on August 3, 2010
When I saw that Tana French had written a new book, I dropped everything and ran to the store to buy it...as I am a bit fan of her writing...
I started it yesterday and will finish it today...I told everyone to leave me alone.... : ))
I just love the book. It is so well written, that you are immediately engrossed and involved with the characters.
The pace is good...there is suspense, and sadness, and humour and the family is wonderful..in a big Irish family sort of way.
It is an interesting story and I can't wait to see how it ends...
She is such a good author,
Keep them coming!
on August 21, 2010
'In all your life, only a few moments matter. Mostly, you never get a good look at them except in hindsight, long after they've zipped past you'.I was lucky, I guess you could call it. I got to see one of mine face-to-face, and recognize it for what it was. I got to feel the riptide pull of my life spinning around me, one winter night, while I waited in the dark at the top of Faithful Place.' (page 1)
Frank Mackey waited all night for Rosie Daly. They were going to run away from their dysfunctional families, get married, and start new lives in London. But Rosie never showed up; instead Frank found a note. When Frank was sure Rosie wasn't coming, he turned away from Faithful Place and kept walking.
Twenty-two years later, Frank, now a detective in the Undercover Unit of the Guards, receives a call from his sister, Jackie, the youngest member of the family and the only one with whom he has been in contact since the night Rosie failed to meet him. Jackie is breathless with the news and worried about its effect on Frank. Rosie's suitcase has been found, stuffed in a fireplace in one of the derelict houses on Faithful Place.
For twenty-two years, Frank has believed that Rosie changed her mind, that she has been living happily in England. He has believed that some day they would meet again. Now he must re-adjust his memories. Rosie disappeared that night and the location of the suitcase suggests it wasn't her choice.
Tana French puts the reader on Faithful Place, an address that belies its name. Families lived in the same flats, handed down from one generation to the next, along with the poverty and the hopelessness that were like heirlooms. People didn't stay because they were faithful to their friends and neighbors. They stayed because it was only the rare one among them who had the imagination to move on.
It isn't difficult to understand why Frank left his parents and has had no contact with his other siblings, Carmel, Kevin, and Shay. The author creates a stereotypical dysfunctional family that is no less real because they are a stereotype. Frank's father is an alcoholic and I have met his mother in a few of the women I knew when I was growing up. For these women, great joy is to be mocked as it is a temptation to forget where you belong, that one can't rise above the roots that have kept the family anchored to the ground, that success of any kind is an affront to the generations that have gone before. 'Who do you think you are?' is a question that is a mantra.
Once he has returned to Faithful Place after his long escape, Frank knows he will never be free of it again. He has to face the time before Rosie left him so that he can understand how everyone was affected by her disappearance. The Mackey family has re-claimed him and tied him to his old life again. He is a detective in a place that hates and fears the police. He is a detective whose girlfriend disappeared and so he is a suspect, the object of the whispers behind the curtains.
There is a sadness to this story but, in the end, there is hope for Frank.
FAITHFUL PLACE is beautifully written. The author's descriptions of place and mood pull the reader into the lives of an Irish family who, while living in 21st century Dublin, retain the values learned from the church and passed down through the generations. They play the roles in the family that are assigned to them based as much on the ideal of what family should be as it is on what their family really is. FAITHFUL PLACE turns Tolstoy's view that 'all happy families are alike and every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way' on its head. There aren't any happy families on Faithful Place and the unhappiness of each comes from disappointments and fear.
Tana French writes extraordinary stories. IN THE WOODS, her first novel, won the Edgar and Anthony Awards for best first mystery, and the Macavity Award for best first novel. Although characters in one novel may appear in another, each book stands alone; each is a perfect story without reference to another. It isn't necessary to read them in order. But read them, please
on June 23, 2014
I thought the story was well written. The technique of revealing the back-history on the present situation was very well done.
The main problem for me was that all of the main characters and a good many secondary characters were so thoroughly unpleasant, unrepentant and unwilling to take responsibility for their own mistakes that I found it rather difficult to keep going with the book. I came close to stopping several times but did in the end persist.
The protagonist is determined to establish how his first love died and does successfully do this. I ended by despising him and pretty well everyone else though. But, yes, well written and a good story.
on November 25, 2014
Strong flawed characters, well written narrative, and a good mystery. Unfortunately I had read a review that gave it away so couldn't put the solution out of my mind. Note to reviewers -no spoilers! Not necessary to ruin it for everyone. Reminded me of that kid who insisted on telling the class his views on the big guy in red. Things were never the same. Anyways...starting more Tana French books and barely glance at amateur reviewers now. Love it when I find an author to savour.
on June 17, 2011
After reading the glowing reviews here, I (unfortunately) purchased this book. The dialogue was like reading a comic book with not one likeable character. Finally, I just started skipping huge sections of the book which continued on with this endless comic book patter. Absolutely dreadful.
Book3, in the Dublin Murder Squad series
This third installment is an elaborately twisted saga of class resentments, family burdens, regret and passion. The story alternates between 1980’s Ireland and the present day and is told in the wry, bitter and plain voice of Dublin police detective Frank Mackey as he describes the people and the depressed neighborhood he was raised in. “Faithful Place” is a journey, a psychological escape into the intense feelings of the protagonist’s youth and the constant undermining of his self-esteem by his family.
At an early age Frank planned to flee his small Irish hometown with his sweetheart Rosie, however she never turned up at the agreed rendezvous point. With his mind made up he left without her, he assumed she had cold feet or her parents had gotten wind and prevented her from following him. We fast-forward twenty years to when Frank learns Rosie’s decayed body has been discovered under mysterious conditions. Determined to get to the root the situation, Frank heads home and quickly becomes involved in the case. The bulk of the novel, beyond the question of who killed Rosie, revolves around the Mackey family and their complex relationships.
This novel is a long 400 pages, the melodramatic story of the families is over worked and blends poorly with the plotting of the mystery. “Faithful Place” is one of those books you love or hate, I am leaning towards the latter. Looking back I found the drama uneventful and unconvincing and this overshadowed all of the good points the novel possessed.
I enjoyed the first installment of this series; however I have been somewhat disappointed ever since.
on April 23, 2016
Frankie figured he had escaped Faithful Place - a small set of two rows of eight houses in Dublin where his wildly dysfunctional family - alcoholic, unemployed abusive father, controlling angry battered mother, three older kids trying to protect their mother and the younger siblings, and two younger siblings who were a little less scarred than the older ones - by becoming a Dublin cop. Then the body of Rosey, his first love who he had planned to elope with, is discovered in the basement of a local deserted house and the war between their two families erupts again. I loved this book - the dysfunctional family, young love, retribution - it had it all. This is highly highly recommended.