The FieldsBook - 2013
Helen Macdowell gets hit in the face with a hockey ball. That's how it starts. Yes. The beginning of the end. All downhill from there. Helen's beautiful. She's got this light brown wavy flowy hair that curls back from her forehead. Her face is round, and her nose is soft and slightly ski-slopey. Her lips are browny pink, but shiny with lip gloss. And her eyes, Jesus, her eyes are crystal blue, really clear blue, no dirty bits in the blue. She's beautiful and she's going to be a nurse, or an airhostess, or a private investigator. At least that's what my sister Fiona says, and she should know.
South Dublin, 1984. Meet Jim, thirteen: the runt of the litter at home and plankton in the school food chain. Opposite in every way is the dazzling Saidhbh Donohue--older and sophisticated and the girlfriend of local thug Mozzo. Nonetheless, after a drunken but beautiful rendition of "The Fields of Athenry" at the Donohues, our hero captures the attention not just of Saidhbh but also that of the dangerous Father Luke O'Culigeen. Bounced between his nascent love for Saidhbh and the abuse he receives at the hands of O'Culigeen, his life starts to unravel, and he and Saidhbh make their way to London.
Here the novel takes a wild turn as Jim becomes involved with the School of Astral Sciences, tapping into his heretofore unrealized healing powers. When the pedophile O'Culigeen reappears on the scene and bad news arrives from home, the narrator finds his surprising new abilities put to the test. Funny, moving and unforgettable, The Fields is a compelling, hugely original novel of interrupted adolescence.