Sunday, May 8, 2011

Queen of the Simile: Ciara Geraghty

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Ciara Geraghty. The last post I wrote on her, I reviewed her second book, Becoming Scarlett and publicly declared that Geraghty was the indisputable Queen of Chick Lit.

There are a handful of writers that I wait with bated breath for their new releases: Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George and Ciara Geraghty.

Geraghty's third book came, Finding Mr. Flood, came out in January and I was down at my local bookstore before they even loaded it onto the shelves.

Finding Mr. Flood follows the story of a one Dara Flood. A petite brunette, Dara works at the local animal shelter and lives with her mother and her older sister, Angel, who is in dire need of a kidney transplant. Dara lives without expectation; it's simpler that way. That way she can't be disappointed. Days before she was born, her father, Mr. Flood walked out on the family never to be seen again. They say parental abandonment is the one thing a child can not recover from. Well it has certainly shaped the Flood women's resulting lives. Enter into the mix Stanley Flinter a very short man (luckily no short man complex) who is a private detective that Dara enlists in the effort to find Mr. Flood to see if he is a match to donate a kidney for Angel.

As the novel unfolds, Dara begins to test the waters with her toe and steps out of her comfort zone. Dara is not a larger than life character like Grace was in Amazing Grace, but she is straightforward and guileless and a casualty of life in a way that makes you want to reach out and right it.

For those critics of chick lit who dismiss it as shallow and about shopping for shoes, I'd suggest that they pick up a Geraghty book and have a rethink.

One last thing. It's about Geraghty's writing style and her use of similes.

I first fell in love with similes about twenty-five years ago when I read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and in it he described -a corpse, I think- 'as pallid as a funeral lily.' I have never forgotten that.

Geraghty's books are littered with similes and nobody does it better. They are rich in description and I can't help but drink them up.

For example:

'A possibility- as remote as the Galapogos islands.'

'A cloud closed around her like a curtain.'

'Clouseau....ran the length of Dollymount Strand, straining at his lead and pulling Stanley along behind him, like a kite.'

Regarding some one's nose: 'It rose from his face like a bus coming over a hill.' Brilliant.

''Well,' he said, smiling a smile that revealed teeth like gravestones: long and grey and listing in different directions.'

Luckily for us fans, Geraghty just signed a two book deal with her publisher, Hodder & Stoughton for six figures. Well deserved, I might add.