Make Yourself at Home by Ciara Geraghty

I was drawn to this book by the striking cover image, with the rugged and isolated setting which jumps out at you. I have never read anything by this author, but I was excited by the prospect of discovering an “Irish Jojo Moyes” as she is one of my favourite authors.


It’s the last place she wants to be. It’s the only place left to go         

Marianne left home when she was fifteen following a family tragedy, one that changed all their lives. She never planned to return.

But when her carefully controlled life falls apart, she has no choice but to return to Ancaire, the ramshackle house overlooking the Irish Sea, where her mother, Rita, a flamboyant artist and recovering alcoholic still lives.

As her mother invites her to pull up a chair and make herself at home, alongside the friends, family and neighbours who wander its rooms. Marianne discovers that sometimes home isn’t a house, it’s a place in your heart.

Set on the wild Irish coast, with an unforgettable cast of characters, this deeply emotional novel is full of Ciara Geraghty’s trademark heart and poignancy.  

My thoughts:

I always think it is very brave, intriguing and gripping when an author starts a book from the vantage point of the main character’s life having already crumbled in so many ways. It ensures an immediate interest in Marianne, and for many, including me, would evoke sympathy.

This is a raw, beautiful and evolving exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, how it can unravel and also how extreme circumstances can cause people to change and come together.

With a sympathetic, believable and complex main character in Marianne, and a vibrant and unique set of background characters in the “Get Well Sooners”, this is a lively and poignant book with a strong message about home and identity, but also with a soft humour and welcome feel throughout that adds a warmth which juxtaposes well with the rugged landscape and the chaos that describes Marianne’s situation at the beginning.

I was surprised how quickly I got into this book, how easy it was to read and how much I enjoyed it. This sort of book is definitely up my street, and I’ll definitely look out for this author in the future. I’d recommend her to fans of Sheila O Flanagan, Jojo Moyes, and Cecelia Ahern.


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