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The Carnival at Bray

The Carnival at Bray

by Jessie Ann Foley

Narrated by Erin Moon

Unabridged — 8 hours, 51 minutes

Jessie Ann Foley

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Overview

It's 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world.

When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life- altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all, live.

The Carnival at Bray is an evocative ode to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit Generation" and a heartfelt exploration of tragedy, first love, and the transformative power of music.



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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The story, writing and talent of Jessie Ann Foley are strong."  —Louise Brueggemann, children’s services supervisor, Naperville Public Library




“Foley’s young adult debut offers readers a wonderful, unique picture of adolescence from a fresh new voice.”  —Emil Ostrovski, author, The Paradox of Vertical Flight

"I really fell in love with The Carnival at Bray!"  —Becky Quiroga Curtis, former YA buyer, Books & Books, Miami, FL



“The narrative subtly and carefully interweaves peer and family drama . . . Every character, every place comes alive with crisp, precise detail. Powerfully evocative.”  —Kirkus, Starred Review



“Promising debut, set in the heyday of grunge . . . The narrative voice is clear and compelling . . . the secondary characters are complex and sympathetic: Foley has also populated Bray with a host of quirky, loving, and memorable background characters, which enriches the story.”  —School Library Journal




“Sweet is the wrong word for The Carnival at Bray, but tender works just fine.”  —New City, Recommended Review



The Carnival at Bray is a complex, eloquent, and deep look at one teen’s journey . . . I sense many more awards to come – it’s that good. Highly recommended!”  —Wandering Educator



“Beautifully-done coming of age story . . . as bittersweet as a first love and just as unforgettable.”  —Forever Young Adult

School Library Journal

09/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—This promising debut, set in the heyday of grunge, tells the story of Maggie Lynch, a displaced Chicagoan and grunge music fan, living in a quiet town (Bray) on the Irish Sea. Maggie was uprooted from her friends, her music scene, and her beloved Uncle Kevin when her romantically fickle mother married her latest boyfriend, resulting in a move to his hometown. During her time of difficult adjustment to Ireland, Maggie falls in love with Eion the very moment a devastating loss hits her family, leading to rebellion and a journey to Rome to see Nirvana and fulfill Uncle Kevin's wish for her. Foley sets the scene vividly, writing that Bray has a "soggy sort of grandeur" and weaving in the tiny cultural differences that Maggie has to navigate as an American. The narrative voice is clear and compelling, but Maggie often makes decisions that feel incongruous to her character. She has an independent spirit, but Eion only joins her on the journey because she needs a rescue. A self-professed Nirvana fan, which is critical to the plot, she never seems to like the band as much as she is trying to impress Uncle Kevin. However, the secondary characters are complex and sympathetic: Foley has also populated Bray with a host of quirky, loving, and memorable background characters, which enriches the story. Recommended for teens who enjoy travelogue romance stories or novels about rock music.—Susannah Goldstein, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2014-08-20
In 1993, 16 year-old Maggie and her family move from Chicago to small-town Ireland with the latest of her mother's romantic partners. Moving to Bray, Maggie leaves behind warm, practical Nanny Ei and beloved Uncle Kevin, a 26-year-old who plays in a band, sneaks her into grunge rock concerts and makes himself responsible for Maggie's musical education. Arriving in Ireland, Maggie finds that she's no better at fitting in with the girls of St. Brigid's than she had been at her old school. Instead, she forms a loose web of connections with local figures: Dan Sean, a Bray legend at 99, whose home becomes a refuge for Maggie in times of family conflict; Aíne, the bookish classmate with whom Maggie reluctantly goes on double dates; and Eoin, the gentle boy with whom Maggie falls in love. The narrative subtly and carefully interweaves peer and family drama—much of it involving troubled Uncle Kevin—with the highs and lows of the grunge music scene, from the transformative glory of a Nirvana concert to the outpouring of grief around the death of Kurt Cobain. Every character, every place comes alive with crisp, precise detail: Maggie's heartbroken mother "howling along in an off-key soprano" to Joni Mitchell's Blue, Dan Sean welcoming Maggie with a Cossack's hat and a hefty glass of port. Powerfully evocative. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940171109875
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 12/16/2021
Edition description: Unabridged

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