Sour by Alan Walsh | Debut novel set in a mythical Irish landscape

Sour by Alan Walsh is a modern retelling of the myth of Deirdre of the Sorrows. And, since a bit of escapism doesn’t go astray every now and then, when I got the opportunity to review it, I thought, ‘why not?’

Sour is a funny and at times dark story. It is set in a mythical Irish landscape populated by strange beasts. There’s a crow that smokes. There’s a goat possessed by a banshee. The humans are pretty strange too.  Essentially it’ a tale of runaway children and the search to find them.

Dee O’Loughlin is ‘a strange unnatural beauty’. She is kept under lock and key by her father. But Dee runs away with brothers Cormac and Declan Mac Neassa.

Mythical creature

The story begins when Conall Donoghue ‘a beetroot-faced, mule of a man’ sets out to find the Declan. Conall is accompanied by a ‘Púca’. The ‘puca’ is a mythical creature that only some of the other characters can see.

Sour is an imaginative fantasy. For the most part, the story is told from the Púca’s point of view. The storytelling is a bit confusing but if  you know the myth of Deirdre of the Sorrows, that helps. If you don’t, there’s a good summary on Alan Walsh’s blog.

[Disclosure: received a free review copy of Sour]