The pink cage by

Beats blasted through the door to Jazz's apartment.
Derbhile Dromey - The pink cage - c.2011 - pg.7

Astrid is a bitch. She doesn’t see herself that way, but as I started this novel I really didn’t like her. She is mean, sarcastic, and insulting. Especially to those people she sees as “limpets”, grasping on to people, needing their help, and never letting go.

The Pink Cage is, according to the blurb on the back, about “a love that’s not quite forbidden, and a girl with hair the colour of day-old snow”. I’d say it is a novel about coming to term with who you are, limitations and faults, as well as your abilities and merits. Astrid is a product of her upbringing, and as I read more of this book I really came to understand why she is the way she is. Her childhood is told in flashes along side her skiing trip with the visually impaired. It is a beautifully written book. Especially when Dromey is writing about music. Astrid is a huge music fan, and while her choice of electronic isn’t usually what I’d listen to this book, Astrid’s reactions to hearing Massive Attack in particular, mean that I will be listening to the book’s playlist on youtube as soon as I get the time.

The Pink Cage - Derbhile Dromey

The Pink Cage - Derbhile Dromey

The ending felt a bit rushed and pat to me, especially considering how well developed Astrid is as a character, for her to have that sudden swing was a bit, hmmm. Then again, I think that we have all had moments when we recognise something in ourselves and make a resolution to change. As with new year resolutions we may have great ideas, but whether or not it takes hold is a different matter.

I’m not sure if those of you outside Ireland will even be able to pick this up, but if you do get the chance I would recommend it. It isn’t a perfect book, but there is loads to enjoy in it. I really liked Astrid’s childhood in particular. And her unhappiness in the school of visually impaired girls is so palpable. And then her reaction when her father comes to collect her, heart-breaking.

It is strange. When I started reading this book I didn’t know if I would even stick with it. But the more I read the more I got into it, even while disliking Astrid and wanting to smack her and make her see that she was hating others because they had her problems. And now, thinking about it after I’ve finished it I think I liked it even more.

I can’t find any other bloggers that have reviewed this, if you have, let me know and I’ll link to you.

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12 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    It does sound interesting, thanks for reviewing it.

    I like the idea of the playlist.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Literature and War Readalong September 30 2011: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

    • Fence says:

      I've seen the playlist before, I know Stephanie Meyer for one often released lists of what songs she was listening to when writing the book. But this is much more effective as music is such a huge part of who Astrid is.

      I have the Things The Carried as my next "book to read at work" so hoepfully I'll get to it soon.

  2. Kailana says:

    Good start to your post! I was reading it on Google Reader, so I saw the first two lines… :)
    Kailana´s last blog post ..Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) by Robin Hobb

  3. Lanod says:

    Hey, you can buy The Pink Cage on amazon – http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?field-keyw

  4. Lorna says:

    I haven't read it yet but our bloggers book club will be reading it in November and will be posting our reviews the last Sunday in November. By the way, if you know of anyone that would like to join a bloggers book club, do let them know, the more the merrier :), Lorna

  5. Orla says:

    The first stop on Derbhile's Pink Cage tour is coming up on my blog, Wait Til I Tell You, http://www.waittilitellyou.com, this Monday Sept. 19th.

  6. Hi,

    I liked your review, looking forward to reading it.

    There are a few of us reviewing this book as part of a blog book tour.

    Here are the details:

    The blog tour is due to take place 19th-23rd September, and the bloggers who are taking part are:

    Orla Shanaghy – Wait Till I Tell You, http://waittilitellyou.com/

    Sian Phillips – Sian Philips Blog, http://www.sianphillips.ie/

    Louise Phillips – 120 Socks, http://www.120socks.blogspot.com/

    Michelle Moloney King – Michelle Moloney King Blog, http://teachermoloneyking.com/

    Derek Flynn – Rant, With Occasional Music ,www.derekflynn.wordpress.com
    Michelle Moloney Kin´s last blog post ..Time matters

  7. oops, don't know how that last part, of my last blog post, got in….the strange world of copy and paste!
    Michelle Moloney Kin´s last blog post ..Time matters

  8. Oh cool plug in!
    Michelle Moloney Kin´s last blog post ..The Yank, lunch and the radio