Title: Dark WarningAuthor: Marie Louise FitzpatrickPublisher: Orion Children'sPublication Date: 5 Jan 2012Synopsis from Goodreads
Ever since Taney was four she's known she could see things before they happened. She also knows that she must keep her gift a secret - at all costs. Teased and isolated by the local children for being strange, as Taney grows older, she has more and more questions. Why is her father so terrified of her gift? What happened to her mother? Then she meets the mysterious Billy, an outsider just as she is. Charming and attentive, Billy is the first person with whom Taney can simply be herself; with whom she can share her strange burden, and begin, instead, to feel proud of her ability. But then the visions come - lone girls attacked as they walk home at night. And as Billy begins to withdraw further into himself, Taney must ask herself who to trust - her only friend, or the visions that torment her dreams..
REVIEW (reviewed for We Love This Book)
There is a mystery surrounding Tanney’s mother from the beginning. Tanney has inherited her ‘gift’ from her mother who died when she was very young. Tanney is made to feel that her ‘gift’ is something to be afraid of and must be kept hidden. Her father’s reaction was quite surprising and his change in attitude to Tanney was a little shocking.
The book is full of Irish colloquialisms and dialect that did take a while to get used to but added to the scene setting and sense of realism to the story. The sensory encompassing descriptions brought the historical setting to vivid life. The sense of class divide and poverty was clearly depicted within the narrative.
All of the characters are extremely well developed. I especially liked the character of Billy, born without legs, having to beg for a living and how many of the people help him even in small acts of kindness. His self-depreciating humour was fun for a while but became tainted as the story developed. Billy’s relationship with Tanney showed a form of co-dependency and even from the beginning I had my doubts as to whether this was healthy for either of them. They banded together due to their common status as outsiders. Later developments made me question whether Tanney’s relationship with Billy influenced the outcome.
They way in which relationships alter as we grow to adulthood were poignantly portrayed. The shift in how we are perceived from childhood via the trauma of adolescence to adulthood and in the same respect how we perceive others and understand their actions better as we mature ourselves.
I have to say that on the whole I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting to. I guessed the plot twists and found Tanney a little self-absorbed. I don’t think that the continual use of colloquialism and dialect written into the story aided it as a whole. It would have probably benefitted from progressing the speech alongside the increased maturity of the characters. A lot of information is divulged at the end which could have been introduced earlier in order to give better understanding of certain characters.
An interesting read if only for the powerful depiction of Irish life at the time and people’s attitudes to anyone ‘different’.