Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaghtI completely adored this highly entertaining and comic look at the Irish cultural phenomena that is being an Aisling. She is bought to life here by the authors, a novel that has its origins in a Facebook page that documented and captured the varied traits attributed to an Aisling. I should warn readers that the book has numerous Irish words and references, but these can be looked up, and certain reviewers explain many of these. Our Aisling is 28 years old, is best friends with Majella, has been going out with John for seven years and is getting antsy about the fact that John has yet to propose. It begins with the wedding of Liam and Denise, and Aisling reflects on how so many women she knows have achieved the status of wife, and even motherhood, the normal expectations of a woman in the small rural community of Ballygobbard. On pushing John about their expected marriage, she is alarmed at his response that it is unlikely to be anytime soon. She organises a break to Tenerife for the two of them, clinging to the fantasy that he will propose, only on their return she breaks up with him.
Aisling commutes to work in Dublin at PensionsPlus and enjoys the comforts of living with her parents, who coddle and support her. Feeling her life needs a radical overhaul, she moves in with HR work colleague, Sadhbh and her intriguing flatmate, Elaine, in a plush penthouse in Dublin. Aisling soon begins to feel at home with her new close friends and their luxurious lifestyle. It is a culture shock for the small town girl as she willingly joins their never ending rose wine and champagne drinking, the world of celebrities, new places to go out, their strange sense of fashion and ideas of cool, veganism and avocado diets. Sadhbh and Elaine open their hearts to the fragile Aisling, enveloping her into their warmth and care, always there for her when her life faces family crises and the neverending tears and hurt as she struggles to get over John. Her one attempt at dating married Barry from work is curtailed when she bumps into Piotr and becomes a sobbing mess when she becomes aware that John is seeing someone else. As family tragedy strikes and Aisling learns of family secrets, she is determined to support Sadhbh in her personal woes and troubles.
I love the way Aisling has her horizons broadened and her thinking pushed into different directions when her personal relationship falls apart. The humour and comic touches in the story are contagious and had me laughing, this novel is really good craic! The narrative begins and ends with a wedding, but we can see a different Aisling from the first wedding. She comes to appreciate that she might want different things in life than the old Aisling and can finally appreciate the viewpoint of her ex-boyfriend. I loved the way she embraced her new friends and their lifestyle, even when she was deeply uncomfortable with it, as at a techno disco on a Berlin city break. A brilliant read for those times you need something light and frothy, with great characters, and comic fun. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
What are "disagrees"?
Notions , are a concept uniquely found in Ireland which loosely translate to delusions of grandeur, but probably more accurately delusions of middle class. Aisling is utterly obsessed with the concept of notions ever since she first became aware of them. NFATR is completely and utterly oblivious to notions in herself and in other people. Going to Trinity. Mowing the lawn on a Sunday. Any English sounding surname such as Johnson, Wallace, Young.
Registered in Ireland:
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Phrases and Examples in other entries
They might sound funny but these are the Irish words, Irish slang, and Irish phrases you should learn. Before you come to Ireland, you're going to need to get yourself acquainted with some of the typical Irish phrases , Irish words, and Irish slang that might confuse you. Not to worry though, we're here to help with 35 phrases you can learn before your visit. If you arrive in Ireland and ask someone for the restroom, it is social suicide. It's either called "the toilet," or even more commonly "the jacks. In pubs, the sexes are often written in Irish on toilet doors.
But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. She wants the grand big house with the utility room of her dreams. A new start, a love triangle well, more of a square and some home truths force Aisling out of her comfort zone and into a life she never imagined.
She lives at home in Ballygobbard or Ballygobackwards, as some gas tickets call it with her parents and commutes to her good job at PensionsPlus in Dublin. But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. Newly single and relocated to the big city, life is about to change utterly for this wonderful, strong, surprising and funny girl, who just happens to be a complete Aisling.