March 15, 2011

The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins

Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: NAL Trade/Penguin Group
Pages: 384
Review Source: Publisher, for honest review

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling. But they are still treated as outsiders.

As Christy's exposure to a different life causes him to question who he is and where he belongs, the answer may lie with an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried family secret that could change his life forever...

My Thoughts:
This book was a little bit outside my comfort zone, as it is adult historical fiction, though it does have YA appeal. At first it was hard to get into because of the language used. The story takes place in 1950s Ireland, and the dialect spoken isn’t proper English. I was able to get used to it eventually, and I think it added to the story and helps you understand the characters more thoroughly, but it was a tough go at first.

The story had a lot of intricacies to it, and the novel features a bit of everything: puppy love, mystery, and even a bit of comedy. The book truly is a coming of age story for Christy, a young boy who wants nothing more than a permanent home and some structure to his life. However, Christy’s character develops and grows, and he comes to find that the life he’s been leading is the one that he truly desires.

While this book has a bit of a slower pace to it, it was still enjoyable. The writing style was engaging enough while still telling a quieter story, and the ending was perfect. If you enjoy historical fiction definitely give this one a shot.


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1 comment:

  1. Not my usual type of read either but I'm trying to read more books outside my comfort zone so might give this one a try.


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