The Irish Voice / Irish Central, Cahir O’Doherty
By Anakana Schofield
Well, this is a particularly lively tale by an Irish Canadian with a superb understanding of the cadences of Irish speech. In Malarky we meet an Irish widow named Philomena who refuses to be sunk by whatever indignities life tries to serve her.
Recently bereaved, she has caught her son in the fields with another man. Then a half mad local informs her of all the real or imagines infidelities of her late husband. It’s enough to oppress the spirits of the brightest, but Philomena is made of stronger stuff.
Schofield’s richest gift is for spirited dialogue which crackles with humor and energy in this blackly funny, half mad tale. Portraits of working class Irish female eccentrics are pretty thin on the ground, and for that reason alone this divertingly brilliant book is entirely worth your time.
This is the most distinctive novel of its kind I’ve read in a decade.