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Love like hate adore Hardcover – 1997

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Hardcover, 1997
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 483 pages
  • Publisher: Town House in association with Macmillan London (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860590454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860590450
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,970,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SophroniaSezs on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a book about the devastation that the act of "date rape" can bring to everyone involved, from the perspective of the older sister of the man accused. The author doesn't minimize or explain away the act, but does show that there were definately shades of gray in the incident, and that it can be as devastating for the man involved and his family as it is for the woman. The book covers much more that this one act, however, it is a coming of age story about the heroine, the sister of the accused, who was more a mother than sister to her much loved but difficult younger brother. It details her struggle to better herself, to form relationships, and learn to both help and "let go" of her younger brother. It has a true sense of place, and I felt like I learned much about Ireland. The people were unforgettable, and I had trouble both putting the book down and forgetting the story...thinking about it for many months afterwords, and at times forgetting it was only a book about imaginary people.
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Format: Hardcover
Angela Devine has raised her nineteen year old brother, James, since he was three months old. Her mother, a substance abuser, died leaving behind five children, all the progeny of different fathers. Angela persuaded the social workers to allow her to raise James instead of being taken into care as has happened with her other three siblings.
It’s now Dublin, 1996, and Angela keeps her head above financial waters by working three jobs; as a cleaner, kissogram and wedding singer. Angela loves her brother as if he was her own son, trying to protect him from everything that is bad in the world. However, that ‘motherly’ protection becomes much more difficult when James is accused of rape.

“...you’ll forgive if sometimes I use what you might think are inappropriate words. Or at the least words above my station! I’m not all that educated and my grammar or tenses may not always be the best...But I adore words...I have to squish a lot of them when they pop into my mouth in case people think I’m showing off.”
Chapter 1, Page 1

Angela not only has to ‘squish’ words but also her thoughts, emotions and relationships. She also squishes her own desires, like finding her father, so that all her energy is focused on giving James all the love and attention that she never received from her own mother. Like a ‘mother’ she refuses to acknowledge that James is now a nineteen year man and still perceives him as a young boy.
Angela is an ordinary woman but has an extraordinary strength of character and resilience. That extraordinary strength is pushed to its outer limits when James is arrested on the charge of rape.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
A young woman who has spent most of her life shoring up a druggie mother, or caring for her siblings so they wouldn't have to go into care after the death of said mother, is the narrator. The scene is nineties Dublin and one or two current affairs issues are mentioned to fit the story into context.

Angie has a brother aged nineteen at this point, and they've been living together since he was a couple of months old. They each have bitty jobs but she makes the rent. Then the lad is accused of rape by a better-off girlfriend, and their lives crash to pieces.

The social system is shown to us through Angie's experience, the free legal aid, the continuing bail, and pressure to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Meanwhile the young woman concerned has decided to make a career out of being an assault victim and no sooner is the case over (with a female judge) than she is in every media channel telling her story. Nobody is interested in hearing the man's story or asking if it takes two to tango. To be clear, neither Angie nor the author (nor this writer) condones rape of any kind.

I found the tale well-written to show us this responsible sister trying to cope, trying to find a life for herself, pass an exam and retain even one friend. Angie's an ordinary woman and this must be an experience many family members of young accused men would share. I thought the vague ending was unsatisfactory and could have been stronger.
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