Book Review | Lagan Love
Title: Lagan Love
Author: Peter Murphy
Lagan Love, by Peter Murphy, is a novel that weaves Irish folklore and history into a tale of love, deceit, and reality vs. imagination. The story mainly focuses on two characters from Dublin, Ireland, Aiden and Sinead, and one transplanted Canadian, Janice. After a short relationship with Sinead, Aiden meets and falls for Janice. At first Janice seems to have high morals and everyone around the new couple know that it is not a match made in heaven. Janice with her proper upbringing and Aiden with his callous and rough upbringing; they have many hurdles to overcome. Janice is an artist, and Aiden a poet, so they cling to the common ground they share through the passions they have for their art. As Aiden opens up and teaches Janice firsthand the history of his homeland, and the folk lore that entwines and fuels the people of Dublin, Janice gets caught up in the folklore making the lore more real than just a story that is passed on to the next generation. The mystery is will Janice be able to pull herself away from the myths or will she succumb to the stories of old and lose herself completely?
Lagan Love is Peter Murphy’s first novel. I was touched by the raw emotion in the characters. The brutal honesty that is portrayed in the everyday life of a Dubliner, is eye opening and gives the reader a certain appreciation for those of us in a country that do not know what suppression by their surroundings and government feels like. I do admit that Lagan Love was difficult for me to read through as the language and content was rough and not something that I am used to dealing with or reading about. I would not recommend this for anyone that is offended by obscenities and it is not for teens by any means. This is a book clearly for adults as the content is strong, deep in history and is shockingly honest in the everyday happenstance of the lives of the main characters.
Lagan Love has many beautiful passages, and if you like poetry, it has bits and pieces of verse throughout the entire book. If you like a simple easy to read fairy tale, Lagan Love is not that. Lagan Love is complex, detailed and graphic in its portrayal of life. Peter Murphy is a wonderful writer; the details, history and lore have been richly covered in this novel. I think Peter Murphy is talented but not just because Lagan Love was a good novel. Lagan Love is more than your ordinary novel and Mr. Murphy is a skilled writer with the ability to tell a story that teaches a life lesson everyone can benefit from.
Without giving away any of the outcome, I will say that after I finished the book, I longed for more of what might have taken place after the story ended. Who knows, maybe there could be a sequel to Lagan Love. It would be only natural, after reading Lagan Love, to want more. I commend Mr. Murphy on his first novel, and I think his cross cultural travels and experiences will hopefully bring us more of his writings for us to delve into and learn from.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*