Fourteen-year-old Jim Finnegan is the most engaging narrator I've come across in a long time. Living in Dublin with his parents and five older sisters Jim is spot on with his descriptions of his life in the early eighties. Complete with references to the songs he was listening to, the gossip that flew when his mother and her cronies were around the kitchen table and the social awkwardness that hung over Jim and his friends as they became more independent The Fields is laugh out loud funny, unpredictable and thought provoking.
A warm and funny debut novel about a young man in trouble and a family in love and in pieces.
It's the first summer of lust for 14-year-old Jim Finnegan, a boy trying to become a man in 1980s Dublin. Jim's vivid and winning voice leaps off the page and into the reader's heart as he watches his parents argue, his five older sisters fight, and the local network of mothers gossip. Jim hilariously recounts his life dealing with the politics of his boisterous family, taking breakneck bike rides with his best friend, dancing to Foreigner on his boombox, and quietly coveting the local girls from afar.
Over the summer, Jim wins the attention of a beautiful older girl, but he also becomes the unwilling target of a devious religious figure in the community. His life starts to unravel as he faces consequences from both his love for his girlfriend and his attempts to avoid the Parish Priest. When he and his girlfriend take a ferry for a clandestine trip to London, the dark and difficult repercussions from the trip force Jim to look for the solution to all his problems in some very unusual places.
The Fields is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary character. It's a portrait of a boy who sinks into troubles as he grows into a man, and the loving but fractured family that might be his downfall -- or his salvation. Lyrical, funny, and endlessly inventive, it is a brilliant debut from a remarkable new voice.
About the Author
Kevin Maher was born and raised in South Dublin. He moved to London to begin a career in journalism in 1994. He was Film Editor of the Face for five years, and has written features and film criticism for the Guardian, the Observer, and Time Out. For the last seven years he has been a feature writer, critic, and columnist for The Times. He lives in England with his wife and three children. The Fields is his first novel.
PRAISE FOR THE FIELDS:
"A joy to read: fresh, funny, moving, and always unexpected."—Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life and Case Histories