A Greyhound of a Girl

by Roddy Doyle

Twelve-year-old Mary and her mother are both dealing with the impending death of... read more

Twelve-year-old Mary and her mother are both dealing with the impending death of Mary’s Granny when Mary encounters an unusual woman on the street near her home. She soon discovers that woman is the ghost of her great-grandmother, Tansey, who wants to get a message to her daughter, Mary’s Granny, to ease her passage out of life. All four generations of women and girls-–Mary, her mother Scarlett, her Granny Elmer, and Tansey—are the subject of Roddy Doyle’s unusual and immensely comforting ghost story. The narrative moves back and forth among their lives, with an emphasis on each one’s childhood experiences and mother/daughter bonds. Each is a lively, funny, distinctive character, with the shared moments of humor when they are together full of warmth and delight. Doyle’s story, with its wonderful dialogue, culminates in a road trip as the quartet heads out of Dublin into the Irish countryside in the middle of the night, toward the homestead they haven’t seen in years. They are a ghost, a dying woman, a middle-aged woman, and a girl. They are mothers and daughters. They are family. And in the end, that is what Mary and her mother have when Granny dies—knowledge of family, and the love that binds them all. (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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