The Thing about December

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Steerforth Press, Aug 26, 2014 - Fiction - 207 pages
4 Reviews
While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Following the deaths first of his father and then his mother, Johnsey inherits the family farm, and a healthy bank account, both of which he proves incapable of managing on his own. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns. Though companionship, and the promise of love, enter his life as a result of a hospital stay following a brutal beating, Johnsey remains a lonely man struggling to keep up with a world that moves faster than he does.

Set over the course of one year of Johnsey Cunliffe's life, The Thing About December breathes with Johnsey's bewilderment, humor and agonizing self-doubt. Readers will fall in love with Johnsey in a bittersweet tale that serves as a poignant reminder that we are surrounded in life by simple souls who are nonetheless more insightful and wise than we realize, or can even imagine.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - oldblack - LibraryThing

Ireland hasn't been a terribly happy place during my lifetime, and this book is yet another sad reflection of the state of Irish society. That said, the events and relationship issues described here ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gmmartz - LibraryThing

'The Thing About December' is a short novel (206 pages), but for some reason it took me a long time to make my way through it. It's a pretty simple story: on a farm outside a small town in Ireland, a ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Donal Ryan, from Nenagh in County Tipperary, is a recipient of the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature. His first novel, The Spinning Heart, was published to major acclaim. It won the Guardian First Book Award and the Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His second novel, The Thing About December, was a finalist for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Donal lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.

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