“Stand by me” is a novel by Sheila O’Flanagan. This work is as interesting as her previous works. She has to her credit more than fifteen novels. Each work has its own distinctiveness. A twist in the tale is her style and she incorporates it in a convincing fashion. Regarding the genre- the novel is self-contained, that is it provides within its own compass everything that the writer deemed necessary for the comprehension and enjoyment of her work. This work befits the concept.
The protagonist is a woman named Dominique. The plot revolves around the metamorphosis of her life due to the one who is close to her. The transformation of her from Dominic to Domino and then to Dominique Delahaye is fascinating but the same leads to all the miseries ahead. While unfolding the character of Domino, Author has taken ample care in switching her from a young lady to a dazzling wife, and then a mother, a woman of charity and finally a woman who desires to stand on her own legs. Change of every role is in accordance with her behavioural patterns and mental status.
The idiosyncrasy of the novel is the degree of closeness with which plot and characters are interwoven. This trait is abundant in this novel. The concept of post-natal depression is well defined and its impact on the family members and the support to be provided is a message to many.
I quote from the novel:-“How everyone had been utterly charmed by dazzling Dominique Delahaye, and how inspirational she was to women everywhere. The headline on the piece was “The Domino Effect”. The entry and exit of “The Domino Effect” was sharp.
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most problems”:- Mahatma Gandhi. This helped Domino to overcome her fear and prepared her to face the world bravely.
“Stand by me” moves on with assorted characters like Brady’s, Delahayes, paddy and Domino’s friends etc. Every character stands on its own ideas and justifications. The profile of conservative couple like Mr and Mrs. Brady is meticulously dealt. A tinge is found in the beginning itself.Description of places like Dublin, Cork and Majorca were sophisticated. The image of “Atlantic view” is phenomenal and at the same time losing it was traumatic. The author has handled both the situations in a worldly way. The agony of the innocents, keen eye of the media, curiosity of the neighbours, search of the investigators and fluctuating legal aid, form a vicious circle. The author is victorious in elaborating the vicissitude