The Flowers Of Ballygrace
Set in the 1950s Ireland, this novel traces how love and loss shape the emotional growth of Kate Flowers, her wayward brother and her ailing mother. It has the makings of a strong romantic drama with just enough social history to give it depth. But O’Neill favours a finely detailed writing style and sometimes succumbs to an urge to over-explain moods and feeling, watering down the story’s pathos and drastically reducing my interest in the joys and sorrows of the Flowers family.
I must, of course, admit my bias. I prefer authors that only give hints of what their characters think or feel, leaving the reader some room to exercise his or her imagination. People who prefer descriptive writing will likely enjoy The Flowers of Ballygrace.