The Agony of Bun O’Keefe

Reviewed by Melanie on September 7, 2017


Bun is a fourteen year old girl whose hoarder mother tells her to “Get out,” so she does. After hitchhiking to the nearest city in Newfoundland, Bun meets Busking Boy. While he’s older, he’s immediately protective of Bun and they quickly become closer, like brother and sister. With the help of Busking Boy and his roommates, Bu discovers herself, friendship, and even agony, as the title suggests.

I began the book in the late morning and finished in early afternoon. It wasn’t the plat so much, but the characters that kept me moving quickly towards the ending. The plot of the books isn’t horrible, and things build up slowly with most of the conflicts and resolutions happening in the last twenty percent of the book.

Bun is…eccentric to say the least. While her mother hates her seemingly useless and random facts, this and her bluntness endeared her to me immediately. Bun is very complex and well written. Her lack of a formal education hasn’t prevented her from continually learning, even if it was reading the dictionary and Merck medical manuals.

Busking boy and his complete acceptance of Bun made me appreciate him from the beginning. Once we meet the other roommates, Chris/Cher, Big Eyes and Chef, they each helped seal this book’s place in my favorites list.

It’s difficult to write about Bun and her agony without spoilers. Pick up a copy and jump into Bun’s agony, but be ready to be ejected from the merry-go-round before you’re ready.

The Agony of Bun O'Keefe Book Cover The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
Heather Smith
Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, GLBT, Teen, Cultural, Canada
Razorbill Canada
September 5, 2017
Kindle eBook

Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.

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