


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