Bog child by Siobhan Dowd

  Chris  Review by:  Chris

Title:  Bog child

Author:  Siobhan Dowd

Collection:  Teen Books

I must confess that I picked up this book because the protagonist is named Fergus, which is also the name of my Scottish Terrier.  Yes, it’s true; I sometimes select a book on such flimsy bases as these.  I also know very little about Ireland during the 1980s, the time in which this book is mostly set, and I thought that reading it might be a nice way to improve my knowledge.  However, this book is not a cozy tale of a rural Irish past, like in Patrick Taylor’s popular series.  Instead, this book might appeal more to fans of Maeve Binchy.  Dowd’s Ireland is one rife with conflict, and she evokes a realistic sense of place that is so strong I almost felt the damp of the peat bogs that feature so heavily in the tale.  But perhaps it is the novel’s haunting tone that sticks with me the most.  There is something about its quiet angst that speaks to me still, months after I finished it.  Young Fergus is a sympathetic character, and his kinship with the millennia-old body he finds in the bog is teasingly sweet.  Dowd, herself, is a fascinating character.  This book was one of two that was unpublished when she died of breast cancer in 2007.  All proceeds from the sales of her books goes into a trust that she established to bring books and the joy of reading to disadvantaged children.  This amazing gift of an amazing woman is all the more impressive because the book really is an excellent read.

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