Roddy Doyle’s novel, Smile, focuses on Victor Forde’s new life as a recently-divorced writer who has moved back to his hometown after many decades away. His move home makes Victor reminisce about his childhood: his time spent at Catholic school, his early years with his famous wife Rachel, and his life with his now-dead parents. In his mid-fifties, Victor thinks himself a failure, always full of unreached potential as a writer and a person. Caught in his reminisces, Victor starts spending time with an old schoolmate he cannot remember and immediately cannot stand, Eddie Fitzpatrick, at the local pub. Ultimately, the novel’s last unexpected twist raises questions about the line between fiction and reality and questions the possibility of ever recovering from trauma.