Review: Touchy Subjects by Emma Donoghue

Touchy Subjects

by Emma Donoghue

A man finds God and finally wants to father a child – only his wife is now forty-three years old. A coach’s son discovers his sexuality on the football field. A roommate’s bizarre secret liberates a repressed young woman. From the unforeseen consequences of a polite social lie to the turmoil caused by a single hair on a woman’s chin, Donoghue dramatizes the seemingly small acts upon which our lives often turn.

Many of these stories involve animals and what they mean to us, or babies and whether to have them; some reply biblical plots in modern contexts. With characters old, young, straight, gay, and simply confused, Donoghue dazzles with her range and her ability to touch lightly but delve deeply into the human condition.

This book is a collection of 19 short stories, and boy did I love each and everyone. They may have only been the length of 10-15 pages but they were packed with a punch and smacked you right in the face.

The author’s way with words is intense and each character had so much depth, confusion, love and intensity that there was no way that the story could have gone on any longer. There was a twist to each story, and a twist that you really could not have seen coming, but one that really fitted into the story line. The author has intelligently explored our most human flaws, insecurity’s and ridiculously trivial issues (for example one story was solely based on the issue a husband had with a single hair on his wife’s chin).

This book is jam packed with brilliant writing, and I recommend that you source a copy from somewhere.

Favourite story: Oops (you will have to read it to discover its secrets), I can’t say anything because it only went for 5 (and a tiny bit) pages, so there’s not even room for me to leave a quote.

Published by Virago

Recommended Retail Price $24.99

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4.5/5


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