Book Review

Book Review : My Dad Is Ten Years Old by Mark O’Sullivan.

MyDadIsTenYearsOldHis name is Jimmy. They told us not to call him Dad any more. It might freak him out.

The accident changed everything. Once, my Dad was the perfect father. We were the perfect family. Now he’s got the mind of a ten-year-old.

From one crazy day to the next, we lose a little more of the man we knew and loved.

And then a shocking discovery about his past makes us question everything …

I picked this book up purely based on the title, the blurb on the back suggested that there might be more to the book than I was expecting from the title and so I borrowed it from the library and got reading. There are two main plot threads to the book, the first is the one I was expecting – the story of a family adjusting to Jimmy (the father) suffering a traumatic brain injury that has left him with the mind of a ten-year-old and no memories of any of them. The second however was more of a surprise – there is a mystery thread as the family find that Jimmy had been keeping secrets from them and they try and unravel them.

The book is narrated by Eala, she’s the middle child of three with an older brother Sean and baby brother Tom. She’s an interesting character, she’s at that tricky stage of being a teenager and then has all the added pressures of her family situation which results in her not always being the most sympathetic of characters. At times I found her to be pretty self-centred but then I think she probably had reasons to be. There were lots of characters that I liked, I would have liked to know a bit more about Sean as he interested me.

One small issue I did have with the book was with the use of Irish slang. I don’t normally mind it when colloquial language and terms are used, I find it interesting to see how language varies by location, but in this book I found at times that I was having to just guess at what words meant. This did have the effect of pulling me out of the book periodically.

I enjoyed the book but it didn’t quite live up to what I’d been expecting from it. I think it was an interesting topic to cover but I think perhaps that whilst the mystery element was added to increase the drama for me instead it took away from the plotline I was really interested to read.

My Dad Is Ten Years Old is published by Puffin in the UK.

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