Before My Actual Heart Breaks

FREE Shipping

Before My Actual Heart Breaks

Before My Actual Heart Breaks

RRP: £99
Price: £9.9
£9.9 FREE Shipping

In stock

We accept the following payment methods


She fulfils her mother’s prophesy by getting pregnant at 16. Refusing to reveal the father she is branded a tramp, forced to leave school and marry a neighbour. Mary slips into a cage of self-pity ‘like a boned corset to hold myself together and keep him out’—the ‘him’ in this case being John Johns, her new husband. I wanted to be the one he was paying attention to, just once. Sometimes it felt as if the fabric of the sofa had grown over me and no one had noticed. It’s deeply reflective, peppered with dark Irish humour, that had me laughing, crying and frustrated all together. Delaney captures her characters and their relationships so reverently. Some you love, some you feel empathy towards and others you downright loathe, all as you do in real life. This book hooked me from the start… the story of Mary Rattigans abuse at the hands of her mother is raw and painful but at the early stage of the book she still clings to hope that she will leave Tyrone and her mother like her siblings have done. A teenage pregnancy and an inexplicable shotgun wedding changed all her plans. Mary falls pregnant at the tender age of sixteen during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Having been brought up harshly and devoutly, an unmarried mother was something to be talked about within the chapel and the community alike. Mary’s mother, someone you’d be stupid be caught talking about in church or community, takes her own action to protect the reputation of the family, and to save her own face.

I wanted to scream out, too, that Mary was just a child, coerced by a man who abused his authority - something regrettably overlooked in the book; wanted to wrap Mary in my arms and tell her she owed no one no part of her.This is a very good debut which becomes absolutely engrossing as Mary battles so many demons and constructs walls around herself. She has little sense of self worth and it’s beyond sad that she misses out on so much joy although I do want to shake her sometimes as she drowns in self pity! All the characters are extremely well depicted, there are some to love (John, his mother Bridie and Mary’s friend Lizzie etc) and some to heartily dislike such as Mary’s hard as nails mother Sadie who is most certainly at the root of Mary’s issues. Yes, Siree Bob, she sure is. I love how that little phrase repeats itself through the book!

This book is about Mary Rattigan, a young Catholic girl trying to navigate growing up in 1970s Northern Ireland, where the “Troubles [rumble] constantly overhead like a thunderstorm”. She has a bully for a mother, a gormless father and six siblings. At school she shows potential, and dreams she will one day “grow wings and fly” – find a way to emigrate to England or the US and build a better life for herself. Before my actual heart breaks’ by Tish Delaney is the story of Mary Rattigan, whose dreams of escaping her mother and the troubles ( 'which rumble constantly overhead like a thunderstorm') are laid to waste after a midnight rendezvous whilst on a schooltrip. Her life doesn't pan out the way she hoped and she finds herself trapped. Coming of AgeAnd Tish Delaney also needs to be celebrated – she is a truly stunning writer with a raw, unique, moving and extremely funny voice.

To an extent, this book is a love story but by no means is it your typical run of the mill romance. It’s a love story about dreams, hopes, ambitions, family that aren’t blood and so much more. I just can’t actually comprehend how utterly beautiful this book is?? Tish Delaney is an incredibly talented author indeed. Mary is bright, she has the drive and ability to fly away from her home; her abusive mammy and passive dada, the church and the petrifying violence of that t I finished reading this book this morning and I am completely gutted. I am so going to miss the very human, flawed, relatable characters, especially the protagonist Mary. Throughout the whole narrative I really invested in Mary; she made me laugh, she made me cry, she frustrated me, but she never let me down. Mary is a true literary heroine that deserves to be celebrated. Tish Delaney's writing is engaging and she has a strong eye for character and dialogue . . . Mary's story of finding love in the most unlikely of circumstances will draw readers in and you'd need a heart of stone not to be moved by the ending. Daily Express While the novel meaningfully portrays the suffocating effects of the religious and familial strictures in her life, it also shows the intelligence and humour of her wry perspective. Mary makes deliciously cutting observations about the tragic waste of sectarian conflicts and the way emotions aren't discussed in family life. At one point she describes how the Irish substitute for love is tea. She also forms some tender connections with certain individuals who inspire her and provide a steady source of comfort. The spectre of her grandmother is at times glimpsed in the distance as well as a good-natured soul named Birdie who becomes a kind of substitute mother for her. However, most of her relationships often include gaps of understanding so she comes to understanding the painful irony in how “No one knew us better than each other and we didn't know each other at all.” I enjoyed the way the story creates a building sense of tension concerning what Mary will do now that she's on her own and truly knows what she wants. Delaney's powerful novel shows the precarious bonds that exist between people who've had to abandon their dreams and the unexpected love that can be found when honest connections are made.The couple never speak to each other and it is not explained until near the end of the book why he agreed to marry Mary (although it is easy to guess, if not the most logical or realistic thing to do). They go onto to have five children, have a torrid but closeted in the bedroom sex life and despite working together on the farm never speak to one another and seem to show no kindness to each other either, which I just couldn't quite believe. They get married in 1982,I do know that many young people still had "shotgun" marriages at that point in time in Northern Ireland but don't know of anyone who married someone not the father of the child. At that point I was openly living with my boyfriend, all be it in the city as were many friends. Things weren't quite as oppressive sexually as made out, the book should have been set in the 60's or 70's if it wanted to have the sexual mores it recounts. Many girls crossed the water for an abortion in Scotland or England (as they still have to), often their parents were the most religious and most vocally against abortion in public, but this is never considered as an option for Mary. I’m not going to tell you what this book is about (there are people who tell books better than me and also, Google it) but I will tell you what was wrong with this one.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

Delivery & Returns


Address: UK
All products: Visit Fruugo Shop