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Amongst Women Paperback – May 7 1991


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Paperback, May 7 1991
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (May 7 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0571165400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571165407
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,745,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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As he weakened, Moran became afraid of his daughters. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple on March 18 2001
Format: Paperback
Set in rural Ireland, this uncompromising family drama revolves around Michael Moran, the father of five. A member of the IRA during the time of The Troubles, years ago, Michael has apparently repressed violent traumas which, we are led to believe, are responsible for his withdrawal from society and his current violence against his family--it is not the result of drink or the frustrations of poverty. Now the father of teenage children, he is disillusioned by what he sees as the fruits of this war, remarking, "Look at the country now. Run by a crowd of small-minded gangsters out for their own good."
Within his own household, Michael upholds all the values he fought for years ago. He's a hard, independent man, beholden to no one, and his word is law. To his family, however, he is often a tyrant--obstinate, cruel, full of hatred, quick to anger, and reluctant to apologize-and his second wife Rose his three daughters, and his two sons are "inordinately grateful for the slightest good will." Outwardly religious, Michael daily recites the Rosary, looking for religious help for his inner turmoil and the complications of his daily life. As he says, "the war was the best part of our lives. Things were never so simple and clear again."
With a main character who is never endearing, McGahern challenges the reader to empathize with Michael and understand why the women in his family remain tied to him emotionally, even after they have successfully escaped his domination and established independent lives away from the farm. Gradually, the reader begins to understand the overpowering need to form connections with the past, even when it is not pleasant--to forgive one's parents for their limitations while remaining strong and faithful to oneself. In clear, straightforward prose of immense power, McGahern piles mundane detail upon detail, creating a sensitive family story of great universality, one which will give the reader much to ponder.
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By Sarka K. on Feb. 5 2004
Format: Paperback
Although Moran keeps high opinion of family he seems to keep distance even from the people he loves. He is almost unable to express love he feels either to his children or to his second wife Rose. There is one of the images of his complete loneliness and of his inability to move out from his shell, which is also partly caused by his superiority: 'Moran ate alone in front of the big sideboard mirror, waited on apprehensively by the girls. After he had eaten, they had their own dinner at the side table.' (p. 35)
Rose accepts the role of mother for Moran' s children winning them over completely. She often stands between Moran and his children and works as a negotiator, alleviates their mutual disputes and discrepancies. We can also see both sides of Moran's personality through her eyes. She observes his peculiar nature and negative influence of his bad mood on his children: 'For her there was always a strange excitement in his presence of something about to happen. Nothing was ever still. She felt inordinately grateful when he behaved normally.' (p. 58) She balances Moran's changeable behaviour with equable and calm nature and keep the family together.
It is important to realize how substantial the sense of togetherness is in the novel. Despite Moran's bitterness and unpredictable reactions he realizes that family is the most important thing in his life. He always highlights the necessity of mutual help under one roof: 'Alone we might be nothing. Together we can do anything.' (p. 84) For Moran and subsequently for the whole family religious rituals represent a very important substance of their cohesiveness. The reader must also notice Moran's painful awareness of Luke's absence and the fragility of the relationship between him and his children. Ironically, Rose, a new member of the family, cements the Morans and becomes an integral part of their family. Moran's children always have the place where they can return to and find someone who loves them.
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By Patrik Enander on Dec 16 2000
Format: Paperback
A beautfully written and very touching novel
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