Into the Night Sky by Caroline Finnerty
Published by Poolbeg Press in 2014
My copy: Kindle
Conor Fahy is the owner of struggling bookshop Haymarket Books and is finding it hard to cope with everyday life in the aftermath of his partner Leni’s tragic death.
Conor’s best friend Ella Wilde is struggling with her own problems having just been axed from her job as a TV presenter after being caught shoplifting.
Jack White is eight years old. He likes Ben 10, Giant Jawbreaker sweets and reading adventure books. He likes his Dad (when he doesn’t shout). He doesn’t like the bad monsters that are eating up his ma inside her tummy.
Rachel Traynor is the social worker assigned to Jack White’s case but sorting out messy family disputes is taking its toll on her.
Into the Night Sky is the story of four people who come into each other’s lives when they are each in need of a friend and how the bonds that form, change them all forever more.
This was a book of two halves for me. I really enjoyed the first half – it was very easy to read with a simple writing style, and in alternating chapters we are introduced to the four characters that make up the bulk of the story. They are disgraced TV presenter Ella who has been caught shoplifting, beleaguered bookseller Conor, Conor’s new best friend 8-year-old Jack, and social worker Rachel.
The style of writing was linear and simple enough that it was easy to keep tabs on who was who, and we slowly find out more about each of the characters and about their problems. A lot of different issues are dealt with, and to begin with the stories are separate in the main, so I was keen to see how they would all eventually come together…
But exactly halfway through the book, I found the stories started to get a bit repetitive. Any plot development came to a bit of a standstill, and it was never quite clear whose story we were supposed to focus on. At the start of the book, Ella is the main player, but then it becomes Jack – even though their two stories don’t link together at all. While I really liked Jack’s story and his relationship with Conor, this could have formed the basis for the whole book instead of being only half of it. I did expect all the stories to come together in a satisfying way at the end and they didn’t really. However everything was tied up nicely – and, in the case of Ella’s story, far too nicely!
I do have mixed feelings about the novel as there was much I liked about it, and it was very easy to read, but the four strands didn’t quite work for me, and I did get quite bored with it all towards the end!