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Review – The Cantankerous Molly Darling by Alvy Carragher

The Cantankerous Molly Darling

Molly Darling just wants her life to be simple; porridge, wellies, feeding her beloved chickens…just like that. But a year ago, Dad ran off leaving a PowerPoint presentation to explain his actions, Mum is now hidden away in the attic working on her latest artistic creations and her sister, Polly is about to marry the most boring man around for miles. It may seem ridiculous to the rest of her family, but her chickens bring her a sense of peace and stability.

And now…they have all gone missing; including Lady MacBeth, a rooster that doesn’t identify with his/her gender. It turns out, Mum has sold them to a local chicken farm owned by the family of the most obnoxious girl in her class, with a nasty twist and a cutting, nasty vlog and a desire to be an intenet sensation. It’s enough to make anyone cantankerous, isn’t it? But Molly can fix all! With the help of her best friend, Tess, Molly mounts a mission to rescue her chickens and set her family back on the path to normality. What could possibly go wrong?

Alvy Carragher has really captures the essence of life as a teenage girl in rural Ireland with a wink, a gasp and laugh-out-loud humour. Molly is a clever, funny, exasperated character caught in the middle of family drama (and as it turns out, a bit of a crime spree) whose voice rings clear as a bell and feelings that are endlessly easy to identify with. She has a fine eye for observation and a strong sense of the ridiculousness of her situation as her mother spirals deeper into an obsessive state of desperation, here sister struggles to escape their new reality and social dramas that have been simmering under the surface erupt one after another.

The inclusion of the contemporary passion for putting everything on the internet display with great accuracy that nothing, absolutely nothing is private anymore. And it can all be doctored to suit prevailing impressions. All in a small rural Irish community; but hey, if it can happen there…With a rolling pace, many twists and turns and a real sense of honesty and humour, the story is simply impossible to put down. The sense of adventure, mystery and deeds of ne’er-do-well add to the chaos as poor, cantankerous Molly just wants to get her chickens back and live a normal life! Hilariously funny, well-written, light, bright and very insightful. Perfect for book-lovers aged 11 +.

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