More lists with this book...
“…telling her that she would have to go to Dublin for observation. Observation for what? As is she were the night sky” (8).
“…I’ll never forget this moment, the hum of the bee, the saffron threads of the flower, the drawn blinds, nature’s assiduousness and human cruelty” (81).
“…finding himself outside under a roof of frozen stars…” (96).
“It was snowing in the vast cemetery in Brookl ...more
This is another book that I came across on our bookshelf at work, having never read Edna O'Brien before I was i ...more
Wildly disorganized, jumping back and forth in time, character, and narrative point-of-view. Dilly is an old lady suffering from shingles and ovarian cancer (or at least, she thinks she has it), who is being bullied by her son. She wants to see her daughter before she passes away, but her daughter is somewhat of a successful writer and has very little time.
The changing of first-person to third-person, and the jumping in between characters ...more
O’Brien can make you work: “Men are queer fish hard and soft both all pie when they want you so sweet and whispery sweeter than a woman then not.”
Or she can write as if wielding a blade: “Gabriel, the man she might have tied the knot with except that it was not meant to be. Putting memories to sleep, like putting an animal down.”
I’m not alone in finding the book’s first 120 pages a work of genius, the middle of the book erratic and sometimes confusing, and the end more genius, as an aging Dill ...more
The blood, of course,I a about family dysfunction -- one of O'Brien's favorite topics -- particularly about
Mother/ daughter struggles for closeness and understanding, while being unable to achieve that.
You also hear about the morher's (Dilly's) time in New York as a young woman -- and can feel the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn.
But poor Dilly is betrayed there by girl friends and a boyfriend -- although maybe that was a ...more
This is my first novel by Edna O'Brien, and upon it's reading, I can understand why she is so highly praised. She is a master wordsmith - the descriptive nature of her prose, the connections she makes and the messa ...more
'There is a photograph of my mother as a young woman in a white dress, standing by her mother who is seated out-of-doors on a kitchen chair, in front of a plantation of evergreen trees. Her mother is staring with a grave expression, her gnarled fingers clasped in prayer. Despite the virgin marvel of the white dress and the obligingness of her stance, my m ...more
The prose is lyrical, evocative and loaded with deep, conflicting emotions that play out in bittersweet tones. The Light of Evening is not an easy read, and definitely not summertime beach fodder. It's the kind of novel that you savor, like sipping 20 year old tawny port.
The plot revolves around the difficult and contradictory relationship between a mother and her children, specifi ...more
Edna O'Brien's 20th work of fiction does what all of her novels do: it lyrically expounds on the dizzying power of love. Nevertheless, reviews were mixed. Light of Evening is simultaneously overwrought, sentimental, forceful, and heartbreakingly true__even if the tacked-on conclusion felt strained. The narrative shifts between third-person points of view, stream of consciousness, and diary entries also caused a problem for some reviewers, including Erica Wagner from the New York Times Book Revie...more
I had a difficult time keeping the characters straight and the experiences in order at the beginning. I could relate to the difficulties of farming. I've experienced too many times the backstabbing that incurs an inheritance. My mother felt the same way in her latter years. She was so tired of the pain, the past and the future. Many of the letters Dilly wrote to her daughter, Elenora, were similar to the letters my mom wrote to me in the 1980's when the price of a phone call was a ...more
The preview sounded like something I'd like, especially given my relationship with my mother. Based in Ireland, the mother waits for a visit from her long-estranged daugther, an author who moved away to London years before. The story talks about the mother's previous life, the only thread that holds the two together - a old farm called Rusheen -- and about the daughter's efforts to be "herself". But the writing was too "too" for me....there is a surprise ending but again it left me cold, like th ...more
5.14.12 finished this book this morning. Very sad - such a depressing book, which I certainly don't need. One word review would be "WHY?"
Only 293 pages long. I will say "some" of the writing was very LYRICAL. And beautiful...but overall?
UGH.....in my humble opinion. Someone else, perhaps better reader, will have a different opinion.
Would not recommend to the readers i know.
Dilly is determined to leave the problems of Ireland behind her when she goes to America. She becomes a maid, and has an unhappy affair. Eventually she decides to return to Ireland where she marries and has a family. Her daughter, Eleanor becomes a novelist, and marries a man that her mother disapproves of. The split between mother and daughter widens to such an extent that it will never be bridged.