A group of dedicated bloggers read and recommend some of the best books being published each month in the Bloggers Recommend newsletter. I am proud to be a founding member of the Advisory Board. Today I want to turn the spotlight on the book I recommended this month. My recommendation and 19 more can be found the August Bloggers Recommend newsletter. If you haven’t already signed up, you can get next month’s edition delivered right to your Inbox simply by signing up.
My Blurb in the Bloggers Recommend Newsletter
Jim Finnegan is the youngest of five children growing up Catholic in 1980s Dublin. His happy suburban life is turned upside down when the local parish priest wants him to be his altar boy. The Fields, full of Irish wit and culture, will move readers to laughter, anger, and compassion.
I read this book over the course of a weekend and I found it both hilarious and heartbreaking. Regular readers know how much I enjoy good Irish cussing and Kevin Maher delivers this in spades. There is an early scene in the book where Jim and his neighbor hang out with an unsavory new kid and learn a few “adult” tricks that left my sides aching from laughter. Getting to know and love Jim and his family made it all the more difficult to watch as the local parish priest enters the picture. It was then that I noticed my hands aching from the constant clenching. It was difficult to read and it was important for me as a Catholic who grew up with nurturing priests to sit vigil with Jim for those who were not so lucky. There were sections that made me want to scream. It was so frustrating to sit back and not be able to do anything. That was how in the moment I was with this book. The story doesn’t remain in that twisted space. Jim’s story takes interesting twists and turns from there. Just as I began to relax, the ending took an odd turn that still leaves me thinking. If you have read The Fields or when you do, I would love to chat with you about your take.
The Fields is a perfect selection for those who love Irish wit and language as well as for those interesting in confronting uncomfortable topics. This book would provide a great deal of good conversation for a book club. Just keep in mind that Kevin Maher doesn’t pull any punches in this look at Dublin life in the 80s.