In Dublin we follow Deena, one of three sisters in a cursed family. Bad Apples, it says, Bad Apples on the family tree that once they turn seventeen, the curse comes for them. Deena just turned seventeen, comes out to her sister and father, and her sister Mandy goes missing, claimed dead. Deena refuses to believe that Mandy is dead, cannot accept the funeral and the apologies, she finds a letter from Mandy, and goes after her to the end of the world, for answers, for truth, to end the curse.
Moira Fowley-Doyle has the market of Irish, queer, witchy ya speculative contemporary novels. I’ve read Spellbook for the Lost and Found by her and loved that and so was eagerly anticipating her third novel. I didn’t get around to it until now and I’m glad I finally picked it up. In a truly emotional journey, we follow Deena as she uncovers the truth of her family, of Ireland’s treatment towards young women, and the truth of herself and who she is. This is a dark and sad story full of heartache and heartbreak and anger.
I think it’s necessary to say that there are trigger warnings for abuse, bullying, slut shaming, and abortion. If you’re able to handle these though, this story is so worth it, it’s so very important, made more important by the chain reaction of it.
Like all of her other novels, All the Bad Apples does have a very autumnal vibe to it so if that impacts when you read it, I understand. I think having a few candles lit and reading this on a fall stormy night would be peak aesthetic and enhance the creepy ambiance of the story. This is a bit more emotional though, so I would consider keeping some tissues at hand.