It is the start of the Irish Rising in 1968 when we begin our story and start to follow the players in Exit Unicorns. Jamie Kirkpatrick has just lost his father due to mysterious circumstances, Casey Riordan has just been released from jail, and Pamela O'Flaherty has crossed an ocean to return to past memories and a love that she once had. These three come together (plus Casey's brother, Patrick, who is my personal favorite) through intense and horrific happenings as the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in Ireland begins.
I was lucky enough to receive an autographed copy of Exit Unicorns in the mail some bit ago to read. I've got to say now that I've finished it, I could not be more thrilled that I own a book by Cindy Brandner that she, in fact, touched. I am both grateful and resentful that I have this novel. I am grateful because it is a beautiful piece of literature that has emotionally raked me over the coals, and I resent it for the same exact reason.
Civil rights movements, revolutions and the like are very emotional and saddening topics, and Cindy Brandner has captured just that feeling. The series of thoughts that go through one's head when they're being affected by such dire circumstances are dark and frightening. This author puts you right there, in the middle of the action. I would like to compare the beginning of Exit Unicorns to one of those matching games where you have to find pairs of the same picture. Cindy Brandner has given you pieces of the story to put together yourself, and once you get them matched up and start to put the story and action together, it hits you like a freight train. Suddenly you're in the action and feeling the desperation, love and anger the characters are feeling.
Among the sweetness and sadness I felt with this novel, I also had that quick shift from one emotion to another, where everything would be normal and suddenly I would burst out laughing. The Riordan boys are definitely part of a family I want to join! (Not just for the humor, but for everything that comes in the Riordan package.)
I love this book. I absolutely love it. I can't wait to start Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears (book two) and see what lies ahead for Pamela, Jamie and the Riordan brothers. Although, I fear for my favorite characters' safety...