The Carnival at Bray

The Carnival at Bray

A Novel

Book - 2014
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It's 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life-altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to the most difficult but rewarding thing of all-- live.
Publisher: Ashford, CT : Elephant Rock Books, 2014
[Ashford, Conn.] Elephant Rock Productions, 2014
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780989515597
Branch Call Number: YA FOLEY 2014
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 21 cm


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LPL_MollyW Dec 29, 2014

Maggie moves from Chicago, where she attends Smashing Pumpkin concerts with her 26-year-old uncle, to live in a small town outside Dublin, Ireland, when her mom remarries. A year in the seaside town brings a close friendship with her 99-year-old neighbor, first love, and a daring adventure to see Nirvana in Rome, the perfect grunge rock pilgrimage. But what really makes this novel stand out is the family dynamics. Maggie's complicated relationship with her mother, sister, grandmother, and uncle are ones any teenager can relate to. With excellent writing and character development, it's obvious why this debut novel was nominated for the Morris Award. While I'm generally skeptical of novels for teens that are set during the time period the author was a teen, rather than present day, this story will appeal to today's teens as well as those who can read it for the nostalgia of the grunge rock 90s.


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