Book Reviews

Review: My Coney Island Baby: A Novel by Billy O’Callaghan


My Interest

Cathy, the blogger behind both the blog 746 Books and Reading Ireland Month, gave such a beautiful review of this book here that I HAD to read (or listen) to this book. A love affair not between adorable 20-somethings? Sign me up, right? Let’s discuss….


The Story

Reminiscent of the wonderful 1970’s rom-com with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, Same Time Next Year, though told in a more serious tone, the story here concerns Michael and Caitlin who meet every month at the same seedy Coney Island Motel. Both are married to others and committed to their marriages. This affair, they know, is adultery, but it has also come to be necessary to both.

My Thoughts

I was drawn to the quotes in Cathy’s review–the spoke to something deep inside me I suppose. I did start to wonder though, first when I saw the average review was 3 stars–that was an alarm bell, but not a harbinger of doom. Then came Barbara’s (Michael’s wife) never-ending dialogue on James Matthew. Then came sex. I’m not at all anti-sex in books and if ever there was a story in which sex belongs it would be a novel about a couple who meets once a month for…sex. But…. But, I got so sick of hearing “the tip of her pink tongue.” I started having hilarious Freudian thoughts of a cat’s tongue [I KNOW! I  know!]. Then I just got tired of hearing about sex. Sex in a seedy motel room between two middle-aged people, one of whom has not aged in a pretty fashion should stay between those two middle-aged people in that seedy motel room.

I so wanted to find that beauty that the quotes had spoken to me–I so wanted to love this book. But I didn’t. No two people experience a book the same way, so Cathy’s review is not at all wrong. The book just hit me differently.  I came away, not hating it (well, ok, I nearly hated Barbara) but not enjoying it anywhere near enough to finish it.

So, for Reading Ireland Month 2020 I’m stuck with 50/50–Loved 2, two of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time; and two I just wasn’t thrilled with.

For a better appreciation of this book, please read Cathy’s review at 746 Books.

My Verdict

2 Stars

Did Not Finish

#readingirelandmonth20  #begorrathon20

2 thoughts on “Review: My Coney Island Baby: A Novel by Billy O’Callaghan

  1. I love Ireland as a setting — hope to get there one of these days. Ugh on the book beginning well but then going downhill. I agree, it’s interesting on how a book that one person loves can leave another absolutely cold. I guess it’s a good thing there are so many books out there. We all end up finding some we love.

    Liked by 1 person

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