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Greyhound of a Girl Hardcover – September 1, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-"Cheeky," Dublin-raised Mary O'Hara, 12, is "not a little girl anymore," but she is still a child in many ways. With her beloved grandmother, Emer, dying in the hospital, Mary meets Tansey, her great-grandmother's ghost. Tansey has returned to assure Emer that dying is not so bad and "it'll all be grand." The narrative skips between time periods and the point of view alters among the perspectives of Mary, her mother, Emer, and Tansey. Readers learn that Tansey died of the flu in 1928 when Emer was only three and has been lingering near her ever since. The four generations of women go on a late-night road trip to the old family farm and the sea, a journey that allows them to learn about one another and helps them cope with past and future losses. The Irish dialect may delight some readers but frustrate others. Windows into the past give depth and meaning to each woman's struggle. The theme that love and affection are handed down through generations of women is a bit understated, but that's part of its charm. Occasionally, the frequent dialogue becomes tiresome and reads more like poetry. Pair this book with Jacqueline Kelly's The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Holt, 2009). An affecting story about growing up, family, life, and death.-Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1993 for "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha." His novels have been made into popular films, including "The Commitments" and "The Snapper." He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407129333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407129334
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,674,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've been reading a lot of stinkers lately, so when I got the chance to read this book (the title and cover automatically grabbing me), I jumped on it. The first thing you'll notice is how engaging both the dialogue and the dialect of the characters is; I loved words like "eegit" and how the mother, Scarlett, always ended her sentences with an exclamation. And then there's Mary, the main character, who, of course, is just becoming a teenager and uses a certain word until it's worn out...you'll see. Either way, it's humorous and the way they talk grows on you after a while.

I also found virtually no grammatical errors, which I love to see! It makes me more secure when I read a book to trust the author when he/she uses grammar correctly, if that makes sense. I also thought the "chapter markers," or whatever they are called, were beautiful illustrations and added to the beauty of the story in a way you could actually see. I think my favorite thing about this book was not only the humor in it, but the suspense at the end, and how touching it was. I don't cry with many stories, and although I still didn't cry with this one, the story made me yearn to see my grandmother, which the thought of did make me start to tear up.

There were a few quotes I highlighted that I really enjoyed, especially one that proves my theory that all ages are meant to enjoy it. I will wait until the book is actually released, however, before I spout out what the author might decide at the last minute to remove.

Even though the story is aimed at children and YA, and even though one of my favorite characters from the story just so happened to be a ghost, I truly believe this is a book that all ages will enjoy. Like the four generations of women who came together in the story, different generations can come together to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Mary O'Hara's grandmother is in the hospital, dying. She's trying to come to terms with things when she meets Tansey. Tansey is a little odd, but super sweet to Mary. Mary discovers a lot of things when she introduces her mother to Tansey. Tansey also apparently knows Mary's grandmother and the three of them go to visit her in the hospital. Mary learns a lot about the past while trying to figure out how to cope with the future.

This was a very interesting novel. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this(not in a bad way). It was quite neat though. Mary was a snarky girl and all her female family members were quite interesting. I really liked them all. This novel was a bit too short for me though, but realistic I suppose. You can't have the tragic decline last for too long, otherwise it's not as dramatic, it's just drawn-out. I don't know anyone from Ireland--but the author is--and the dialogue seems to be realistic, if a bit strange. There was a bit of a surprise in the book which was nice to have a little mystery in such a short novel. I just really wanted more with these characters. I did love diving into the past while the characters reminisced about life on the farm. That was a big part of the story. I think the largest part was just the relationship between the four women characters. How all their actions led to things being the way they were and how they all got to be at this point. This was a quick, touching and slightly quirky novel that I recommend you check out.

First Line:
"She hated the hospital."

Favorite Line:
"Although, now, you threw your sandwich at a seagull."

Disclaimer: I was sent this item to review. This does not influence my opinion.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a tale about love and loss, and the connection between daughter and mother's. I found this book both funny yet tedious. I loved the cheekiness of Mary, and some of the witty lines that Doyle has included in the dialogue, yet I also found myself struggling to keep my attention focused.

This is a ghost story, without being scary. Yet 12-year-old Mary and her mother Scarlett don't seem to be wary or worried that ghost's are real or that one has turned up on their doorstep - they just took it in their stride, which struck me as rather odd. After stealing Mary's dying grandmother from the hospital, they take a trip to the farm she grew up.

Doyle has made this book fun and serious all at the same time, I even found myself reading with a (horrible) Irish accent!

This book would be perfect for understanding death and the importance of family for a younger child - but adults would love it as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Received from Netgalley for review, thank you. I love the one-sentence premise: that four generations of Irish women are on a road trip – "one is dead, one is dying, one is driving, and one is just starting out." And that is the strict truth.

I own a book or two by Roddy Doyle, but this is the first I've read by him. I don't know what I was expecting – but this wasn't it. Maggie, Scarlett, Emer, and Tansey are vibrant and individual, and believable: Maggie is a precocious 12-year-old, and somewhat obnoxious; Scarlett, her mother, is bouncy and inextinguishable (no matter how hard Maggie tries); Emer, <i>her</i> mother, is on her deathbed, but the glimpses into her heart and her past show her to be tough and pragmatic; Tansey is a little of the best of all of this, loving and gently regretful that she never had the chance to raise Emer and she frightens Scarlett a little and she can't feel Maggie's hand in hers. I can't say I liked all of them all of the time; I never warmed to Maggie at all, I'm sorry to say. Emer's toughness was not lovable to me, and neither were Scarlett's !!!'s. I loved Tansey, though, and that made up for it all.

Taken all in all, I was moved by this story; I recommend it for anyone facing impending loss, or recent loss. Or for anyone with strong women in their life. Or – need I say? – for anyone with Irish blood. It's a lovely, silly, stirring thing, and I'm glad I broke the ice with it.
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