“Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling” is hilarious, moving and a little bit sad all at the same time. Written by two graduates of journalism, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, it’s an Irish internet phenomenon. Aisling was born as a Facebook group and attracted such a huge following that she turned into a book. There’s a waiting list to get into the Facebook group now. I should know, because I’m on it.
Reared to be thrifty without notions
Many of us have a little bit of Aisling in us: the country girl in the big city who is reared by her parents to be thrifty and without notions, but is led astray by others who prefer taxis to buses, designer handbags to the fakes and a bit of winter sun to escape Ireland’s monotonous grey winters. She’s disappointed with her steady GAA boyfriend of seven years because her friends are getting hitched and he seems strangely reluctant to pop the question.
A romantic holiday to Tenerife backfires
Aisling decides to take matters into her own hands and, with her usual efficiency, gets boyfriend John and herself onto a Ryan Air flight to Tenerife with the minimum amount of luggage (so as not to boost Michael O'Leary's bank balance). A visit to an Irish pub and it's all downhill from there when she tackles John about his matrimonial inclinations. Back in Ireland, disillusioned and tearful, she dumps the boyfriend and propels herself into a new life in a penthouse apartment in Dublin with a glamorous colleague. Will she find a new love in her life? Will she ever forget John?
Aisling is like Bridget Jones but more Irish country
If I have to compare Aisling to another literary heroine, I’d suggest Bridget Jones. She’s the same lovable, vulnerable type but more Irish country. And did I mention the drink? Oh my God, there’s lashings and lashings of drink.
I also learnt to drive in a tractor as my father thought I could do no harm in a wide open field and, although I’m probably old enough to be Aisling’s mother, or Mammy, I’m loving this novel.
Find out more about Aisling and what other readers think of her here: