Caron Freeborn – Presenting… the Fabulous O’Learys

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Caron Freeborn – Presenting…the Fabulous O’Learys

1984, after 40 years in the show business, Kenneth O’Leary decides to retire from the stage. His daughters Delia and Raquel simply accept this, then they realise that this will also affect their lives since they both live on their father’s money even though they are both grown up. But this is not their only problem. Delia’s boyfriend Eddie suddenly falls for the older sister – and she for him. And there are people looking out for the family money – life is everything but easy for the O’Learys.

The description of the novel really made me curious about what to await. Caren Freeborn definitely created outstanding characters whom you will not easily forget. Ken, the father, who can only speak though all the lines he used on stage and constantly quotes Shakespeare. Raquel who is stuck somehow between wanting to be a successful nightclub singer and having a real career and caring for her sister. Delia who not only shows clear signs of eating disorders and at least some hints of autism. The minor characters aren’t less intriguing.

Those characters obviously lead to many funny situations and hilarious dialogues, nevertheless, the novel was lacking something on the plot level. Even though I had a lot of fun reading it and admittedly, the characters’ make-up has absolutely succeeded, it could not absolutely convince me.

“Can none of you see it? Not one of you? We can’t do it. We can’t be like other people, not any of us. The trying’s over. Finished.”

I couldn’t agree more with Ken’s conclusion that the family is quite unique and far from being average. They oscillate between being fabulous/fascinating and scary/frightening at the other end. This makes the novel outstanding in the masses of books, yet, I wold have expected a bit more.