The back alley dark ages of Ireland…

The HerbalistThe Herbalist by Niamh Boyce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a bit of a slow starter that ended up picking up pace towards the last quarter.
From a pure plot point of view this a good story. There were a few points I would query though.
Ireland in the 30s would have without a doubt had a Catholic priest running the show in the villages. Nothing happened without the sidekick of God finding out and he would have certainly been aware of the village females parading in and out of the house/hut of a dark skinned medicine man.
That is just a small irrelevant point though.
What kept this book from being really good was the lack of indication of character.
There are multiple main female characters and the reader hears their part of the story as it evolves. One after the other in short bursts and often silmultaneously.
Unfortunately the author wrote it in a way that the reader has to guess initially which one is telling the story each time.
I can only assume this was done in an attempt to either give the book an essence of a more literary fictional piece or the author didn’t want to spoil the flow with the interjection of names to indicate a change in character.
Regardless of the reason I felt it was to the detriment of the story because it made it seem disjointed and it interrupted the flow.
Confusion instead of realisation.
Shame really because the concept is good. It describes a dark part of history for women and one that is rearing its nasty little head again, especially in Ireland.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews


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