by Bronwyn Rodden
Wyndow Books

"…the resentments and arguments that had festooned the Doman Christmas gatherings like poison tree decorations were now etched permanently into all of their brains."

Sisters Tuesday and Friday Doman share a whimsical absentee mother, a father devastated by his wife's unexplained departure from Australia for Ireland, five siblings also named for the days of the week, and little else. A cynical bully, Tuesday pursues a career as a soil analyst that requires few people skills. Younger sister Friday, a sensitive people pleaser, spends years in management training. Her private life consists of following Tuesday's every command, although she's past fifty. Poverty and the responsibility of frequently looking after Friday, a sibling she resented, have permanently soured Tuesday. Feeling dominated and unwanted leave Friday craving acceptance and yearning for the wherewithal to assert herself. A trip to Ireland to locate their mother after forty years throws these disparate siblings together for three weeks as they learn the secret that drove her from them. Meanwhile, Friday discovers that Tuesday's soul carries its own deep, untended wound.

Poverty, incest, and discontent scar Rodden's principal characters as indelibly as centuries of British oppression still scar Irish and Australian society and culture today. Tuesday exemplifies cultural bias and intolerance of differing views and traditions, while Friday provides a voice of cultural sensitivity. The characters range in age, personality, and worldview—from city-dwelling millennials who appear indifferent to Irish history to middle-aged and elderly rural folk like Mickey and Cait, Tuesday and Friday's cousins, who are steeped in it. Mickey and Cait, in fact, show the most patience with Tuesday's prickly manner. Even when they disagree with her, their responses to her rudeness are always cordial and sometimes employ banter. The transitions between accounts of the sisters' childhoods and their present adventure are subtle, requiring careful reading. This book successfully presents travelers' angst to which anyone who goes abroad can relate.

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