Related Lives | Book Review

Related Lives | Book Review

An Imagined Memoir 

Author: Dave Duggan |  Review: Kevin Magee

An imagined memoir, stories, reflections and fragments from the lives of some of the author’s immediate family. This is a book that does exactly what it says on the cover. Keith Richards said in his book Life, that memory is pure fiction anyway; so I am 100% behind the idea of creating stories around the true-life characters you may not have known so well. Even better, why not make these characters members of your own family?

When describing the Atlantic as “fathomless,” it seems more beautiful than hateful. It creates a wonderful sense of warmth that carries throughout his semi-factual novel and when Duggan introduces us to his parents, their brothers, and sisters, and their parents. The author proceeds to imagine the stories about them based on his own memories.

Throughout, Duggan makes his part-fiction book relatable to most Irish people, relaying the necessity for travel and moving for education and employment as well as the themes of addiction, estrangement and the loss of loved ones.

Duggan says: “Two different planes of time are layered upon each other in an eternal present within which the past and future rest.” His imagining may or may not be accurate but is that the point, when you are reflecting on your life and those you are related to?

A beautiful read.   

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