Besotted by Joe Treasure (Picador)

by Patrick O'Connor


TWIN brothers Michael and Kieran, live in Cheltenham, but at the beginning of this book they are visiting their grandparents in County Cork in Ireland in 1982.

Like so many people (myself included) of Irish descent, they sometimes struggled to know whether to call themselves English or Irish.

The narrative is viewed through the eyes of Michael, his relationship with his brother, his parents, the flirtatious Peggy, the Catholic Church and Ireland itself.

Besotted flicks between the 80s and 2003 and includes the Brighton bombing when the IRA tried to assassinate Margaret Thatcher and the anti-Iraq War march in London as backdrops.

Another key figure in the story is Father Fergal, a priest with his own particular demons to deal with.

Author Joe Treasure juggles this emotional cauldron exceptionally well in a riveting tale which has you expectantly turning page after page in anticipation of what comes next.

There is a bit of everything for the reader, a love story, a coming of age tale and even reference to radical Islamic views.