22. Milkman, by Anna Burns.

It’s a long time since I’ve read a Booker winner – and I can certainly see why Milkman won the prize in 2018.

Although never clearly stated, Milkman is set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, in what is clearly a Republican community in the midst of the ‘Troubles’. The narrator is an 18 year old girl, middle daughter in a large family, with a ‘maybe boyfriend’. ‘Milkman’, who is clearly an important local IRA man, sets his sights on her, and that is the cause of the difficulties our heroine experiences.

None of the characters has a name – they are ‘maybe boyfriend’, ‘third brother-in-law’, etc. ‘Wee sisters’ provide some amusing scenes.

I can recommend listening to this as an audiobook, narrated by Brid Brennan, in a catholic Northern Irish accent .  Reading some of the Amazon reviews, it seems that some readers have found that the book is difficult reading due to a lot of long unstructured sentences. The narration overcame that as an issue for me.

I enjoyed this book. 10 out of 10.

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