Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling! by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – review

Published by Michael Joseph

Publication date – 3 May 2018

Source – review copy

Ever been a small town girl trying to make a life in the big city?

Meet twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – she can barely boil an egg let alone figure out what night bus to catch home.

But she’s got a job in the big city, a flat and a boyfriend. She has an umbrella for rainy days, an electric blanket for cold nights and keeps her kitten heels firmly on the ground.

Until the day she accidentally ditches her only slightly useless boyfriend John. And finds herself in a spot of bother at work.

Is it time to pack up and go back to the sticks?
Or can Aisling fix the mess she’s made?
What’s a Complete Aisling to do?

Read more on the Penguin website.

Aisling is no wallflower, she just doesn’t go out out on a work night, she understands the trouble that time theft can have on a business and is enthusiastic over the fashion benefits of a shumper. She has been with John for seven years. And is a little fed up that people who have been together for less time are tying the knot. But when she unexpectedly breaks up with John her world is turned on its head, with unforseen circumstances.

We are welcomed to Aisling’s world when she attends a wedding of a friend. The reactions to realising that she may miss the included breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the novel and I soon found myself laughingly caught up in Aisling’s unintentionally madcap world.

Aisling is a lovely character, warm, funny (though often unintentionally so) and not averse to some controlled and sensible fun. She is of course to some extent a caricature, an exaggerated version of tiny neuroses and excessive common sense. She is unbelievably naive in some respects, and world wise in others. Her friends are a wonderfully eclectic mix, all of whom open Aisling’s eyes to possibilities. There are little bits of us that we will recognise in Aisling.

I did think that the reason for dumping John was slightly ridiculous but it is the catalyst for a series of events that alters Aisling and for the better.

There are some laugh out loud moments in this novel, and also some touching moments. There are some references to modern Irish culture that did pass me by, for example references to TV stars and shows, but others were situations that would be universally recognisable. There is also a timely and moving reference to the soon to be changed abortion laws in Ireland that make the reader think.

A funny, warm-hearted and in places moving novel.

About the authors

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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