Posted in Book Reviews

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith

“Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.”

agony bun

Bun is fourteen and it’s 1986.  She has lived almost her entire life in a junk filled house with her hoarder mother.  Bun is kicked out of her home with no money and nowhere to go.  She finds a place to stay with a motley group of twenty-somethings.  Now maybe she can finally learn how to find her own way in life.

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is a well written and interesting read. Smith has a unique style and Bun is a quirky and interesting character.  All the characters are real and engaging.

The plot is fascinating. Bun deals with love, loss, numbness all while trying to find her way in life. She has some interesting coping mechanisms, which you will read about in this story.

Smith deals with difficult subjects like abuse, AIDs, and prostitution in an appropriate way. The ultimate message here is about how to deal with real family and what it means to choose your own family. This leaves you feeling a little sad, yet uplifted at the same time.

I think that this book will be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is a fresh and fascinating story.  I’m sure that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

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