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This is a highly original work. Broderick has a unique voice. It is the untold tale of the Scottish islands. It is written in the most lyrical and beautiful Irish prose.
The narrative is couched in the third person as Mary (the protagonist) addresses the entire narrative to her small daughter.
Mary has lost her job, her family, her sense of self. She lives in a subsidized housing estate and longs to escape. She seduces a kilt-wearing Dutch man, trying to make him into a father for her daughter, Angel.
They move to a caravan on his mother's farm. Mary and Angel dance through their days, sipping dew from bluebells, chatting to birds and learning to be free. Their days with Wallace (the antagonist) are spent in an unreal obedience, with each chapter making contrast with their previous lives.
The sacred ceremonies Wallace's mother introduces them to are a tongue-in-cheek juxtaposition to the early chapters. Nature is abundant and Broderick is skilled in the evocation of each sense. You will hear Woof, the ever present dog. You will smell kelp drying. You will see the mountains, the Eagle and you will see far beyond them, into the imaginary folk of Mary's fantasy.
Wallace yearns for control over all the women in his life. Feeling frustrated and rejected he kidnaps Angel, leaving Mary mad and in the arms of his sister.
The January Flower is unlike anything you have read before. Prepare to have your senses and emotions enriched. You will be drawn in from the first page and be unable to put it down.
The January Flower has already been longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize.