Five Days on Ballyboy Beach. David J. O’Brien. Tirgearr Publishing. September 2014. 205 pp. pbk; 1246 KB. E-Book. ASIN #: B00NIVD8K2.
What’s the essence of a satisfying life? Some people journey through life without ever thinking about that pivotal question. The young men and women vacationing on Ballyboy Beach in the summer of 1996 don’t fit in that niche and that is what makes this story so unique and satisfying!
Derek and his college friends, male and female, are vacationing. Sure, their conversation frequently returns to intense focus on how much they can drink, what they can drink, who will go to town to get that drink, and of course the proverbial teasing and leaking of true and false bravado about sexual performance. Yes, they compare and want to know who was a better partner; but interestingly, some associate sex more with a committed (even if temporary) relationship. How old-fashioned and sexy is that?
However, in another part of the novel, they begin to discuss the topic of “destiny.” They think about the 9 to 5 jobs each has, except Derek, and where those jobs are going. They talk about what the future holds but gradually wind up realizing what they have for sure is only now and anything else could happen. Little does the reader realize how pivotal these unusual conversations are. Oh, and one must recognize that perhaps today’s youth have deeper thoughts than other older people credit them with having. It adds something special and immediately takes it out of the stereotypical zone of romance and partying commonly generally attributed to college students and young adults.
Derek moves past dreaming of just sex with anyone to beginning to deeply care about one particular young woman. It’s quite a move for him to initiate something beyond a one-night stand but he evolves nicely into this new aspect of his life, opportunity to be real and that draws others to him as a leader.
When the most important scene in the book slams the reader in the gut, he or she is certainly not expecting the ultimate destiny that in a few moments unfolds as well as its aftermath.
Five Days on Ballyboy Beach is very good contemporary fiction and nicely crafted. This reviewer would recommend it for adults and young adults as well. It’s sexy without being gross and it’s sincere and blunt without being trite. Read it and discover a great story for yourself!