I had a hard time with this one. The main character is Patrick "Pussy" Braden, a transvestite prostitute. Patrick was fathered by an Irish Catholic priest and dumped in an abusive foster family - and he dreams of his beautiful birth mother. Pussy is an outcast in her tiny Irish hometown , and she leaves, first for the City and then for London to seek a better life. But Pussy has bad luck when her married politician sugar daddy is killed by Irish terrorists, and then in London where she becomes a prostitute and gets mixed up in terrorist plots.
To start, I think it would have helped if I recognized more of the popular cultural and historical references to Ireland and England circa 1970. I know I missed an awful lot of the references (for example, the title of the book), and I even had a hard time following the plot references to terrorist plots because I just don't know much about the era. I'd be interested to know if anyone who enjoyed this book could confirm that having this understanding helped their enjoyment.
But unlike other novels set in unfamiliar times or locales, I was not inspired to learn more because I wasn't connecting with the story or characters. This is probably because I found the narrative thread to be very weak - the chain of events was hard to follow, and it seemed to jump around a lot between times and places with little continuity. I like something with more of a story arc. As a result, I got lost and ended up rushing through the end just to be finished. While Pussy was certainly a colorful and interesting character, the book didn't manage to retain my attention.
I finished this book on June 17, 2012.