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In the taut latest from Enright (What Are You Like?), middle-aged Veronica Hegarty, the middle child in an Irish-Catholic family of nine, traces the aftermath of a tragedy that has claimed the life of rebellious elder brother Liam. As Veronica travels to London to bring Liam's body back to Dublin, her deep-seated resentment toward her overly passive mother and her dissatisfaction with her husband and children come to the fore. Tempers flare as the family assembles for Liam's wake, and a secret Veronica has concealed since childhood comes to light. Enright skillfully avoids sentimentality as she explores Veronica's past and her complicated relationship with Liam. She also bracingly imagines the life of Veronica's strong-willed grandmother, Ada. A melancholic love and rage bubbles just beneath the surface of this Dublin clan, and Enright explores it unflinchingly. (Sept.)
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*Starred Review* The blessing and the curse of family bonds have been addressed by some of our best writers, perhaps never so movingly as by William Kennedy in his Albany cycle of novels. Now Irish novelist Enright, whose intense lyrical style recalls Kennedy's, gives full voice to another tale of familial agony: Veronica's grief in the wake of her wayward brother Liam's suicide. Past and present merge as Veronica recalls their childhood growing up in Dublin in a family of 14, with never enough money or enough attention from their overburdened parents. She's convinced it all went wrong when Liam was sexually abused by a family friend, and her recollections of that day alternate with sunnier ones of their endless roughhousing and joking. When Liam drowned himself, with a tide of "blood, sea water and whiskey" running in his veins, he took Veronica's sense of purpose with him. Inconsolable, and suffering from insomnia, she spends her evenings driving and writing, trying to come to terms with the fact that "someone you love is dead, and the world is full of people you don't." Enright's hypnotic prose turns her desperation into something fierce and beautiful. Wilkinson, Joanne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Anne Enright writes in the great Irish tradition of storytelling. She tells a great story and tells it well.Published 2 months ago by Gerald FitzGerald
As usual, Ms. Enright's writing is superb - had me glued to my chair. A beautiful read.Published 3 months ago by G. Hardy
As with The Green Road, Anne Enright writes brilliantly and insightfully. Her characters are fascinating. Be warned, though. Irish dark pervades throughout. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Janet Finlay
260 pages of blah, blah, blah.
I am not a huge fan of the Nothing Happens literary genre, but some such books, such as Bel Canto, are well-written and compelling. Read more
HAVE JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK TO PRESENT AT BOOK GROUP. There is no doubt the writing is very skilled and I repect the right of the author to write what moves her at that moment,... Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2009 by NTS book club B
`The Gathering' happens because Liam Hegarty dies suddenly. Through the words of his beloved sister Veronica who collects his body and organizes the funeral, we learn the tale of... Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2008 by ELI (Italy)
Considering all the rave reviews and prizes this book has received, I was expecting great things when it was lent to me by a friend. I was in for a big disappointment! Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2008 by Bethann McLaren
This book is more suitable for a university class, but as something to bring with you on the beach, STAY AWAY. Long, difficult and pointless, I wouldn't recommend this book.Published on Sept. 15 2008 by F. Laforge
When a book has won a prestigious prize like the Man Booker, readers feel a double challenge: Appreciate the book for what it is and try to figure out what attracted the award... Read morePublished on June 11 2008 by Donald Mitchell