A review by booklane
Boys Don't Cry by Fíona Scarlett

challenging emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced


 This is a splendid debut. A wonderful read, harrowing and full of humanity and compassion. We have a narrative of growing up in a housing estate in inner city Dublin, explored though the eyes of two brothers, 12-year-old Finn and 17-year Joe. As their father, a local gangster, goes to prison for murder, we follow them as they go through their personal battles as 12-year Finn fights against a life-threatening illness and his older brother Joe, uncomfortable both at the private school he entered through a scholarship and at the local pub where he is now an outsider, struggles not to become like his father and to resist the pressure coming from the local -like mobster who has ruined the lives of many, including his father. The author has superb command of language, manages to render the unsaid, the unspoken love and grief, and she effectively evokes extremely disturbing situations just by hinting at them. The characters are complex and masterfully rendered with compassionate eyes, with love and hope shining even in the darkest moments. If you liked Shuggie Bain this it for you!