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Clementine Lane – A Local Author with a Funny Story to Tell

Clementine Lane – A Local Author with a Funny Story to Tell – Jimmy Traynor Reviews Eoghan Brunkard’s new novel 

Clementine Lane is ambitious.  Its very ambitious.  Its world is bigger than just the lane that gives the book it’s title, or maybe the lane has more detail than you first expect.

At first you would be forgiven for thinking that this novel was going to go down the familiar and well established route of a working class inner city Dublin community trying to get by, but, it is so much more.

The story opens with a community centre filled with angry residents fighting over what’s to be done about the placement of a drugs rehabilitation centre on their lane.  A narrator paints the scene with quirky observations but truthfully, the dialogue takes center stage, it feels all so real, the author’s characters are well drawn, while not stereotypical.  Still though I was concerned that the story would suffer from banality considering the earthy topic from which its introduction is drawn.  I was wrong.  The author quickly stacks narrative line on narrative line and creates a vibrant, interconnected and breathing world.  The Lane is alive and you are on it with every page!

Three clear separate plotlines emerge, the first the aforementioned fight over the drug centre, which develops into a national issue, when the second plotline of a murder mystery related to the centre develops, finally a third, and seemingly unrelated plotline emerges providing a commentary on the new middle class arrivals to the area.  These multiple plotlines allow Brunkard to build his world and what starts as a small “parochial affair” becomes a powerful satirical reflection of Irish society in the 21st century.  Don’t worry, he never grandstands, humour is what Brunkard wants to convey first and foremost with this story, and then a little heart.

Arguably the one fault in the piece is its ambition.  At times one can legitimately ask “is there too much going on?” but the conclusion pulls all the narratives so neatly and satisfyingly back together that it can be appreciated why they had to be expanded so far in the first place.

The book is funny, eccentric, bold, yet cozy, and at times, makes you ponder are we on the right track. Clementine Lane is a 5 star debut!

Clementine Lane was written by local author and former FRG website manager Eoghan Brunkard.

Its Available for sale on Amazon right here

 

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