... hang out the flags. Oh sorry, did i mention flags? Another contentious issue in Northern Ireland where #milkman
could really only be set despite the suggestion that it could be any community in a civil war situation. I found the stream of consciousness style so rambling and off at a tangent (and often not even very interesting a tangent) that it couldn’t hold my interest for more than a few pages at a time. Ma and wee sisters couldn’t possibly know what is going on in middle sister’s head and I couldn’t get what the point of half of it was either. I just wanted it to be over, but that wasn’t possible because there was all this stuff about a cat being blown up by a nazi bomb, and not even a local bomb, in the 10 minute area and middle sister picking up the dead cat’s head in a female handkerchief wrapped in a male handkerchief??? Then there was maybe boyfriend a hoarder of car parts and a lover of sunsets but he’s in trouble because the car parts come from a car which has a Union Jack on it. Middle sister lives in an area where there is a war against the the state -she still goes to French evening classes and holds down a normal job- we never find out what she does or maybe I’d nodded off or maybe it’s classified information I the reader am not allowed to be party to. She gets into trouble when she becomes the subject of attention from milkman, a shadowy paramilitary figure who turns up when least expected and maybe follows her round in a white van or maybe doesn’t. I’m afraid I wasn’t sure when Anna Burns was being ironic and when she wasn’t. Some of the pettiness and refusal to accept anything from ‘over the water’ I know from living in Northern Ireland could well be true though even James Bond wasn’t acceptable 🤣 as he was patriotic and clearly from ‘Over the Water’ ....maybe she’s pulling the reader’s leg or maybe she’s not.
There are humorous episodes in the book but I found the laboured way in which they were described removed a lot of the humour for me. Just as maybe boyfriend was being threatened by the men in balaclavas, a man from the Arts Council arrived to talk about erecting a blue plaque on the wall.. continued ⬇️