A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
To begin with A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing reads like Eimear McBride wrote the whole thing as a stream of consciousness, hung it on the wall and then fired full stops at it from a sawn-off shotgun. The whole thing is riddled with randomly-placed periods that defy the reader's attempt to engage in the story. Frequently there are three or more periods in what would scan as a normal sentence, ripping your attention back into the mechanics of reading rather than enjoying the novel. Some people can get past this kind of writing; I couldn't.
If the above is no hurdle for you, the novel tells an affecting tale about a young Irish girl growing up with her seriously ill brother and religious single mother. Serious mis-steps during her teens turn her into a promiscuous rebel and sadly weakens her relationship with her brother and mother. A family crisis occurs that brings the conflict to a head.
Some of the writing is quite musical and the story is interesting enough but, as I said above, McBride has vandalised her own novel by making it as difficult as possible for the reader to engage with her characters and their lives. Too much artifice has killed the art.
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