Recommended by the Reviewers Club

Small Things like these, by Claire Keegan

Cover of Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan.

Just under a two-hour read, but never to be forgotten! Highly recommended. The lyrical Irish prose just begs to be read aloud.

Bill Furlong, the central character says little, but conveys much by his few words and many good actions. Turning 40, he wonders what really matters in life, what the days were for, was he making any headway or getting anywhere despite being a successful businessman. His feminist attitude was different to the general population. When a nun said that he must be disappointed to have five girls, he replied, “What have I against girls? My own mother was a girl once, and I dare say that the same may be true of you and half of all belonging to us.”

The story deals with the all-pervading influence of the Catholic Church in the Village, the attitude towards “fallen girls,” and their illegitimate babies and the commercial laundries run by the State and the nuns, using these girls as slave labour.

4/5 Stars