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The Fields

by Kevin Maher

Set in 1980's Ireland, this funny, emotive and at times, shocking book takes you on a journey you may well find uncomfortable reading. I never ceased to be amazed how life's circumstances and events can change a child. Innocent pleasures like listening and dancing to Bronski Beat in your bedroom can be wiped out in a flash and replaced with unseen and unexpected adult responsibilities. This is how it is for Jim - read his story.

Extract

Before I've even started talking I can feel my legs shaking. In my head I'm thinking, fecking hell, how in God's name am I supposed to top all these totally bonkers stories?!! But in my heart I know what I have to tell them. I start with the best day of my life, and I tell them that there's been too many, and that all mainly revolve around my mam telling the bus conductor breastfeeding joke around the table, and my whole family bursting out laughing. I look around, and even in the candlelight I can see that everyone's super-disappointed. Besides the mention of the word breast, this is perhaps the most boring thing that's been said all morning. Fr Jason, however, is pleased, and smiles and even half bows, and tells me that it's good to hear me speaking so readily from my heart. And the worst day? he says, beaming, hoping for a real humdinger. It's now when my breathing goes totally haywire.

Parallels

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Girls Can't Make Gun Noises by Paul Surridge
 

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