The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle

Genre: Fiction | Irish Literature | Contemporary

Pages: Audiobook

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Paula Spencer is a thirty-nine-year-old working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless.

I listened to this on Audible. I would highly recommend this rather than reading a physical copy of the book, as the narrator just makes the whole thing. I’ve always been a huge lover of the Irish accent and this made some parts of the story telling hilarious.

The beginning of the story, which focused more on Paula growing up and meeting Charlo, I found both funny and endearing. And the story stayed this way for quite a while; Paula happily in love with Charlo, not knowing what a piece of shite he really is.

Towards the end, the story focuses on domestic violence, a very sensitive subject on which a lot of people have very different opinions. My personal opinion is: hit me once, or even raise your fist, and you’ll be gone, no matter how much it is going to hurt. No one deserves that kind of life.

So you can imagine whilst I am listening to the narrative of the beatings, the begging Charlo to stop, the trips to hospital, the whole time in my head I am screaming “just leave him!”. I know in reality it’s not that simple.

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors was a great story to listen to. I listened to it due to it being recommended by J.K Rowling, so I knew it had to be good. However the end got quite repetitive for me, and I was willing for the story to come to an end. I was glad, though, that Paula (sort of) got a happy ending, and the scum that is Charlo got his comeuppance. It got 3 love hearts from me. Absolutely smashing narrative and powerful story, but the end dragged on a little too much for me.