When Janie Ryan is born, she’s just the latest in a long line of Ryan women, fishwives to the marrow, always ready to fight. Her violet-eyed Grandma had predicted she’d be sly, while blowing Benson and Hedges smoke rings over her Ma’s swollen belly. In the hospital, her family eyed her suspiciously, so close she could smell whether they’d had booze or food for breakfast. It was mostly booze.
Tony Hogan tells the story of a childhood of squalid Scottish council flats, screeching women, feckless men, fags and booze and drugs, the dole queue and only the very worst kinds of food. It is also the story of an irresistible, irrepressible heroine, a hilarious family you can’t help but adore, the absurdities of the eighties and the fierce bonds that tie people together no matter what. Told in an arrestingly original – and cry-out-loud funny – voice, it launches itself headlong into the middle of one of life’s great fights, between the pull of the past and the freedom of the future.
Available from all good bookshops and online