Siobhan Doyle grew up with her Uncle Kee at their family pub, The Leeside, in rural Ireland. Kee has been staunchly overprotective of Siobhan ever since her mother’s death in an IRA bombing, but now that she’s an adult, it’s clear that in protecting her Kee has unwittingly kept her in a state of arrested development.
The pair are content to remain forever in their quiet haven, reading and discussing Irish poetry, but for both Siobhan and Kee fate intervenes. A visiting American literary scholar awakens Siobhan to the possibility of a fulfilling life away from the Leeside. And her relationship with Kee falters after the revelation of a family secret. In the face of these changes, Siobhan reaches a surprising decision about her future.
Lyrical and heartfelt, Kathleen Anne Kenney’s Girl on the Leeside deserves a place alongside contemporary literature’s best-loved coming-of-age novels.