The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan


In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.

A unidentified small town in Ireland is at the core of this outstanding debut novel by Donal Ryan. Make yourself familiar with this author as he enters rising stardom

The Spinning Heart examines strenuous life and times in Ireland post economic rise and fall of 2008.

Individual chapters are narrated by different characters, twenty-one in total sharing their individual stories (brogue accent included), despite the number of characters they seamlessly marry together creating an arresting portrait. Slammed by the economy we read of unemployment, lack of money and escalating violence and social disquiet.

Using numerous voices makes the narrative extraordinary in capturing the attention of the reader making an absorbing story. Each persons story seems all too realistic with a intimate and personal feeling. I enjoyed the variety of characters and the way Ryan orchestrated the narrative, added depth and conviction to the entire story.

The novel is bleak, many problems are noted – deaths, losses both past and present, kidnapping. A tragedy in some form looms in every chapter, however these people pick themselves up and march on, not dwelling with what was or is but what is ahead.

Ryan writes with a grainy, pronounced style which creates an aura of realism punctuating the narrative. Penetrating.

The Spinning Heart is a sobering glimpse of Ireland and the numerous tentacles a downturned economy grips, the ugly side of capitalism and the lives impacted.

Ryan crafted a literary standout, the account is all to real, the stories touching, a sense and feel of Ireland. Marvelous story from beginning to end. I look forward to reading more from this gifted and talented author, with this as a prelude of Ryan’s writing, the world is in for a superstar. A wonderful piece of Irish literature I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time.

Published October 11th 2012 by Transworld Ireland
Pages 160
ISBN13: 9781781620076

Recommendation: 4/5


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