For my seventh and final read of the 2018 ‘Reading Ireland‘ challenge, I thought I’d try an author I’ve heard a lot about. I’d never read any of her work before, but after this one Maggie O’Farrell will be on my list of favourite authors.
I believe this would be a great choice for a bookclub. The novel’s many characters and strong writing would generate some lively discussion. To facilitate discussion, the publisher has kindly provided a Reading Group Guide for “This must be the place“.
I waffled about the rating for this one. Mostly due to the oftentimes disconcerting jump between characters and time periods. I rated it a 4/5 then changed it to 4.5/5 because I loved the characters so much. Then after finishing – I knew that since it made such and impact on me, and that I would remember it for a long time, I had no choice but to change my rating to 5 stars. I look forward to reading more by this highly talented author. Literary fiction at its finest.
I received a digital copy of this novel for free, at my request, from Knopf via Edelweiss. This review is my sincere thanks to them.
Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, Maggie O’Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland and now lives in London. She has worked as a waitress, chambermaid, bike messenger, teacher, arts administrator, and journalist in Hong Kong and London, and as the deputy literary editor of The Independent on Sunday. Her debut novel, After You’d Gone (2000), won a Betty Trask Award and was followed by My Lover’s Lover (2002), The Distance Between Us (2004), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006), The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), winner of the Costa Novel Award, Instructions for a Heatwave (2013), and, most recently, This Must Be the Place (2016).