I've been mislead before after reading the reviews on the back of book, but never so badly as I was in this novel. There was nothing gripping or thrilling in this book and it was far from marvelous. Maybe something got lost in translation since it's from Ireland because this book was a struggle to get through. (Yes, I know this book hasn't been translated since they speak English in Ireland, but there has to be some sort of miscommunication if this book is seen as thrilling and marvelous.)
The main character, Bobby, is a troubled teen who enjoys robbing people, stealing cars, getting drunk and doing drugs. When his mother moves the family to the country, all he wants to do is return to Dublin, which his does after stealing a car. After a friend wrecks the car and beats up a man, Bobby ends up back in the country and is forced to work off the debt of the car. In the meantime he's still stealing from his mother and arguing about money and sneaking off to Dublin when he isn't moping about wanting to return, although he is really getting interested in fixing cars which is a step in the right direction. Something "strange" seems to be going on with his younger brother who claims to see a little woman but that's a minor detail in the novel. At the same time, the family had been told to leave a bowl of milk out for the fairies and then Bobby learns that someone had been murdered in the house and the previous renter suddenly went missing, but all of that is taken with a grain of salt, although the stories do seem to bother Bobby late at night (but I don't particularly see why he's so scared because the novel doesn't build it up that much).
I was 200 pages into the book and still wondering when things would get thrilling. I felt like a good 150 of it was about him farming or stealing and it just seemed to go on and on. I don't really care how you're supposed to use a scythe or mow the lawn! As for the little woman that his brother keeps seeing (I think that was supposed to be the thrilling part of the story), she kept taking a back page. 10 pages of farming and arguing with his mother, one page about the little woman. There were maybe 10 pages worth of thrilling information when they figured out what happened to the previous renter, but then it went back to the pointless stuff. I would have given up on this book a lot sooner if I didn't have high hopes of something thrilling and marvelous happening, but it NEVER came! What's so bad about it is that it had potential but it was buried under all of the hay that Bobby baled. Give me more little woman and missing renters and less farming and you might have had a good novel.
I wanted to believe in this book that there was something good to come, but my faith in the reviews let me down, big time. If this book had been marketed differently, like about a troubled teen finding his way down the right path, it might have been a good book, but it wasn't shown in that light. Don't be misled! Read this as a warning that this book isn't as gripping or thrilling as the reviews say. Don't make the same mistake and hold onto the hope that it will get better, because it doesn't.