SET in 1960s Dublin, this is the story of a young girl's perception of her dysfunctional family, particularly her alcoholic parents.

Despite the serious nature of the theme of this novel, the overall effect is bittersweet, rather than depressing. This is largely due to Dwyer Hickey's ability to balance the portrayal of Caroline's (Tatty's) sad plight with examples of a child's eye view of her situation:

"Uncle Matt drinks from a bottle that's big and fat with a picture of a woodpecker on the front. It hisses and spits when he twists the knob off, then comes out lovely, red and bubbly, like lemonade. But it doesn't smell like lemonade. It smells like sick."

I would highly recommend this book. I found it totally absorbing and was particularly impressed by Dwyer Hickey's skill in portraying a child's-eye view of her own life so convincingly. Take it out from your local library today!

Are you a teenager or do you know of a young person aged 13-19 who loves reading? Redd-itch Library is planning to launch a reader's group for young people - - tomorrow and would love to hear from you. Interested? Further details are available on 63291.