Mary O’Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can’t let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary’s street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny’s own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.
Praise for A Greyhound of a Girl
“A warm, witty, exquisitely nuanced multigenerational story.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This elegantly constructed yet beautifully simple story, set in Ireland and spun with affection by Booker Prizewinner Doyle, will be something different for YA readers. These four lilting voices will linger long after the book is closed.”
Booklist, starred review
"Written mostly in dialogue, at which Doyle excels, and populated with a charming foursome of Irish women, this lovely tale is as much about overcoming the fear of death as it is about death itself."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"In this moving and artfully structured ghost tale, four generations of Irish women come together. A big part of the pleasure here is the rhythm of the language and the contrasting voices of the generations. Any opportunity to read it aloud would be a treat."
"For children grieving the death of a parent or grandparent, this book provides comfort."
Library Media Connection
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
USBBY Outstanding International Books List 2013
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His novels have been made into popular films, including The Commitments and The Snapper. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is touching and absolutely fantastic! I love it! It is very funny too.
This book is inspired. Even though it’s set in Ireland and is written with Irish slang, it’s a wonderful and touching story. Each of these women are sparkling and alive, even Tansy. Emer is the type of grandmother that everyone wants to have, she’s cheeky and not afraid to have a laugh, even in the hospital. Although this book was written for young adults, it’s something that every woman, no matter her age, can enjoy. It would also be a brilliant way to spark interest in a child about her distant family.
This book is a tale about love and loss, and the connection between daughter and mother's. I found this book both funny yet tedious. I loved the cheekiness of Mary, and some of the witty lines that Doyle has included in the dialogue, yet I also found myself struggling to keep my attention focused. This is a ghost story, without being scary. Yet 12-year-old Mary and her mother Scarlett don't seem to be wary or worried that ghost's are real or that one has turned up on their doorstep - they just took it in their stride, which struck me as rather odd. After stealing Mary's dying grandmother from the hospital, they take a trip to the farm she grew up. Doyle has made this book fun and serious all at the same time, I even found myself reading with a (horrible) Irish accent! This book would be perfect for understanding death and the importance of family for a younger child - but adults would love it as well.