Spring into Summer with Dymphna's Book Club

Spring into Summer with Dymphna's Book Club

Pull up a chair and pour a cuppa because the end of June is here, which means it's Dymphna's Book Club!

Dymphna has picked out some absolutely cracking reads in The Book Centre, Waterford for you and your family to enjoy this summer.

'Long Island' by Colm Toibín

Let's return for a moment to 1950s Enniscorthy when Eilis Lacey broke her mother's heart, Jim Farrell's heart, and shocked Enniscorthy when she boarded the boat to America. She left behind an Ireland steeped in tradition, culture, and a rigid adherence to societal norms. 'Long Island' picks up where 'Brooklyn' stops some 20 years later, and Eilis is living in America, married to Tony and raising their two teenage children. Early on in the novel, a knock comes to the door from a man claiming that Tony, who is a plumber, has fathered a child with his wife. The man makes it clear that once this child is born, it will be left on their doorstep for Eilis and Tony to raise. Having built a new life over two decades, Eilis packs and returns home to Enniscorthy where she meets a changed Ireland. Her mother is celebrating her 80th birthday, Cheese and Onion crisps are the order of the day, and Jim Farrell is still there. For those who dared to dream what might have been for Eilis had she taken the easier road in life, this book satisfies immensely. Some things should never have a sequel or a follow-up story, and this was my fear for this book, but it gave Eilis a fantastic opportunity for further character development. Highly recommended this summer.

'The Psychology of Secrets: My Adventures with Murderers, Cults and Influencers,' by Andrew Gold

We all keep secrets, as many as 97% of us are keeping a secret at this very moment. Some secrets are ones designed to keep others happy such as hiding a surprise birthday party from a loved one, or hiding an engagement ring ahead of popping the big question. There is no shame around those secrets and we have a societal agreement to keep them. However, what about when that secret is a source of shame, what happens to all the energy we expend in burying that secret within us? Our mental and physical health suffers, we are tormented with the knowledge that we are living a second life. Gold takes it one step further looking at the power behind keeping those secrets. For centuries, organised religions, cults, and institutions have thrived on a hierarchy of those who have the knowledge, and those who desire the knowledge. Take for instance the Catholic Church- for years it was forbidden for people to interpret or read the Bible themselves, it was only through the instruction of a learned man from within the Church that people could learn. This logic is explored by Gold through Scientology, modern day Influencers, and even into the prisons in Ireland and the UK. This is thought-provoking, different, informative, and a very different kind of read. I picked this up almost accidentally and I inhaled it from cover to cover.

'You Are Here' by David Nicholls


Michael, 42, a bearded geography teacher from York, is walking 200 miles across Britain in order not to think about his recent divorce. His concerned friend Cleo gathers a small party to accompany him for the first few days, including her old friend Marnie, 38, a copy editor, also divorced, living in Herne Hill. Marnie’s friends have all married and moved out of London. Working from home, she is seriously isolated, bantering with household objects or “listlessly foraging on social media”. Loneliness brings shame, though, and when her TV’s streaming device produces a What a Year! slideshow from her photos involving closeups of ingrown hairs and dry-cleaning receipts, she forces herself to accept Cleo’s invitation as “the kind of potentially awful experience she needed”. I will shout this very loudly for the people at the back, YES... this is predictable... and YES it is absolutely sublime. In a very Jane Austen-esque style, Michael and Marnie are actively ambivalent towards one another, both too caught up in their own challenges. Neither is seeking a love match, both are almost actively avoiding it, and there are no spoilers when I tell that love is exactly what they find. It is the ultimate summer read, heartwrenching, heartwarming, and designed to be read on beaches on sunny summer days.


'Something's About to Blow Up' by Sam Blake

When an explosion rips through the chemistry lab at Raven’s Hill School and six girls are injured, the first thought is that it’s an experiment gone wrong. Then the guards start investigating and suspect a bomb. But if so – who was it targeting, and why? Ella, Becky, Maeve and Mackenzie are rushed to hospital, along with the injured Frankie and Sorcha, who team up with Jess to try to find out what actually happened. But what they discover is more sinister than even they could have imagined. Mysterious, engaging, a proper page-turner, this is Young Adult Irish writing at its finest.

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