“The Troubles with Us” by Alix O’Neill is the April 2022 selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.
Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.
Throughout April, we’ll be reading “The Troubles with Us: One Belfast Girl on Boys, Bombs and Finding Her Way” by Northern Irish author Alix O’Neill, published by 4th Estate in 2021 and named one of the best memoirs of 2021 by The Times/The Sunday Times, and by Sheerluxe.
You can sample "The Troubles with Us" here with O'Neill reading an excerpt:
Synopsis for "The Troubles with Us: One Belfast Girl on Boys, Bombs and Finding Her Way" by Alix O'Neill
Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O'Neill has seen it all – burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist. Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They’re too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl – booze, boys and Boyzone – to worry about the violence on their doorstep.
Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother’s unorthodox family – a loving yet eccentric band of misfits – behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it’s through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women.
Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict. It's a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.
Reviews for "The Troubles with Us: One Belfast Girl on Boys, Bombs and Finding Her Way" by Alix O'Neill
"We cannot recommend that you read this memoir enough - short of stopping people in the street and pressing it into their hands, we really urge you just to order it online right now. Right this moment" - STYLIST
"O'Neill has produced a literary equivalent of Derry Girls" - Charlie Connelly, The New European
"A charming book, by turns caustic and funny, innocent and canny" - The Mail on Sunday
"The writing is full of energy and originality. One can only imagine what good company O'Neill is in person . . . this book is genuine and funny with insights into Northern Ireland's evolution through the 1980s and 1990s into something like peace" - Sinead O'Shea, Irish Times
"It was a joy to spend time in O'Neill's world, and the irresistible sense of fun she sparked could have led me on to read many more stories about her family life . . . equal parts hilarious, moving and compelling" - Emer O'Hanlon, Irish Independent
"Derry Girls meets David Sedaris - a sound dose of social history served with all the lightness and humour of an after-work cocktail" - Elske Rahill, author of An Unravelling
"This is a brassy, ballsy, belter of a book - full of the real grit of what it means to come from Northern Ireland . . . From sexy toy petrol stations to mortifying period chats with yer swearing ma - from Gerry Adams on the telly to naming your goats in an attempt at bridging the political divide - from burning a placenta the weekend of the twelfth to portakabin penance with Tamagotchis: this book will turn your views on the Troubles upside down. O'Neill writes the North like no one else I have encountered; with wit, humour and pure affection" - Kerri ni Dochartaigh, author of Thin Places
About Alix O'Neill
Alix O’Neill is a journalist, author and broadcast commentator who has covered a wide range of lifestyle subjects, with a focus on feminism, for The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Times, ES Magazine, The Evening Standard, New Statesman, Spectator Life, Marie Claire, Red, The Pool, Stella, Grazia and The Debrief.
Before moving to France in 2019, Alix was a regular guest commentator on Sky News discussing everything from Harvey Weinstein to Beyonce. She also reviewed for the morning papers for Sky Sunrise and has appeared on Good Morning Britain, LBC Radio’s Nick Ferrari Show, The Front Row on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio London’s Vanessa Feltz show and Talk Radio’s Badass Woman’s Hour, dissecting a variety of topics including the Westminster sex scandal and Love Island.
From February to September 2019, she had a fortnightly column for Red magazine on her search for the good life in France.
Prior to going freelance in 2015, Alix was Features Editor at Beautiful Kitchens magazine and a writer and sub-editor at Homes & Gardens. She was runner-up in the Most Promising Student Journalist category in the 2008 PTC New Journalist of the Year Awards, and shortlisted for the Rosemary Goodchild Award for Sexual Health Journalism in the 2015 UK Sexual Health Awards, and Travel Journalist of the Year in the 2006 Irish Student Media Awards. In 2016, she was selected to participate in the inaugural Women in Journalism mentoring scheme, and paired with Sarah Baxter, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times. Alix has also been an official WIJ mentor to young journalists and a mentor for the charity, The Student View.
Alix is an alumnus of Trinity College Dublin and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She lives in southwest France with her husband and two young sons.
Synopsis and reviews provided by Harper Collins UK.
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