Liz Currently Loves….The Playground by Julia Kelly


Publication Date: Available Now from Quercus.

Source: Publisher Review Copy

Eve is putting her life together again.
Her partner has walked out on her. She’s moved into a tiny flat on the outskirts of Dublin. She has no job. But she does have her beloved baby daughter – and there’s a little playground across the street. It’s a tired spot for teenagers and tramps, but Eve is determined to make this new life work. Alongside her interfering lodger and a group of local mums she swings into action to make the playground the heart of the community.  But not all games are innocent – and not all friends are true. When a terrible accident is blamed on her, Eve must forge her own independence – and realise that the playground is not a place to hide from adulthood.

There is some great Irish fiction around right at the minute and this is an excellent example of that – my first read of Julia Kelly but certainly not the last.

Eve is not having a good time – thrust into having to find independance and having made a move in order to try and kickstart her life, she doesnt have a lot, but she DOES have her daughter and is determined to make a better life for her. Across the street from her is a small playground – something for Eve to focus on to make it part of the community. But is she trusting too much?

I loved Eve – her character had emotional resonance for me as, like her, I am in the midst of a new start – she is vulnerable yet determined and Julia Kelly has managed to give a beautiful poignancy to the range and depth of her feelings about what is going on around her. I followed avidly along with her, over the bumps in the road, through the turmoil and onwards towards a hopefully brighter future. In a way it is a coming of age tale for a woman already of age and as such it was absolutely compelling.

The sense of place is very evocative, wonderfully described and puts you right in the picture – there is a lovely flow and lilt to the prose that allows you to live in Eve’s world and see how she develops – it was one of those books that you are intrigued and touched by, especially when it comes to the hidden motivations of the characters within. Not everyone and everything is as it appears and you will find yourself avidly turning the pages to find out what will happen.

Overall then a lovely story, heart warming and heart wrenching, with some sublimely drawn characters and a very fascinating storyline, very enjoyable indeed.

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading Folks!

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