Bog Child – Siobhan Dowd

Posted on February 26, 2009


Siobhan Dowd’s new novel, Bog Child, is a twisting tale that takes us from Drumleash, in 1981, right back to 80 AD. In this inspiring story about first love, politics and family bonds, we follow the lives of 18-year-old Fergus, and Mel, the child he discovers hidden in a bog. Mel troubles Fergus’ dreams, and as Fergus’ own story unfolds, we learn more about Mel’s troubled life.

The book also looks deeply into Irish politics in the 1980s. Fergus’ brother Joey is a political prisoner, and joins the hunger strikes at the time. The author’s moving story examines moral issues behind the strikes, and as Fergus’ becomes more involved in political activities, and as tension between the North and South increases, Fergus has to choose between his beliefs, and his brother.

I’m giving this book *****. The first star is for the beautiful words of the author, who never misplaces a metaphor, and never wastes a word. The second is for the humorous and comic exchanges between Fergus and his friends, their attitudes and expressions make the book thoroughly enjoyable for any teenage reader. The third star is awarded for the feel-good vibe that seeps from the pages. Despite the hardships and troubles that weigh down Fergus’ life, the book will leave you with a smile. The fourth and fifth stars go to the moving and emotional perspective on right and wrong, life and death, and truth. I gave that two stars, because it was especially awesome.

I’d recommend this story to any teenage reader. Whether you like romance, action or any other genre, Bog Child will have you hooked till the last word.