Lia Mills: Books of the Year
Haunting fly-on-the-wall accounts of war and its effects
The most haunting book I read this year was My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir (Jonathan Cape), by the poet Brian Turner, whose two collections Here Bullet and Phantom Noise also deal with his experience of war.
David Finkel’s Thank You for Your Service (Scribe) is a vivid, fly-on-the-wall account of American soldiers, returned from Iraq, as they and their families struggle to cope with the after-effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Read together, they suggest that the only possible victor in any war is war itself.
Blood Debts, by Celia de Fréine (Scotus Press), is the long-overdue translation into English of Fiacha Fola, a narrative sequence of poems in the voice of a woman who contracts hepatitis C after being given infected anti-D. It’s a powerful account of the personal, familial and wider social and political implications of the blood scandals.
Fallen, by Lia Mills, is published by Penguin Ireland