Today I’m delighted to welcome Alvy Carragher to the blog with a special guest post to celebrate the publication of her hilarious take on family life in, ‘The Cantankerous Molly Darling.’ Molly Darling craves a simple life but the disappearance of her Dad, leaving behind a powerpoint explaining his reasons has turned her world upside down. Her Mum is hiding away in the attic creating obscure works of art, while her sister has aligned himself to the dreadful Brian in an attempt to pull the family together. And when her Mum sells her beloved chickens, her best friend tries to turn into an advantage causing an online viral war. Can Molly find away to fix it all before it’s too late? Hilarious and heartfelt, this story takes an honest look at the ups and downs in family life when things go badly wrong. Young teen readers will empathise with the traumas of Molly trying to stay invisible and fit in when everyone around her is determined to embarrass her and ruin her life. Quirky but realistic, this is a lively and entertaining read guaranteed to make you laugh and cringe in equal measures.
Alvy Carragher – Harry Potter Fever | Memories of a Hufflepuff
(All tucked up and ready for a Harry Potter instalment)
I’m not sure what age we were when Mum came home and recommended Harry Potter to all of us. That was her first faux-pas. Recommending it to all of us. She was breathless, explaining why it was so brilliant, there were wizards, and magic, and it was funny. We did not believe a word of it. Firstly, there was a boy on the cover and secondly, some of us were too old for magic.
I sniffed. As the eldest of four, I was pretty confident my taste in books had far surpassed that of my baby brother. Six years my junior, he still watched baby programmes on the TV and was scared of the giant Batman teddy that was stored in the grandmother clock. We took Batman out at random intervals to see if my brother was over the fear, trying to placate him by punching the Batman. It always ended in tears and Batman would be once again condemned to another six-month stint in the belly of the clock.
I refused to pick up the book and the others, following my lead, ignored it too. But Mum wasn’t about to let Harry Potter go. She decided to read it to our baby brother in bed. We all scoffed. What a child! still curled up in bed, being read to like a baby.
We lived in a tiny cottage and you could hear everything that happened in any other room. It made staying up past your bedtime an act of the utmost subterfuge and ignoring Mum’s impassioned bedtime reading of Harry Potter impossible.
One by one, we slowly crept into the room, crawling into the single bed and finding a space. It didn’t matter about comfort or personal space. Every night, without fail, we were all there, waiting for the next chapter, begging her to read just one more page.
Our love of Harry Potter spiralled. We were the kids that went to midnight book releases, only to leave as soon as we had a book under our arm, rushing home to find out what happened next. Not exactly social. I once cycled 10 miles on a banjaxed bicycle because Mum refused to go to town before noon on the day the new book was released. The idea of waiting four extra hours was so immense that I cycled ahead and then, overcome with Harry Potter Fever, ditched my bike on the way home and sat reading in a random field.
There’s nothing new or original about liking Harry Potter, it’s the kind of book that pops up in other literature as a reference (it’s in my book, how could it not be?), and the sort that is still being read as rabidly by young people now as it was then. We all know what house we’d like to belong to (Ravenclaw) and which house we actually belong to (Hufflepuff…), and the world is better for it. It united me and my siblings for a few short weeks every summer. Those long hours, lying on the floor of the sitting room in a semicircle or tucked up in a single bed, reading aloud until our voices disappeared, are some of the loveliest memories I have.
Alvy Carragher grew up in rural Ireland and considered herself a writer long before it was appropriate. Her first novel “The Cantankerous Molly Darling” is out with Chicken House Books. She is currently holed up in Vancouver where she is tinkering away at a second novel and learning to speak Canadian. You can find out more about her work at www.alvycarragher.com Follow her on twitter @ALVYCARRAGHER
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews.
Thank you to Laura and Chicken House Books for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a gifted copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. ‘The Cantankerous Molly Darling,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.