disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review
I was recently asked if I’d liked to read the debut novel from Rebecca Hardiman called Good Eggs. Published through Allen and Unwin on 18th March, this novel is a little different from other books I’ve read recently.
In Good Eggs, we meet the Gogarty family, who are based in Dublin, Ireland, and the novel focuses on three members of the family in particular – grandmother Millie, her stepson Kevin and his daughter Aideen. Each chapter is told from one of these characters points of view. We follow the highs and lows of family life and the flaws of each of these ‘good eggs who all need a second chance.
Millie is an eighty-three-year-old widow, who seems to enjoy a spot of shoplifting, but she gets caught once too often and ends up at the police station on her final caution. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that Millie is probably also suffering from the early stages of dementia. Her son Kevin, comes to collect her from the police station but insists her release without charge is on condition that she accepts a part-time carer coming into her house. An American woman called Sylvia Phenning is employed to help the reluctant Millie, but she soon realises that she actually enjoys the company of this stranger.
Kevin is fifty years old and is spending time as a house husband having been recently made redundant from his career working for a celebrity news magazine. He’s old school and doesn’t really fit in with the new world of digital publishing. His wife, Grace is often travelling with work and Kevin is left to keep the home running as well as looking after their children.
Aideen is sixteen and is so much more rebellious than her twin sister Nuala. She’s always in trouble and her parents are at their wit’s end. They decide that the only option is to send Aideen to a local boarding school as a weekly boarder.
Kevin’s clearly going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, and he starts to fixate on the receptionist at Aideen’s school, to the point that they end up in a hotel room together. Meanwhile, Aideen has made friends with Brigid who is a loud trouble maker, smokes and is destined to lead Aideen astray. Millie is relying on her new friend and confidante and is also keen to play matchmaker between Aideen and Sylvia’s nephew Sean.
As the stories within Good Eggs intertwine there are comical moments and it’s easy to see that Aideen is just a misunderstood teenager struggling to come to terms with her feelings. Whilst I couldn’t warm to Kevin and didn’t have much sympathy for the situation he finds himself in when Grace discovers his secret infatuation. It’s Millie and her story that I’m drawn to the most. She manages to set fire to herself and her kitchen in a cooking accident and Kevin puts her into a care home as a temporary measure. She’s betrayed, taken in by a scam and escapes from the home.
We follow her and Aideen as they head overseas to try to find answers to their questions and retrieve a family heirloom. Can Kevin find them and will the Gogarty family heal their wounds and pull together once again?
It took a while for me to really get into the storyline of Good Eggs, and some of the plot is a bit fantastical, but overall it’s a fun read that I have enjoyed. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below for your reference. (I do earn from qualifying purchases).