REVIEW: Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling – Emer McLysaght, Sarah Breen

The blurb on this book really doesn’t do it justice, giving the impression that it is Irish Bridget Jones. But there is so much more to it than that. It is funny. Charming. Heartwarming. Gutwrenching. Tearjerking. It is so much deeper and so much more real that I expected it to be. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want to.

And it’s an interesting insight on Irish life for a foreigner whose previous experience has been limited to a single Maeve Binchy novel, Aisling Bea and Dara O’Briain on QI, perving over Liam Neeson, and singing along at top volume whenever Zombie comes on the radio.

I thought rural Ireland was all old men in tweed flat caps, drinking Guinness, and muttering about the English. I had never heard of the housing crisis and the ridiculous rents charged in Dublin. And I’m ashamed to say that I had only the vaguest idea of the thousands of women who have had to “travel”, and gave it very little thought at that.

My great-grandfather (or possibly great-great, I’m fuzzy on the generations) was Irish but the Irish language was, I suspect, left on the boat that brought him to South Africa – so I kept Google at the ready for translations, explanations, and pronunciation. Who’d have thought that Sadbh sounds like a south Londoner saying “scythe”?

The slang is a different animal altogether. Thanks to OMGWACA, I now know that “notions” is not a synonym for haberdashery, craic is not something you smoke, shifting has nothing to do with gears or moving, and a ride is definitely not a lift home!

OMGWACA was followed up by The Importance of Being Aisling (which I have yet to read), and is available as an ebook on Amazon and Google Play, an audiobook on Audible, and in stores in paperback and hardback.

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