Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Review: Bog Child

This book took me ages to read but that was because I had to fit it in with GCSE revision. I finished it last night but I didn't think I should write reviews at 11.30. It would have consisted of me telling you how much I need to sleep. Here is the summary of Siobhan Dowd's book "Bog Child":

One inch from the wall of brown turf, he froze. 'There's something here. In the earth. A hand.'

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds something that makes his heart stop. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of a child. And it looks like she's been murdered.

As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him - his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his mam and da arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck - a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

Siobhan Dowd is also the author of "A Swift Pure Cry". Unfortunately, in 2007, Siobhan passed away. She was also a human right campaigner and an obituary can be found here. All proceedings from her literary work go towards the Siobhan Dowd Trust which helps many great causes. There is also more information on Siobhan Dowd at this website.

Bog child is an amazing story. It doesn't seem like YA. There are a lot of Irish references which I love e.g. the Garda (the police). My grandad is Irish and I really like learning about Ireland's past. This story takes place during the Troubles (when Thatcher was still running Ireland). There are some references that I think some teens won't necessarily know about (e.g. Bobby Sands). I wasn't entirely sure about Bobby Sands and had to ask my grandad. One more thing that might be misunderstood. Ireland is split in to two parts: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast. The capital of the Republic of Ireland is Dublin. There are also references to the IRA and talk of the provos. You don't need an excellent history of Ireland to enjoy this story. But a basic knowledge is very helpful.

The main character of this book is Fergus. He is a very likeable character and you feel really sorry for the situation he is in. It is also fair to say that another main character is Mel - the bog child. But I don't want to give away the story so I won't say much about Mel other than that she is an amazing character when you learn about her.

I was addicted to this plot. I needed to know what would happen to the brother Joe who was on hunger strike. The ending was - unexpected. I really was shocked. The decision Fergus's family have to make near the end is monumental. And the truth about.... just read it!

This had to be put down - whether I liked it or not. If I had more free time I would probably have read this in a sitting. I loved this book. Quite literally. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Characters - 9/10 (I would liked to have known a little more about Da)
Plot - 10/10 (I love the Irish setting)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading) - 10/10

Total - 29/30


  1. Wow, what an amazing review. It's brilliant to hear how much you loved it! I've always thought this sounded like an excellent book.

  2. Thank you, I really enjoyed it :)