Minny has a lot of responsibility for a teenager. Her older sister Aisling is autistic and finds it difficult to make friends, so Minny needs to keep an eye on her and sort out issues that crop up at school. Then there’s her Bible-obsessed younger sister Selena, her baby brother Raymond (a surprise addition to the family), and her Czech granny’s relationship with her new boyfriend. Her mother Nita has a busy schedule, juggling single motherhood and a demanding job, meaning she expects help from Minny to keep the household going. Her friend Penny isn’t much support – preoccupied with her boyfriend, she’s only interested in talking about him. And Franklin, new boy at school but old friend, is definitely something Minny would like to be able to talk about. So when Minny’s father comes back into her life she feels like it’s the last thing she needs – especially when he comes complete with a new girlfriend and a baby on the way.
This second novel from Aoife Walsh is a warm, believable portrait of family life. Minny’s struggle to be normal in a family that most definitely isn’t will strike a chord with readers. Although the plot is slow to get moving, the characters are strong enough to hold the reader’s interest. The family dynamic, where relationships are sometimes fraught but always tightly binding, is well done. A witty and moving read.