All the Bad Apples
By: Moira Fowley-Doyle
In the end some books aren’t bad they just fall squarely into the: not for me category and after thinking about it for quite a while that’s where I’m putting my split feelings on All the Bad Apples.
Though I do think if you’re considering reading this you may want to ask yourself: how you like your magical realism?
In the story we follow Deena whose older sister Mandy has disappeared and been declared dead. Deena is sure that she’s not and this feeling is only reinforced when letters begin arriving and Deena follows Mandy’s footsteps into the past in the hopes of breaking a family curse.
Sounds good right? I had read Spell Book of the Lost and Found by Fowley-Doyle and loved it so when I had the chance to participate in the Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour for Apples I jumped at it.
But in the end despite some important historical facts that come out and are dealt with the book just was too much for me. The letters became eye-rolling in it’s coincidences and when it seemed like the author was actually explaining that and going a certain way in the book I had some hope.
But then the modern story seems to go off a cliff of magical realism to the point where I was wondering if it shouldn’t be more of a fantasy. There’s some good diversity in the present story (Deena herself comes out to her family at the start of the story.) But I didn’t really like any of the characters.
Even the story of Mandy’s secret is like well, I know where this is going…
Okay, maybe not. Good play Fowley-Doyle.
I take that back she just stupidly read it wrong :/
I suppose I like my magical realism like I like my apples: somewhere in the middle but generally still not that soft.
So yeah, All the Bad Apples tells an important part of Irish history particularly concerning women and children and not that long ago either. But unfortunately the way it was told just didn’t appeal to me and spoiled the experience.
Recommend: 50/50. I can’t completely write this one off due to the story in the past as long as you have a good stomach for the modern day coincidences and magical elements that make the surround the tale.