Posted in Book reviews

The Twelfth Day of July

Another book review! Did I mention that I’m on GoodReads by the way? Always looking for a friend – lifewithktkinnes as per usual.
As the title of this post suggests I was reading The Twelfth Day Of July by Joan Lingard. Mary actually recommended this to me and I’m glad she did.

Sadie is Protestant, Kevin is Catholic – and on the tense streets of Belfast their lives collide. It starts with a dare – kids fooling around – but soon becomes something dangerous. Getting to know Sadie Jackson will change Kevin’s life forever. But will the world change around them too?

The first page of this book had me laughing. It’s awful to say it but I can think back to people at school who must’ve been taught the exact same things: the good man’s King Billy and the bad man’s the Pope. Then again, I also know people who had it drilled into them the opposite way around. From this point of view, I was looking forward to reading the representations of each side of the invisible barricade that still lingers around some parts of Northern Ireland.
This was such an easy book to read, to the point I was half way through it in just an hour of reading. And I loved every minute of it! It wasn’t at all biased one way or another, the characters were easy to like, and the names were easy to pronounce when reading. Another pet hate of mine is the use of Gaelic names that I then need to google the pronunciation of, and it’s actually quite a common thing in books that try to show the difference between the Catholic and Protestant characters. So yes, major brownie points for that!
At one stage in the book, I did have to stop and think. I could imagine the location perfectly – Sadie’s street across the main road from Kevin’s, close enough to the city centre that she could walk in and out again relatively quickly, but also close enough that their Orange March was to the “field” at Finaghy. Anyone who knows Belfast, I was picturing them being just around Tate’s Avenue or The Falls. Then all of a sudden they were living close enough to Belfast Lough that they could hear a ship’s siren during the night? That did throw me a little! It wasn’t helped when, a few chapters later, its suggested that Kevin and his friends walk to the zoo. To be honest, I’d need a map of Belfast in front of me to figure all this out! But anyway, that’s not important in a book review sorry!

 

The story was nice and simple. Sadie’s from a Protestant background, Kevin from a Catholic one. They aren’t allowed to mix, mainly due to the tension between the two communities. Kevin decides to do something stupid (which is how the two meet) and so Sadie retaliates, and this is basically how to story progresses; tit for tat, them trying to get one up on each other, however as their messing around increases, so do the repercussions of each action, until an unexpected ending!

 

 

I simply adored reading this book and honestly didn’t want to stop reading it. I’m already looking for the next one in the series! Definitely go check it out if you can!

 

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