Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson
Today I’m reviewing Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson, published by Vintage.
Janie Ryan is born into tough times. Her mother is barely an adult herself, still suffers the scars of her own mother’s neglectful ways and after a heated family argument, they find themselves homeless. This starts a recurring theme in the sad tale of Janie Ryan’s life. Her mother drags her from one home to another, from Scotland to London, either following one man or running away from an abusive one. By the time Janie is fourteen years old, she’s lived in various houses, B&B’s and halfway homes. She’s seen drug use, death, abuse, drinks, takes drugs, and has lost her virginity. The one place she finds solace is within the local libraries walls, and her only escape is within the pages of the books it contains.
Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole Me Ma by Kerry Hudson is a coming of age story with an unlikely heroine, struggling to break the cycle of depression and poverty that runs in her family. Sadly, this story does not include any details of that change. This story tells the tale of her continual struggles, and these outweigh any positives so dramatically, it left me disengaged from the characters. This is especially true for the mother, who returns to an abusive partner. So although there are often very sad moments, the reader never becomes emotionally invested enough and is left feeling slightly unfulfilled. I’ve always struggled with novels that feature characters that are kicked down again and again. With no highs at all, how can you really appreciate the lows? With a tad more variation in emotion, this could have been a fabulous book.
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