My grateful thanks to Jenny Platt at Penguin Random House for a copy of Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer Mclysaght and Sarah Breen in return for an honest review and for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations.
Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling was published on 3rd May 2018 by Penguin and is available for purchase here.
Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling
Twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – is the sensible sort.
She wears kitten heels for the sake of her arches.
And a great night out is knowing the immersion heater at home is securely switched off.
In other words, country girl Aisling likes to play it safe in the big city.
But that hasn’t helped get her man John to hurry up and pop the question.
Throwing caution to the wind an impatient Aisling tries to encourage him, only for her whole life to come crashing down.
Now no umbrella, electric blanket, nor sensibly sized heel can save her.
What’s a complete Aisling to do?
My review of Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling
With all her friends marrying off, Aisling is waiting for long term boyfriend John to propose too.
I have to be completely honest and say that for the first two chapters, although I was enjoying Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling, I didn’t love it. It felt a little bit too self consciously like modern Irish female fiction with colloquialisms and its occasional dialect so that initially I thought it was trying too hard. However, it wasn’t long before I was drawn into the rhythm of the writing, hearing Aisling’s voice as if she were actually one of my own friends and enjoying the humour, so that I found I actually couldn’t put it down and I WAS loving it. Very quickly the narrative style seemed to be natural and realistic, enabling me to picture setting and character perfectly and I found myself wanting to return to the book at every available opportunity. I am now desperate to know what happens next to Aisling and hope there will be a follow up book.
I found Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling a smashing escapist read with a depth of emotion and variety of theme that genuinely surprised me. It’s not often a reader can say they have been reduced to tears over a wheel clamping episode in a book! I laughed aloud frequently too. I thought the plot was deftly handled so that there were true surprises along the way making for a thoroughly enjoyable story. To say too much would be to spoil the story for other readers, but at the heart of the writing are two major themes of relationships and identity that are both comprehensively and brilliantly handled.
The characters are varied and engaging. Of course Aisling takes centre stage and she is the prism through which we view everyone else, but her descriptions, her ability to digress and her honesty (and frequent confusion) make her a truly understandable and empathetic character. I found the manner in which the layers of character were uncovered in the others by Aisling’s observations was finely tuned and very effective.
Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling has something for every reader because although we may not all be a complete Aisling, I think we all have a little bit of Aisling in us. I thoroughly enjoyed Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling. I found it entertaining, engaging, funny and emotional. It left me feeling as if I had had a really lovely reading experience and I thoroughly recommend it.
About Emer Mclysaght and Sarah Breen
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen conceived the character of Aisling in their sitting room in 2008, when they began to observe the many traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.
Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling was an instant sensation in their native Ireland and the Number One bestselling adult fiction title of 2017.
Emer McLysaght is the former editor of The Daily Edge and has worked extensively in journalism and radio.
Sarah Breen is a journalist whose work has appeared in Stellar, Image, U, the Irish Independent and The Gloss.
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