Reactive to Religion


The lives of several people are driven together in unforeseen ways, rooted in religious origins, in The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney.

Culminating from the hasty grabbing of a Holy Stone when her home is invaded, Maureen Phelan sets off a series of events in the lives of several people in Cork that draws them together in the most unfortunate of ways, as the blow upon the head kills her intruder, Robbie O’Donovan. Maureen calls upon her son Jimmy to help her with cleaning up the situation, and in doing so, Jimmy draws in Tony Cusack for assistance, which inadvertently pulls Tony’s drug-dealing son Ryan into it, as well as their nosy neighbor Tara Duane. After Robbie’s girlfriend Georgie starts asking questions about what happened to Robbie, her life is also drawn into this web of complicated relationships, which finds its resolution in strange ways.

With numerous characters to juggle, this narrative does a tremendous job of craftily weaving them together in a tapestry that depicts not only the struggles they face in their personal lives, but also a wider social commentary of the state of the country and the changes taking place therein. The large jumps in time within the narrative were a bit jarring initially, as it took a little time to reorient myself to where the narrative now stood; however, it did seem to be anchored to Ryan’s aging from 15 to 21 years old, so there was a benchmark to utilize. There’s a bleakness to the grittier aspects of the story that is tempered by brief moments of hopefulness for what the future might hold for these characters if they could only change their ways and the trajectory of their lives with it.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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