On a rainy day in Dublin, during the spring of 1947, a tragic accident brought devastation to those involved. As the subsequent years pass, unable to come to terms with the accident, the survivors set the path for a deeply troubled future for each generation that followed.
Jonathan Melton had a traumatic childhood in which he ended up in foster care, but when he meets the wild, willful, sexually experienced and free spirited Sophia at university, everything changes. At first inept with women, Jonathan’s complex relationship with Sophia evolves from a one-way obsession into a genuine love and shared passion, as the relationship brings happiness, romance and joy to both their lives that neither thought was ever possible. The two marry, and Sophia gives birth to their first child; a beautiful baby daughter. Everything is seemingly perfect, until the evening that their tiny baby is found dead in her cot.
As his world falls apart around him, Jonathan slips into a dark depression and, increasingly haunted by his past, becomes distant and dysfunctional as he struggles to cope with the loss of his daughter. His marriage to Sophia disintegrates, and Jonathan along with it as he descends further into darkness after leaving Sophia. Although his close friend David succeeds to some extent in saving him from his demons, Jonathan remains a lost and lonely soul, until his apparent chance meeting with the enigmatic Maolíosa in a Dublin bar. Maolíosa and Jonathan form a unique bond, and she challenges his vision of life and the world around him. Fate intervenes, but it ultimately leads Jonathan to redemption, and a final resolution to the aftermath and consequences of the 1947 tragedy.
(re: Goodreads @ Dublin In The Rain by Andrew Critchley)
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
-Dynamic and compelling characters with a dialogue-driven narrative.
-Seamlessly integrates issues like: divorce, alternative family, sexuality, substance abuse, and death.
-The power in this story comes from self-reflection and redemption; for the characters and as a reader.
-Multiple scenes with sexual context that may deter readers.
-I’d argue this book can be suited for mature young-adults as it’s a true contemporary fiction at its core.
Full disclosure: I received a copy of Dublin in the Rain through Goodreads First Reads. — So thanks to Andrew and Goodreads for arranging this.
Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect from reading this novel. The synopsis and prologue are both striking in setting the tone of the quintessential shit hitting the fan of what is otherwise known as life. There’s so many angles to this book that I guess I have to let my review speak for my inability to detail initial thoughts.
Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.