Reviewed

“The Agony of Bun O’Keefe” by Heather Smith, a story in which agony is poetic and good

I received a copy of The Agony of Bun O’Keefe from NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Bun O’Keefe is fourteen when her obese, hoarder mother tells her to get out. Having lived alone with her mother, not even being allowed to go to school, Bun has educated herself with the books and magazines and VHS tapes that were someone else’s trash that her mother brought home. So when she’s told to go, she goes.

She’s taken in by a twenty-something man called only Busker Boy who becomes her guardian, protector, and big brother as he takes her to live in a house he shares with Big Eyes, a young woman who ran away from a convent, Chef, a dishwasher who dreams of being a chef, and Chris/Cher, a drag queen whose parents meant him to be a doctor. It’s a motley group of personalities and yet they become one another’s biggest champions, all learning together every day.

And Bun learns how to be a part of society, to interact, to have friendships and to lean on people. 

It’s a story of growth, of fighting to save yourself, and of love in it’s purest form.

I laughed, I cried, and I finished the book so happy.

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