Ross O'Carroll-Kelly’s new, 384-page novel Schmidt Happens is filled with humour from the beginning to the end, while dealing with the statutory family drama and predicaments, writes Hannah Byrne. 

37- year-old Ross is faced with many difficult obstacles which he has to overcome in relation to family which includes his wife Sorcha, daughter Honor, son Ronan and his triplets Brian, Johnny and Leo - the triplets are known as troublemakers all around Dublin because of their bad behaviour. To make matters worse, Ross' s wife Sorcha has just had a baby boy with a different man, Fionn, who is now living in the same house.

"I hear Fionn say something that stops me dead in my tracks. He goes, 'I'll go and get my things from the car.’ I turn around and I'm like, ‘Your things? What things?.’ And - i swear to fock - he’s there, ‘ I'm moving in Ross."

Meanwhile, Ross’s mother is eager to make him seriously regret not saving her from almost choking to death last year. Also, his parents-in-law are still living in his back garden, there is no shortage of drama and spectacle in the novel - Ross indeed has a talent for getting himself into sticky situations. There is never a quiet time for the O’ Carroll-Kelly family, as someone is always facing some sort of dilemma. 

Throughout the novel, the distinctly Irish comedy will unfailingly evoke a fit of giggles from the reader.

"I look down. Oh Jesus Christ. Leo is quite literally humping Sasha’s leg, going, ‘WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!’ ‘Like father, like son,’ I go."

Schmidt Happens runs the gamut of family feuds and dramas, but it also teaches the audience about the importance of family and friend relationships. Typically, the O'Carroll-Kelly stories appear to render serious issues humorous, but the story can be curiously heartwarming too at times. Recommended.

Hannah Byrne