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All the Bad Apples

Written by: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Unflinching and gorgeously written, this feminist novel is important, timely, and a compulsive listen. From the highly acclaimed author of the beloved The Accident Season comes an epic breakout novel examining the very topical and controversial issue of women's sexual and reproductive rights, which has never been higher on the public's radar.
 

When Deena's wild older sister Mandy goes missing, presumed dead, Deena refuses to believe it's true. Especially when letters start arriving - letters from Mandy - which proclaim that their family's blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions but a curse, handed down to women from generation to generation. Mandy's gone to find the root of the curse before it's too late for Deena. But is the curse even real? And is Mandy still alive? Deena's desperate, cross-country search for her beloved sister - guided only by the notes that mysteriously appear at each destination, leading her to former Magdalene laundry sites and more - is a love letter to women and a heartbreaking cathartic journey.

©2019 Moïra Fowley-Doyle (P)2019 Listening Library

What the critics say

“Fowley-Doyle travels through generations, examining the power women possess, the things that have been taken from them, and the things they fight to reclaim. . . . [A]n astonishingly potent offering to women who break the mold.” (Booklist, starred review)

“[T]he echo of past trauma is hauntingly underscored by the invocation of the banshee scream, and the book has a simmering, authentically righteous fury... Give this to readers of Wallace’s The Memory Trees or Griffin’s Other Words for Smoke for a similarly eerie look at how present ills are informed by past sins.” (BCCB)

“An emotional journey through Ireland’s unspoken history.... Simultaneously enjoyable and difficult to read, Fowley-Doyle’s fast-paced, evocative novel introduces...unsettling truths, both historical and contemporary, such as incest, rape, abortion, child labor, and violence against women and those in the LGBTQ community. These topics, however, are important and are handled with great care... Recommended for readers who enjoy realistic and historical fiction.” (School Library Journal)

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tmw
  • 2019-10-30

LOVE FOWLEY-DOYLE... but not sure about Calin...

I am a fan of Fowley-Doyle's books. Living part of the time in Dublin, visiting family often, or traveling around rural Ireland every year since around 2001....I know many of the places she describes. In fact, I discovered her lovely blend of all-too-human everyday life and the potential for magic just around every thicket or abandoned estate, while seeking light summer reading.
Happily, I found so much more.
I loved her first two books: the characters, the hints of magical thinking, her handling of youth and possibility with innocence that is honest without being too insulting, the careful acknowledgement on the part of adults that no-one ever walks in on an empty life and indeed, we are all still figuring it out as we go along...wonderful! I find her honesty about all manner of things refreshing. The use of supernatural elements and myth-making or story-sharing in families (those we are born into and those we make among our friends) is a powerful tool for expressing how people often find ways to share emotions that seem too big or that might have been shamed by earlier generations.
Though I did not feel as warmly toward this protagonist as those of the first two books, I think this had more to do with Calin as narrator than the actual writing. This is not a Dublin accent I am familiar with or connect with in any way. The narrator made the main character whiney, weak, and very difficult to like. Doubtless, she would be easier to care for on the printed page. Other characters, I found to be far easier on the ears. This is why I felt I had to remove a star from my review. It is, after all, an audio book. The wrong narrator can harm the best story by distracting from the writing.....
Overall, I would definitely recommend this author for not only her addictive storytelling, but, her clever understanding of complicated family situations: how gossip might follow generations in some circles; how to tackle difficult but extremely important generational issues ranging from acceptance of self & "coming out", to teen pregnancy to gender inequality; and how the stories we chose to believe & the myths we construct for ourselves make us who we are...
To my mind, very potent stuff! I recommend this author and all of her work to both adult and teen readers, regularly !!