Mary Costello's debut novel Academy Street
is a short novel spanning four decades and tells the story of Tess who emigrates to America from the West of Ireland in the 1960s
The blub of this novel really had me excited about this book as it was described as............. "Joyous and heart-breaking, restrained but sweeping, this is a profoundly moving story that charts one woman's quest for belonging amid the dazzle and tumult of America's greatest city"
Unfortunately I found the book neither joyous or heart-breaking. I really found no emotion in the story and felt I was reading a diary of Tess's life over the years and I failed to get a sense of the person that Tess really was. I possibly connected better with the first half of the novel and liked the feel of 1940s Ireland. I wanted to be moved by Tess and her sad life but I just couldn't relate to this character. I finished the novel and felt no emotion or for the events on Academy street and think perhaps there was too much going on in this little novel.
However the prose in this novel is good and many of my friends have loved this story and the character of Tess. My opinion is in the minority on this book and because it didn't work for me may not be the case for other readers.