Sinead Crowley – Can Anybody Help Me?

As we move deeper and deeper into a world where most of our daily business is conducted online it becomes almost second nature to converse with people online as we would do in confidence with close friends. A lot of information about most people is available after a quick search online. The issue of the dark road we could be heading down is at the heart of Sinead Crowley’s debut novel.

Yyvonne is fairly new to Ireland having moved there from London with her husband, a TV producer. She’s struggling to cope with motherhood, an experience she finds totally draining for a large part of the time. Motherhood means you’re not just the same person you were, you’ve now become ‘Mum’.

She discovers help is at hand through a site called NetMammy. Anyone that’s used a discussion forum such as this will know that a feeling of friendship can build up over time as you relate to particular individuals or groups. You can feel the comfort of strangers and have the confidence to talk about things that you wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable with in day-to-day life.

The story here revolves around the experience of Yyvonne, the death of Miriam, a NetMammy user and Claire Boyle, the woman investigating Miriam’s death. Claire is pregnant herself but is totally driven in getting to the bottom of what’s happened to Miriam.

It’d be cruel to give away too much about how the story unfolds but this really is tremendous read. It kept me guessing throughout and did a great job of showing the development of these online relationships. It’s a great debut from the RTE arts correspondent that shows she can put together a story that most readers will find difficult to put down before finding out the conclusion.

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