Book of the Week

The Thing About December by Donal Ryan. Photo: PA Photos/Doubleday.
The Thing About December by Donal Ryan. Photo: PA Photos/Doubleday.

The Thing About December by Donal Ryan

The follow-up to a first novel is never easy, especially when that novel- The Spinning Heart- won the Guardian First Book Award and Book of the Year at the Irish book awards; was long listed for the Man Booker prize; and was on the Waterstones Eleven list.

However, this book proves that Ryan is no flash in the pan. While similarly sparse and curiously poetic in style, The Thing About December is a novel of huge emotional depth.

The writing is cool and detached, narrated by Johnsey Cunliffe, the 24-year-old village ‘eejit’.A hugely satisfying follow-up, and a gem of a novel.