Faithful Place Creates A Familiar World You Don’t Want to Live In

BlogHer Review

Tana French's Faithful Place creates a world as real and familiar as the one you grew up in, but as horrific as the stories you thought could only happen “on the other side of the tracks”. She manages to make her beautiful characters so uniquely layered and multifaceted that there is no choice but to relate to them. In fact, I could have easily replaced the names of almost all of her characters from people in my own childhood -- taken it up a notch or two (or maybe a few more than that, we weren’t quite so, ahem, “daring” -- thank goodness) and been reading a true story.

By this, I simply mean that no one in French’s murder mystery was really all that bad, but nor were any of them all that good, either. Faithful Place ended up implicating an entire neighborhood, even though only one person was charged with the crime. Her novel highlighted the importance of family and community and how the people you surround yourself with while growing up will never leave you, whether you like it or not. (Note to self when deciding on where to “set up camp” with the family! Nothing is temporary.)

But beyond that, French took me away from Long Island, New York and into the heart of Dublin in a matter of seconds. The language she used was spot on, and I adored the Irish slang she used throughout (I even found myself telling a friend “fair play to you” when she made a particularly good come back.) I was just imagining Colin Farrell (isn’t he Irish?) starring as Franck Mackey.

In addition, French wasted no time at all getting to the thick of the story. I loved that. As a busy work from home mother of two toddlers with no time for patience, I need my stories to get to the gist of it. And she read my mind. She also entangled her rich story with romantic, foreshadowing flashbacks that kept me turning the pages as quickly as my two-year-old goes through her books (I don’t get the chance to actually read to her).

I’m officially a Tana French fan and I can’t wait to read her other best-selling novels, The Likeness and In the Woods.

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