Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling – Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Publisher: Gill Books.

Published: 2017.

Rating: 7/10.

OMGWACA (2017) has an interesting source history. It originally began as a Facebook group of the same name where the authors would discuss Irish-isms with others across the social media platform. The popularity of the group led to a publication deal, of which we are all glad came to fruition. 

The novel is the story of Aisling, an Irish girl, who works and lives in Dublin during the week and travels down the country at the weekends to her parents house. Throughout the story, we explore her desires about settling down and wanting to marry her long-term boyfriend (who hasn’t yet popped the question), her weekends away, and the drama of her work and personal life. 

The narrative is an amalgam of Irish cultural references, satirically commenting on contemporary society as well as old traditions. It will have Irish readers nodding in agreement and bursting out laughing at the pointed observations. It’s undoubtedly brimming with humour as the authors aren’t afraid at calling out “notions” behaviour while highlighting the ridiculousness of old established thinking. 

Most of the events throughout the novel explore Irish behaviour, like having a pint before going on a flight or the craic of an Irish wedding. The narrative also comments on contemporary Irish issues like the Repeal the 8th campaign, which grounds the novel at a particular point in Irish history while also providing a glimpse at societal discussions in contemporary Ireland. It manages to blend both the serious and humorous tones well. 

Recommended for anyone wishing to take a crash-course in contemporary Irish culture. 

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