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It's very easy to be sceptical when famous people decide to branch out into new markets in their quest to prolong their celebrity or increase their fortune. Actors become singers and politicians become writers, with varying degrees of talent. What's refreshing about singer Brian Kennedy's first foray into the literary world is that his writing talent is evident from the first page.
Set in Kennedy's native Belfast at the height of the Troubles the book features sixteen-year-old Fergal, misunderstood by his family and unsure of himself. His relationship with the new parish priest - Father Mac - helps him discover a talent for singing and awakens his sexuality. It's a simple tale, but where it shines is in its humour and starkly honest depiction of Fergal's sexual longings and the harshness of Belfast life at the time.
Where the tale falters is in the ease with which the devout Father Mac gives in to his attraction to Fergal. There's a lack of realism here. Someone with Father Mac's faith should struggle much more than he does with his desires.
'The Arrival of Fergal Flynn' comes across as a very personal tale that is clearly close to its author's heart. Kennedy's humour and honesty combine to make him a natural storyteller and his first book a moving and enjoyable read.