Bog child by Siobhan Dowd

Publishers’ blurb

The extraordinary story of one long summer in the life of an 18-year-old boy caught up in the chaos and conflict of Ireland in the 1980s.

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks as if she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him – his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into smuggling mysterious packages across the border – a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the
bog child unfurls.

Further information

Siobhan Dowd’s website


3 comments on “Bog child by Siobhan Dowd

  1. Cleverly plotted and intricately woven. The novel consists of two parallel stories. Siobhan Dowd takes us back to the hunger strikes in 1980s Northern Ireland during a time characterised by violence between the nationalists and unionists. Fergus McCann, whose brother Jo is one of the strikers in Maze prison, is in emotional turmoil because of the effect it’s having on the entire family. Dowd, who sadly died shortly after writing Bog Child, sensitively captures the difficulties the family face while Jo declines in the infamous Maze prizon.

    At the route of the story, there is the discovery, by Fergus and his grandfather, of what seems to be an Iron Age girl buried in a peat bog. It seems she has been executed, as a noose is found around her neck. Dowd’s aim is for the reader to see that the Fergus’ and Mel’s story intermingle. Both characters face the atrocities of politics, violence and human sacrifice.

  2. The book is written in a young sort of tone. A boy who stays in Ireland is sitting his exams and has a lot on his plate plus the troubles against England. His brother recently joins the hunger strikers to fight for freedom. This is the last thing he needs. To clear his mind he goes out long runs in the morning. A boy approaches him and asks if he would like to save his brother by taking bombs over the border. He agrees only to find out what he delivers are not what he thought. On a run he finds the dead body of a young girl in a peat bog. She is trying to speak to him. trying to give him advice. Could it possible be an angel?

    I would definately recommend this book to other people of all ages becouse it is very interesting with lots of things going on.

  3. Im about three quarters of the way through this book and i really like it. I like how they find a girl in the dirt and how Fergus’s big brother, Joe is in prison, then he joins the hunger strikers. I really like how it’s based on the troubles in Ireland because it’s really interesting to read about. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about the troubles of Ireland or mystery sort of things.

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