The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was my final read in the Morrison finalist award of The Hub Challenge and oh was it so, so GOOD! I rooted for Maggie as she traversed the many ups and downs of her sixteenth year. Uprooted from Chicago and jettisoned to Ireland, due to yet another one of her mother's marriages (failed relationship, results in another union), Maggie mourns leaving her grandmother, Ei, and her beloved godfather-uncle musician, Kevin. But life in Ireland holds surprises for Maggie-a constant friendship with nonagenarian, Dan Sean, falling deeply and truly in love with Eoin, questioning her relationship with her mother, and ultimately dealing with unbearable loss, all the while questioning who she really is. Maggie's voice was honest and full of contradictions. While she yearns for peace, a normal family, and acceptance--Maggie can't forget what her Uncle Kevin wrote: "Live and then Live some more." With Kurt Cobain tickets in hand from Uncle Kevin, Maggie embarks on a life changing adventure. I recommend this book for adults (adults will really get what Maggie (teens) wrestles with) and young adults will love the drama, angst, and romance of first love. Maggie is one rockin' protagonist, I will not forget!
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