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Scenes of a Graphic Nature Reviews

Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O'Donoghue

Scenes of a Graphic Nature: 'A perfect page-turner ... I loved it' - Dolly Alderton

Caroline O'Donoghue

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 6 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9780349009940

A darkly comic and searingly honest novel about going back to your roots by the acclaimed author of Promising Young Women

4 stars out of 5
15 Aug 2020

"Caroline O’Donoghue’s novel about two unwelcome outsiders in Kerry is absorbing"

True to its title, there are indeed several scenes of a graphic nature in this book, but they are so astutely observed and honestly described that they never jar or cause the reader to cringe. O’Donoghue’s prose is witty and original and she has a real gift for description. This is a gorgeous exploration of the messy and fragile nature of friendship and all the many forms of love, as well as of the primal need we all have to belong.


4 stars out of 5
Joanne O'Sullivan
12 Aug 2020

"an absorbing and compelling mystery"

Scenes of a Graphic Nature is an absorbing and compelling mystery that takes a nuanced view of contemporary Ireland and its historical failings. Similar to some of the strengths in O’Donoghue’s début novel Promising Young Women, it captures the murky period between university life and adulthood well, and Charlie is a contemporary, complicated heroine who will ring true for millennial audiences.

4 stars out of 5

"A witty and insightful portrait of an aspiring film-maker is submerged in a plotty mystery"

Where O’Donoghue nails it is in her writing about women who make art, female collaboration, and identity. Here she is witty, tender and insightful, especially on the way oppression bleeds its way through the generations. “My great-grandfather’s family were very poor and very Catholic and spent the latter years of the nineteenth century either fleeing the country or dying of starvation,” she writes. “It’s one hundred years later and his closest living ancestor is living on the poverty line in a building where her post gets stolen.” O’Donoghue is a perceptive, clever writer, and there’s a hint of a more powerful novel inside this fun, plotty mystery.