Verdict: For anyone who has grown up in a sad place and suffered loss, this book is a testament to the power of never giving up, even when the horizon seems hopelessly bleak.
An Irish boy is born into tragedy and ultimately experiences a great deal more of it in his adult life before realizing the redemptive power of love and second chances.
Combining the Irish angst of Angela’s Ashes with the slow, telling-not-showing prose style of a Dan Brown, DUBLIN IN THE RAIN is the story of Melton and his quixotic, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking journey through life. When he’s just a young boy, Melton’s mother leaves his depressive, drunken father in order to escape his toxic outlook on life. Melton gradually grows tired of his father’s melancholy and becomes close to a school friend who lives on a farm. When Melton’s father dies in an auto accident, Melton chooses to live with his school friend instead of his estranged mother. He goes to University, meets a girl named Sophia, and seemingly breaks the curse of his sad ancestry. But life isn’t that simple, and Melton has much tragedy ahead. Will he follow his destiny and become his father, or break free and become his own man?
Although sections of the book capture the incredibly awkward and poignant reality of growing up and then falling down, the overall tone is closer to “Dear Diary” than a new literary classic. However, Melton’s pain is perhaps rendered more powerful for its artless presentation. In a way, DUBLIN IN THE RAIN is the less stylized version of Karl Ove Knausgard’s My Struggle in its relatively straightforward accumulation of seemingly ordinary life events. Although much tragedy does befall Melton, it is only in the last section of the book that his character becomes rugged enough to fully accept and deal with his reality.
For anyone who has grown up in a sad place and suffered loss, this book is a testament to the power of never giving up, even when the horizon seems hopelessly bleak.