A quick DNF review: A Ghost in the Throat

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

From Goodreads

In this stunningly unusual prose debut, Doireann Ni Ghriofa sculpts essay and autofiction to explore inner life and the deep connection felt between two writers centuries apart. In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem. In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with its parallels with her own life, and sets out to track down the rest of the story. A devastating and timeless tale about one woman freeing her voice by reaching into the past and finding another’s.

Rating if finished: 3.5 stars

 This is one of the few DNFs I feel bad about DNFing. I really wanted to finish this book, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The tl;dr of this review (which is fairly short) is that this book was really good, I was enjoying it, but I’m in a terrible reading slump and need something with a bit more of a plot to hold my attention at the moment. So I’m really considering this as more of a “return to later” than an actual DNF.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book. I was worried about it because I don’t typically enjoy “unusual prose”, but it’s really beautiful and easy to read. I also really enjoyed the chapters on Eibhlín, and how our narrator examined Eibhlín’s life and the women around her.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care for our narrator as much as I wanted to. I found her really interesting, and I did enjoy a lot of the chapters about her. But the moment I decided to DNF this was a 20-page long chapter on motherhood, and I just really didn’t care enough to continue. As I mentioned, this book was also too slow for me. I’m in such a terrible reading slump, so though I usually enjoy character-driven novels and did find this one compelling, it wasn’t enticing me to read it and I never had any desire to ever actually pick it up.

All that being said, there’s definitely an audience for this book. I can recognize how good it is and how this was a case of right book, wrong time. Hopefully when I’m not in such a slump, I’ll finish this book because I really am interested in seeing how it finishes.


So those are my thoughts! Have you read this one? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

5 thoughts on “A quick DNF review: A Ghost in the Throat

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