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Book Review : Service by Sarah Gilmartin

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about Service by Sarah Gilmmartin.

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pushkin Press, One (4 May 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1911590804
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1911590804

When Hannah learns that famed chef Daniel Costello is facing accusations of sexual assault, she’s thrown back to the summer she spent waitressing at his high-end Dublin restaurant – the plush splendour of the dining rooms, the wild parties after service, the sizzling tension of the kitchens. But Hannah also remembers how the attention from Daniel soon morphed from kindness into something darker.

Now the restaurant is shuttered and Daniel is faced with the reality of a courtroom. His wife Julie is hiding from paparazzi lenses behind the bedroom curtains. Surrounded by the wreckage of the past, Daniel, Julie and Hannah are all forced to reconsider what happened at the restaurant. Their three different voices reveal a story of power and complicity, of the lies that we tell and the courage that it takes to face the truth.

Book Review

Service is a cleverly well-written novel which is told using three voices; the waitress, the chef and his wife.

Hannah finds out that Daniel Costello is faced with sexual assault allegations and she is recalling her summer years before whilst working in his restaurant.

At the beginning Hannah is swept away by the glitz of working in a fine dining restaurant.

I enjoyed her opening chapters describing her workplace. Sadly her story delves into a more toxic workplace, especially after hours.

I was less keen reading Daniel and Julies chapters compared to Hannah’s, however they work together to produce a great read.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Service and someday I would like to read it again.

About the Author

Sarah Gilmartin is a critic who reviews fiction for the Irish Times. She is co-editor of the anthology Stinging Fly Stories and has an MFA from University College Dublin. She won Best Playwright at the inaugural Short+Sweet Dublin festival. Her short stories have been published in The Dublin ReviewThe Tangerine and New Irish Writing. Her story ‘The Wife’ won the 2020 Máirtín Crawford Award at Belfast Book Festival.

Twitter: @sarahgbooks

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