The Irish Times review of the new novel Suzy Suzy by William Wall says Suzy Suzy is “Everything a great book should be. William Wall’s central character is vulnerable, unwittingly hilarious with a powerful voice.
The book is set in post Celtic Tiger Ireland, where Suzy’s property developer dad is another source of constant irritation and anxiety, with his unpaid taxes and thickening arteries: “We even debated the housing crisis in religion class . . . and I think maybe my dad is causing it. Like single-handedly causing the shortage because he owns like everything almost.”
From the novel (many thanks to William Wall for permission to print)
“According to Miss Leahy religion is all about meaning. But get this: God created the world out of chaos, then he created man, then he organised the days of the week so that Sunday was boring af, then he had the Jews faffing about trying to find the Promised Land which turns out to be Palestine which is an excuse to kill Palestinians, then he sent his own son to be crucified like you do, then he encouraged his true believers to crucify a lot of other people to save their souls, then finally we get Sunday Mass, The Blessed Sacrament, Forgiveness Of Sins, The Parish Fucking Priest, The Pope, Michelangelo, The Sacrament Of Marriage, The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Into Heaven and Giving Up Sweets For Lent. If I ever saw a completely fucking random get-up, this is it. Like he should have left it at chaos. If God was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company he would be toast by now. Come to think of it, maybe he’d just be a billionaire and making a major contribution to Global Warming and the Extinction Of Planet Earth aka Armageddon. Which is kind of cool, when you think about it; chaos coming again. Come back, God, all is forgiven lol.
Actually I think Armageddon is an actual God thing from the Bible idk I should google it but I’m like totally cba.
Serena doesn’t like Holly. She tells me things she thinks I don’t know. Like Holly Had a Urinary Tract Infection in second year and according to Serena It Was Because She Was Having Dirty Sex. I told her I already knew about it and it wasn’t sex just some infection. Serena thinks that’s hilarious. Or she pretends she does. She’s studying all the news reports about the Graham Dwyer trial. She has googled them all. She has screenshots. She wants to talk about what it would feel like to be completely in the power of a man.
I say: Try my dad.
Serena puts on the concerned medical professional face. How is your poor dad?
He’s in the recovery position, I say. If he obeys orders he’ll be fine.
I worry about him, she says.
Like totally randomly she’s worrying about my dad. She has her own dad to worry about and frankly if I was her I’d be worried just being in the same house as him.
She tells me that Holly’s dad did time in prison. She’s wondering if doing time in prison makes you a dominant. Less like a dominant I never met. Holly’s dad is a total pussycat. Serena doesn’t know why he was in prison, but I do and I won’t tell her. I pretend it’s a mystery. For a while we make up things he might have done. Serena’s favourite is some kind of murder – with knives or an axe. I point out that you don’t get out in under a year for an axe murder. Her second fave is pyromaniac. That’s because she likes fires. When we were kids she used to light fires in a part of her garden where she couldn’t be seen. They have this huge garden with a glasshouse and a boathouse (disused) at the bottom and a view over the sea. They have a see-saw and a climbing frame. They have a paddling pool (disused). We used to say we were experimenting with how different things burned. She even started to get petrol out of her mother’s car using a tube and a bottle. She watched YouTube videos of people throwing petrol bombs during riots. I know an OCD when I see one believe me”.