All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
**We received an early copy from BookCon, we’d like to thank Moïra and Penguin for the opportunity. This book came out on Aug 1 and you can get it here**
The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. ‘This will be really embarrassing,’ I kept saying to my family, ‘when she shows up at the door in a week or two.’
When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.
And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: Im sure this will surprise you all, but white wine.
Spoiler-free Overview: Deenas sister Mandy goes missing. Everyone but Deena thinks she’s dead, vut Deena knows Mandy was tryong to break the family curse and super isnt dead. She runs away from her other sister Rachel (who has acted as a parent in the stead of her super conservative father) also oh yeah Deena is def. A lesbian. She goes out with her besties picks up some new friends and finds letter from her long lost sister along the way with a healthy dose of magical realism and depressing family stories
Spoiler-free Thoughts: i camt call this book fun but it was definitely something that kept you reading the mext (probably bleak) page.
Characters: Deena, main character. Mandy, wild sister. Rachel, perfect sister. Dad, evil dick, theres a besg friend, a newly found “cousin,” an obcious love interest, and some other random characters. This book goes a lot into the history and focused on particulalrly the horrors of being a woman in previous eras in relation yo the catholic church or even small communities. The characters, even in the vignettes, feel fully realized
Plot: fuxking sad man. It hurts to read how the generations of women in deenas family were “cursed.” They were all women trying to live their lives who were fucked over by the people around them in positions of power. Deena is obviously a little bit crazy (but who wouldnt be given her family situation). One of the big twists was fairly obvious and Im surprised Deena didnt realize it before. But that twist almost seemed like a tangent by thr time we got to it.
Writing Style: beautiful. I love magocal realism. And this book built it up slowly to the point you werent supposed to realize what was magic and what wasnt.
World Building: brutal. Ive never been to Ireland and Im jot going to pretend that this book made me feel like I had beem there, but the various hints of the past were incredibly visual.
What to pair it with: Applejack. Its an apple brandy liquor thing. For all that apples were mentioned in this book it was either this or an appletini and I think the appletini would go down too smooth