Author: Roddy Doyle
Publication date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age group: Middle Grade
Cover rating: 2/5
Content rating: 3.5/5
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.
I was very interested in reading this one! I've never read a Roddy Doyle book before but since I live in Ireland, I've obviously heard about him a lot. I know he's renowned for being humorous and that certainly came across in this book! It's a short middle-grade book about a young Dublin girl named Mary, her mom, her grandmother and her great-granny. Mary's granny is dying- and terrified.
I really enjoyed parts of this book. I thought it started off brilliantly and I was flying through it as I didn't want to put it down! Mary's so sweet and amusing; I was completely captivated. She was such a fun and witty young character and I really enjoyed the parts of the book that involved her. I thought she had an interesting take on the world around her and it was interesting (and sad) to watch her try to navigate her way through her recent troubles. She was definitely a cheeky kid but also very kind-hearted and loving.
Mary's mother was also hilarious! She acted like a child herself a lot of the time. I thought her grandmother and great-grandmother were good too but honestly didn't really enjoyed the sections that were dedicated to them. I just found them a bit dull and they didn't capture my attention like the bits about Mary! I would have loved the book if it had followed Mary more. I understand why the other sections were in there but I couldn't bring myself to like them. On the other other hand, other reviewers preferred the sections that weren't about Mary so clearly it's very subjective!
A Greyhound of a Girl is a lovely tale about mothers and the effect they have on our lives even when they're long gone. It's a sweet tale but was acking that extra something to make it great.