Source: Publisher (Penguin)
Read: August 2017
Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.
Thank you to Penguin for a review copy of this book!
A lazy Saturday at home with the kids had me reading through parts of all the books I had been reading at the time, but part of me had wanted to start something new (seriously, the dilemma of all bookworms), so I gravitated towards my small pile of review books and picked out The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Newfoundland writer Heather Smith.
This book was the perfect pick for a lazy day because it was super fast to read and the story grabbed me right from the first chapter. I loved young Bun and really felt for her and what she was going through at home. I really enjoyed the cast of characters she comes to live with and felt like there was just enough drama in the story to keep in interesting and not over the top.
I had to keep reminding myself that this story took place in the 80’s and not present day because honestly a lot of it seemed almost unbelievable. It’s hard to believe that a character like Bun ended up where she did with her naive ways and blunt way of speaking. I’d also say that the ending was almost too easy and not at all believable, but the story was enjoyable all the same.
I didn’t realize that this book was marketed towards middle grade and it almost seems too heavy for that age range. It felt comfortable as a YA read with lots of diversity and just heavy enough to not be overbearing.