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All the Bad Apples I m sitting here just trying togather myself after this incredibly hard hitting powerful story This was deeply, deeply moving Like I was nearly choking on rage tears at the end there inwardly because it s so deeply about feminism, about the history of abuse and cruelty and discrimination that queer people and women have suffered forever I m seriousI was so gobsmacked This book WENT for it And holy shit, it nailed the topic this is no light readIt s beautifully written and framed in soft words I really love the author s style and I was obsessed with The Accident Season back in 2015 , but I was just here thinking it would be about a girl finding her missing sister after they failed to be good enough for their strict family BUT It s much much than that.For starters, Deena is 17 but her older twin sisters are in their 30s Their mother is dead, father is horrible and absent, basically only returns to make sure they re being good enough He s very religious too Then Mandy goes missing, but they find blood on the rocks and her empty car and so it s ruled a suicide Thus begins Deena launching into basically this 36 hour spaced plot where she follows these letters Mandy left to find her The letters are about their family history And it was so so hard to read at times We re talking the 1930s in Ireland everything is intensely catholic, and it s inhumane how they treated women It s shocking and despicable and honestly made my stomach turn I KNOW this stuff is real too and the author s note talks about just how real it is But like pregnant unmarried women being stuffed into Catholic workhouses and nunneries where they re full on treated horrifically in the name of suffer so your sins are forgiven It deals with rape, lack of abortion rights, how women have their children ripped away from them, how hundreds nearly thousands of women babies died in these workhouse nunneries How queer people were treated and murdered It s a lot It s a lot of a lot and it s true and it makes me burn Which is exactly what the story was here to do It is about being outraged It is about not sitting in silence so history repeats itself again and again It just makes you cry at the privilege of today the past will only keep repeating itself as long as we re kept powerless by our silence present vs past story lineSo in the present, we have Deena narrating in 1st person I loved her so much She s worried about being a bad apple of the familyhiding that she s gay and drowning in the secrets of her family s past And then in the past, we go through several generations of her ancestors It s very very focused on the women, but it s all told So it doesn t read very fast and tbh it isn t my favourite style of book to read Very reflective almost But it didn t lessen how important and powerful the whole book is Like my soul is pretty much shaking in rage of what they all went through And it was so casual The parents calling their raped daughters sluts and forcing them to carry their babies and then ripping those babies awaygod it s really tough to read view spoiler And as much as I hated Deena s father grandfather who festered in his traumatic childhood until he was absolutely filled with hate his past is terrifyingly brutal too Like he would have such ptsd from being beaten and flogged all the way through that horrific orphanage school It makes sense why he is how he is And I did think it was a good contrast he festered in hate, determined his own daughters would be good , while people like Mandy strove to break the silence and shatter the chains hide spoiler This is what a curse does It takes a truth and twists it It punishes those who don t conform.ALL THE BAD APPLES is, to quote the author, a story that was, in part, fueled by rage I don t want to veer away from the specific history she s shed light on but for anyone who has looked around, confused and shocked and angry, about some of the abortion bills trying to be passed in the US You ll want to read this book Because Ireland had been living that life up until 2018 That s the problem with having a funeral for your sister without really knowing whether she s dead Without a body in the coffin, how can you be sure she won t come back Overwhelmingly, this book is a very Fowley Doyle story If you ve read her before, you ll know exactly what I mean she infuses her twisty whimsy, her magical storyweaving, her mysterious realism, into a narrative that has deeper, darker, roots In ALL THE BAD APPLES it s about women, it s about shame, it s about family I can see the headlines now Runaway Queer Kids Become Victims of Remote Cabin Chainsaw Killer, Surprising Absolutely No One I m not queer, sorry Then chances are you ll be the only one left alive I won t be speaking much to the plot because half the journey is not knowing what s real and what s not Half of this is about the history that came before the events of the moment Some of it will challenge where you think the story is going Most of it will probably break your heart The rest will make you angry I wonder are all legends kind of warped The scream of a banshee is supposed to foretell a death, but really it s a warning They re supposed to be evil ghosts, but they only ever wanted to help I bet if the banshees were men the myths wouldn t have gotten it wrong What you should know it s queer, it s family focused, it s about grief, being heard, belonging, owning up to who you really are, and is rife with secrets And apples Lots and lots of apples Bad apples, nice and normal apples, all kinds Tell your story Speak your truth Shatter the silence.I would definitely recommend reading the author s note when you finish this one It was educational and even heartbreaking I was tempted to rant about the factual elements that make up the backbone of this story, that are woven in amongst the fiction and the fantasy, but That rant doesn t belong to me I m not here to regurgitate or educate on something I know so little about But read it Read this book And then go find THE SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND And continue to enjoy the wonder and weird magic that is a Fowley Doyle experience You won t regret it I received an ARC from the publisher thank you in exchange for an honest review This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities. Idk anything about this book BUT i m willing to read this book just because of the cover,,,, hOW CAN A PERSON BE THIS BEAUTIFUL I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND There are tears in the landscape Pinpricks in the map Pain stays on in a place like this In true Moira Fowley Doyle fashion this is a stunningly written novel about women, sisters, family, friends, and about the length we go to for love It s queer, it s diverse, it s witchy, and there are mother f ing harpies It s spooky, it s feminist and it s about the strength and resilience of women in the face of their greatest historical threat men The curse isn t on our family, it s on every woman in this country Kept in shame and silence for generations Kicked out, locked up, taken away Their children sold in illegal adoptionsforced pregnancies and back street abortions Insults and prayers and keeping up appearances how do you break a curse like that This book follows women, women s rights, women s reproductive rights, the shame put upon women for being sexual creatures even as they re objectified and treated as such It s a harrowing tale of the history of Ireland and the trials that women there specifically went through in their fight for equality and reproductive rights Don t let the salt circle break Fuck fuckidy fuck This is also a story about the love between sisters Deena is determined to find her sister Mandy even though her other sister, Rachel, wishes she wouldn t She s running from a father who won t accept that she loves other girls, and toward the unknown She s following the letters Mandy left behind when she went, determined to find her and bring home the bad apple She is grappling with her sexuality but not alone Deena has her best friend Finn, and a girl she s drawn to that is tied to her family s past, and a sister she never knew she had Ida This group of kids have my heart, forever This is what a curse does It takes a truth and twists it It punishes those who don t conform It sets the parameters of conformity so narrow that few can actually stick to them We are all bad apples, Deena, plucked before we were ripe and ready, right off the family tree This is not an easy story to read but it s both magical and beautiful in its truth I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Moira s work, who has enjoyed the trend of recent women s reproductive rights stories, who fell in love with the atmosphere of The Wicked Deep or Summer of Salt You won t regret picking it up TW suicide, rape, homophobia, abuse sexual and domestic , pedophilia, incest, murder, arson, miscarriages mention of late term miscarriages and queer kids kicked out of the home ARC received at ALA All the Bad Apples has everything you should expect from a Mo ra Fowley Doyle novel beautiful atmosphere, blurred lines between the magical and the ordinary, and queer characters At the same time, it s so much darker and angrier than usual.This felt like the bookish equivalent of a scream.You might think this is a story about a lesbian who has a very traditional catholic father and who is grappling with the consequences of her older sister s disappearance and what might be a family curse, discovering her family s history in the process It is, and yet it s not All the Bad Apples is a story about the crimes of the catholic church, a story about the women whose truths are still buried and untold, a story about Irish history from the point of view of those who are always erased It s a story about how necessary the separation between church and state is, about how we shouldn t take our victories against bigotry and patriarchal systems for granted.This book made me realize is that I m kind of tired of reading about Americans problems I don t live in Ireland, but for various reasons, what they went through is much similar to my country s problems Reading about European countries from a modern European point of view is so refreshing, and I m glad this book exists.This also meant that for me this book was a lot horrifying to read than usual And even if you don t know what it means to deal with catholic fundamentalism, I recommend reading the content warnings at the end of this review.So, why not a higher rating Because and this has happened with the other novel I ve read by this author too by the end of the book, I felt like I didn t know any of the characters.Deena is a lesbian, her best friend is a bisexual and biracial black boy, she meets a girl who is also queer during this novel, and there s the beginning of what could be a romance I always want to get invested in Fowley Doyle s mostly queer found families, but I never manage, and mostly in the second half the parts about history took over the book, so that the present storyline started to feel stagnant It still surprised me, though I would have never seen any of that coming On the historical parts I loved their message and the point they were making, they just weren t that interesting to read The problem with multi generational stories is that I often struggle to get invested in anything historical and with so many characters, but that s on me that on the book.I would recommend All the Bad Apples to all of those who enjoy Leslye Walton s novels and liked the inter generational aspect of The Astonishing Color of After.Content warnings for the present storyline homophobia challenged, and mostly at the beginning, but it s there right from the first chapter , frequent mentions of what is rud to be a suicide, controlling parent, bullyingTrigger warnings for the parts about family history incestuous rape implied , rape of a minor implied , institutionalization, physical, emotional and religious abuse mostly told, not shown , one of the main characters ancestors got burned alive for being gay a witch again, told not shown , and we re also told about forced pregnancies, abortion, mothers separated from their babies, death of a baby, suicide, a lot of misogyny and bigotry I hope I haven t missed anything but there was a lot. ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewI fucking love this book It s easily one of my favourite reads of 2019 All the Bad Apples follows Deena, who undertakes a quest to find her missing older sister when she vanishes on her seventeenth birthday apparently in response to the Rys family curse The curse falls on the bad apples of the family Those who cannot be nice, normal girls The ones who have sex outside of marriage or who desire other women or act in any other way outside the norm for their gender Set in Ireland in 2012, against the backdrop of what is still a rigorously Catholic country though things are gradually changing for the better the repeal of the 8th amendment making it legal for women who need to to get abortions is a big step in the right direction The strictures and attitudes might seem farfetched for 2012, certainly for 2019 They re not There are still plenty of people, both in Ireland and outside of it, and in the western world at large, who think like the repressive and conservative characters in this book I speak from experience having been raised Irish Roman Catholic it s a special blend of fundamental religious indoctrination and superstition at it s worst At it s best, it resulted in me meeting some of the best, kindest and most tolerant people of my life but honestly the way it was practiced when I was a child and teen, Catholicism was not calculated to bring out the best in its followers This isn t just about religion This is about a system that has been allowed to grow in a way that marginalises women, poc and LGBTQIAP It s not so much that s it s anyone s fault, it s that it s everyone s responsibility to try and improve matters to question to speak out Moira Fowley Doyle does an amazing job, via the medium of the Rys family history, of tracing the origins of some of these attitudes There s no judgment, despite the rage underlying parts of the book Fury I shared in fully, having come from this particular Irish background There s a look at how the Great Famine shaped attitudes, how the English landholders mistreating Irish workers fostered a mindset geared towards intolerance when everyone you know is starving to death, it s very hard to find compassion for others sufferings From there, we follow the trail through a dark and damning history specifically backed up by the Catholic Church If you haven t heard of Magdalene Laundries, the church sanctioned mother and baby homes, the Christian Brother orphanages, you will Be aware that while it s not a gratuitous depiction, it pulls no punches It was something I knew a lot about and it still had me incandescent with rage And yet for all that, this is a remarkably hopeful novel all about reclaiming the past good stories, bad stories, hopeful and despairing stories, family stories but most of all women s stories and then building a better future out of knowing the past It had a certain amount of creepiness which I rather relished And I enjoyed all the references to Irish history and mythology it made me quite homesick at times Deena is a sympathetic character, flawed but adventurous There s no moustache twirling villains here, but also no quarter given for anyone who goes on to perpetuate a cycle of oppression and abuse just because they ve come from one themselves I loved the friend group that formed around Deena, and her family dynamic fell into strange but true and utterly believable territory I ve loved all the authors books but this is the best one yet Highly recommend TW neglect, abuse, rape off page , abortion, teen pregnancy, anti LGBT attitudes always negatively portrayed and institutional abuse infant death off page The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats This will be really embarrassing, I kept saying to my family, when she shows up at the door in a week or two When Deena s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears presumed dead her family are heartbroken But Mandy has always been troubled It s just another bad thing to happen to Deena s family Only Deena refuses to believe it s true.And then the letters start arriving Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions but a curse, handed down through the generations Mandy has gone in search of the curse s roots, and now Deena must find her What they find will heal their family s rotten past or rip it apart forever. [Reading] ➹ The Maranaw Torogan ➯ Abdullah T Madale – I kept saying to my family ❮Reading❯ ➶ Seven Hills Away and Other Stories ➮ Author N.V.M. Gonzalez – when she shows up at the door in a week or two When Deena s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears presumed dead her family are heartbroken But Mandy has always been troubled It s just another bad thing to happen to Deena s family Only Deena refuses to believe it s true.And then the letters start arriving Letters from Mandy ❮Read❯ ➯ Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog ➳ Author Edgar Calabia Samar – claiming that their family s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions but a curse [KINDLE] ✽ The New Girl (Gabriel Allon Author Daniel Silva – handed down through the generations Mandy has gone in search of the curse s roots ➩ Gabryel Honasan (Stallion, Ebook ➯ Author Sofia (PHR) – and now Deena must find her What they find will heal their family s rotten past or rip it apart forever. 4.5 5 ahhhh wow 3.5 disappointed how this book used the d slur and not in a good way to refer to the mc before using the word lesbian and she never referred to herself as a lesbian like..please can u just have ur LESBIAN mc use the word lesbian once i begRep lesbian mc, biracial black bisexual side character, wlw li TRIGGER WARNING A grandfather drugs, rapes and impregnates his teenage granddaughter It is not graphically described but it does occurI tend to come out of every Moira Fowley Doyle book angry but they re always just so damn good This is a pro choice and pro access book Let s just get that out there If you re someone who goes full even in rape, abortion shouldn t be given because it s a gift from God person, this is not a damn book for you I remember a few years ago when all of the protests and anger about abortion access in Ireland happened I cannot fucking believe there are countries LITERALLY USING THE ARGUMENTS OF THE 1800S TO TRY AND BRING BACK ABORTION BANS It makes me want to pull my hair out I cannot imagine thinking you have the right to tell a total stranger under any circumatances what they should do with their body and having to be a parent Mind your own damn business Anyways, duel timelines were so good I freaking loved how they slowly started tying together It so perfectly showed how completely messed up governments with laws directly put there by religious institutions have these multi generational effects that constantly oppress women, feminism, and access to healthcare All of the issues brought up were actually big driving forces as to why I won t touch religious institutions with a ten foot poll It s all hard to read but it s important.I really enjoyed the contemporary timeline with the 3 sisters Our main character is ownvoices lesbian I mean it d be weird not getting any queer rep from a book by Moira Fowley Doyle It really brought up this continued fight of separation of Church and religion from publicly funded entities such as schools as well as homophobia I lived in this pretty wonderful bubble growing up where I had parents and grandparents who never cared what mine or my siblings orientation was I always saw lots of support groups like GSA s and I just honestly lived in a very diverse geographic area and a country that legalized same sex equal marriage and abortion access before it was something I ever thought about and wonderful time period before Donald Trump Now I don t doubt that there was homophobia but it was most definitely not a publicly acceptable thing to be It was quite eye opening to see in 2012 that people were still homophobic This would ve really surprised me maybe 5 years ago but I now live in a very white religious geographic area where I hear homophobic things said all the time It s quite depressing so even though I am cis and straight, I could see all the homophobia in this novel happening in the real world.The witchy paranormal elements were eery but also just seemednormal somehow Maybe I just think Ireland is some magical fairyland with lepricons or something.On a positive note, the ending is a hopeful one I think that was so important for the topic That we be positive That we fight for change That we keep being loud and pushing and advocating for victims of sexual assaults, for feminism, for safe access to abortions, and to support for single and low income parents Rep the main character is lesbian and her best male friend is bisexual

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About the Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Mo ra Fowley Doyle is half French, half Irish and lives in Dublin with her husband, two daughters and two cats Mo ra s French half likes red wine and dark books in which everybody dies Her Irish half likes tea and happy endings.Mo ra spent several years at university studying vampires in young adult fiction before concentrating on writing young adult fiction with no vampires in it whatsoever Sh