Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight: March to November by Byddi Lee

January 12, 2015 Book review, Green Giants 6 ★★★★

Green Giants is my feature where I share some of my favourite books by Irish Authors.   I’m passionate about Irish Authors, they supply us with a great and exciting mix of books, hopefully you will find something new to try.  Today it’s a new to me author – Byddi Lee – whose debut novel I devoured recently.

green giants

I loved the setting of this book.  Modern day Belfast, after the ceasefire isn’t a setting you see very often in books and it’s a vibrant, engaging one.

Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight: March to November by Byddi LeeMarch to November by Byddi Lee
Published by self published on 19th Sept 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Romance, Social Issues
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Author
Buy on Amazon

Five people. Eight months. Lives end. Lives begin.
March to November navigates the entangled points of view of Tracey Duggan and her circle of friends and foes in modern-day Belfast, Ireland as they struggle with bereavement, broken marriages, broken dreams and broken minds.

All Tracey wants is a normal life. All she has, however, is violence and betrayal from those closest to her.  Can Tracey escape the pattern of destructive relationships that plague her? Will her new boyfriend Tommy decide to be right or be happy? Will her sister-in-law Molly find the strength to deal with her new situation? Will her brother, Dermot let go of his past and man up to his mistakes? Can Dermot’s lover, Sheila really have it all?

Belfast is not the city of bombs and bullets of their childhood, but it’s still full of trouble for these five as they alternately walk, run and stumble along the road toward a shocking finale.

First Line of March to November by Byddi Lee:

“Tracey turned her kayak with a wide sweep stroke, stretching her torso forward and straightening her arm against the drag of the water, adjusting her balance with her hips and thighs so she didn’t capsize.”

My Thoughts on March to November by Byddi Lee:

Do you know the way sometimes you read books and want to be best friends with all the characters?  Well this isn’t one of those books!  All the characters are flawed and some are downright horrible at times.  But I loved spending time with them.  And even the ones that I should hate, I just don’t as they have redeeming characteristics.  OK I hated them for a bit but I came around, more or less.

I really enjoyed the realistic tone of the book and the dialogue was lifelike.  The situations in the book were also credible and I felt like I was listening in to some friends gossiping about their lives.  Warts and all.  Actually one of my Goodreads statuses sums it up perfectly:

“Getting along with this book like a house on fire!  Although Dermot can burn, he’s a piece of work!”.

There is a story about a marriage break up for two of the characters, a blossoming romance for another two characters and the stories blended well together.  I also liked that it explored mental health and depression in an evocative way.  It didn’t take over the plot but it did hit me at times and made me feel the despair of the character involved.

The page is lively and I never for a moment felt bored while reading.  I was caught up in a big messy mess about family, love and forgiveness and thoroughly enjoyed it.  In addition, it takes the prize for one of the funniest lines I’ve read this year!

“Sheila.  It’s stuck.  My willy’s stuck to the ice cream!”.  His voice rose in panic.  Sheila started to chortle again.

Overall I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more by Byddi Lee in the future.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read March to November by Byddi Lee?

I’d recommend this to you if you like contemporary fiction with realistic characters, an Irish setting and lots of family drama.  Fans of authors such as Patricia Scanlan, Carmel Harrington and Cathy Kelly should also enjoy.

Thanks to Byddi Lee for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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6 Responses to “Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight: March to November by Byddi Lee”

  1. Rachel

    Not only am I dying to read this because it’s set where I grew up, but I’m dying to read more by irish authors this year. We have so many greats, who are known world-wide, and yet I’ve read so few. It’s awful of me! I’m going to nosy back through your archives for this to see if I spot any that grab my interest and definitely try to fit more irish authors in this year.

    R x
    Rachel recently posted…Review: Heir of Fire

    • trish

      I hope you get to this one sometime Rachel as reading books about locations you know well adds an exciting element to the book. I’ve never been to Belfast and this book really made me want to visit.

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