Recommended by the Reviewers Club

The Wild Laughter, by Caoilinn Hughes

Cover of The Wild Laughter, by Caoilinn Hughes.

Contemporary Irish novel set in the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger. The book tells the story of two brothers, Hart and Cormac, whose lives are upended by their father’s illness and his wish to end his life. The consequences of this decision will have devastating effects on the life of one of the brothers.

There is resentment and seething violence between the two brothers who are very different personalities, with undertones of Cain and Abel rumbling beneath the surface. Caoilinn Hughes is foremost a poet and the language is lyrical, abounding in brilliant metaphors and similes. Ultimately, this is a story of a family, reduced to living a bare existence on a barely functioning smallholding, with four very different characters that are extremely poignant and memorable.

4/5 Stars