Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Dohaney, M.T. "A Fit Month for Dying"

Dohaney, M.T. "A Fit Month for Dying" - 2000

After reading "The Corrigan Women" and "To Scatter Stones" that had been recommended by a Canadian friend, I found out that there was a third novel of the Corrigan Women. I found it as a used copy because it is out of print (at least in Europe). And I am glad I didn't buy a new copy because I was thoroughly disappointed.

This was a poor try to put as many complications in what I can only call chick lit into one book. I was expecting the story to go on about life of ordinary women in a remote part of Canada but found one that was full of problems discussed in almost every book you read nowadays. There is a father who left before the child was born, there is a woman who is working as a politician (even though that is supposed to be the main story, this subject is only touched slightly), there is the usual bashing of the Catholic church, the "alibi gay", M.T. Dohaney slightly touched every single topic that is discussed nowadays.

She would have done better if she had concentrated on one of those subjects and maybe written a fourth book where she touched the next. Now, she only scratched the surface. Disappointing.

From the back cover:

"A Fit Month for Dying is the third book in M.T. Dohaney's highly praised trilogy about the women of Newfoundland's outports. Fans of The Corrigan Women and To Scatter Stones will embrace this new book, while those reading the author for the first time will discover her characteristic bittersweet humour. Tess Corrigan seems to be living the good life. She is a popular politician, the first woman to serve as a Member of the House of Assembly. Her husband Greg is a successful lawyer and son Brendan is a seemingly happy hockey-mad twelve-year-old. Originally from the village of The Cove, the family is now comfortably ensconced in Newfoundland's capital city of St. John's. Urged on by Greg's mother Philomena, Tess sets out to unravel her convoluted family tree. She searches out her natural father who is living in a retirement community, or as he calls it a "raisin farm," in Arizona. Ed Strominski was an American serving at the Argentia Naval Base when he married Tess's mother Carmel. Charming and outgoing, his one flaw was neglecting to reveal the small detail that he already had a wife. The stigma of growing up as the daughter of the abandoned "poor Carmel" has shaped Tess's life.

Involved with her own family problems and with her political work, Tess has no inkling of trouble when Brendan begs her to let him quit the Altar Servers' Association at their St. John's church. Always forthright, Tess insists that he fulfill his responsibilities to the organization. Her decision sets into motion a series of betrayals, revelations, and realizations that change forever her family and the village of The Cove. After a confrontation with the father of one of Brendan's friends, Tess is shattered by the disclosure that her son has been abused by their trusted priest, Father Tom. Shame and grief envelop the family and their world becomes as turbulent as the seas of Newfoundland. Deeply held beliefs are destroyed as the characters begin to challenge long imposed systems of cultural, political, and spiritual authority. But out of the ashes of Tess's life a small phoenix of hope arises in the form of Greg's brother who, on his way to a feed of capelin, reveals to her his own story of abuse and survival. Buoyed by his story, Tess begins to gather strength to rebuild her life, her family, and her faith in human nature.

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