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Time After Time
Molly Keane
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Time After Time

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  164 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The Swifts--three sisters of marked eccentricity, defiantly christened April, May, and baby June, and their only brother, one-eyed Jasper--have little in common but some vivid memories of their darling mother and a long lost youth particularly prone to acts of treachery. Into their world comes cousin Leda from Vienna, a visitor from the past, blind but beguiling. Within da ...more
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by A. Deutsch (first published 1983)
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Jan 25, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Time After Time Molly Keane extends an invitation to an Irish country house. It’s an invitation that I am very glad that I accepted.

The house was once beautiful, but it has fallen upon hard times. The kitchen still offers a welcome, but the cooks and kitchen maids who brought it to life have long since departed, and even the Aga is losing the will to go on.

The kitchen is Jasper’s domain. Well actually the whole house and estate is his, but he has to share it with his three elderly sisters. On
An interesting and quirky read. The characters were fun and eccentric but I never felt invested in any of them. After a while I was just going through the motions. When the action finally picked up it was a slight let down. The best part was the final chapter. I wouldn't rush out to pick up another of her works.
Mar 22, 2015 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously, what a fantastic book. And another fantastic writer I'd not heard of until I picked up this book (along with a few others by her). And it has possibly the best fictional cat's name I've read to date - Mister Minkles.

Set in Ireland in the 1980s (I'm guessing), this is a tale of the four Swift siblings, all elderly ladies and one gent, living in poverty on the family estate which is gradually falling apart around them. Life's kind of been a let down to them, and they generally don't get
A. Mary
Jul 20, 2012 A. Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-novels
This is an unusual story, and it takes time to sort out how to feel and think about it. Keane takes considerable time to draw each of her four sibling characters (April, May, Jasper, and June), and she introduces them in isolation from each other, even though they live together in their family home. It may be an exaggeration to say they live "together," but they are all there, and they do take meals together. Only April has ever married, but Mummie's will secured the right-of-residence for each ...more
Grace Harwood
Sep 12, 2013 Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fantastically funny, deliciously dark, incredibly insightful story of a crumbling Irish stately home and the very unusual family who are the custodians of it. In decaying Durraghglass, live the Swifts, Jasper, April, May and Baby June (who is 64 years old, but can't shake off her old pet name). The most wonderful thing about the family (apart from their determination to live in the past) is that they all utterly despise each other, but are bound together by the ghost of Edwardian Mum ...more
Apr 09, 2008 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
This book belongs to a very specific genre - that of the shabby-genteel, slightly eccentric, Anglo-Irish family, still living in the manor house, which is now crumbling around them, as they struggle to keep up appearances, and spend a significant amount of time living in the past. Manor house novels are Keane’s stock in trade – over the span of her career (writing as M.J. Farrell) she has joined other writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Joyce Cary, Jennifer Johnston and William Trevor in documentin ...more
May 10, 2011 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britlit, virago
I read this on the plane to Portland, and in the hotel that night.

Later Molly Keane seems quite a bit different than earlier, and I'm trying to parse exactly why. The characters here are drawn as to be almost slapstick, but it's not as though Keane presented no slapstick characters before. The plot, and particularly the climax, is not as convincing as I'd like it to be. The whole business is less lighthearted and more depressing, even though it's also definitely funny.

Really, I want to draw a p
Feb 10, 2016 Laraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new author to me, Molly Keane writes wryly and well on old irish families. This book tells the story of the Swift family, forced to live together in their crumbling old home due to the terms of their late Mother's will. Jasper, April, May and Baby June are interesting characters and the family have their own little world complete with sibling rivalry and scheming. And into the mix returns their cousin Leda to add her own turmoil and change things around forever. An interesting read.
Margaret Drake
This story includes much Irish vocabulary which I have never heard before. It did not engage me until about page 100 and then the story finally took off. The ending for me was neither positive nor negative but also without resolution. Frequently, I felt confused by who was talking or what actually happened. I suppose she could be called an impressionist writer for all the reader is required to add to the story from their own knowledge of people or Ireland.
Jan Mills
Nov 25, 2013 Jan Mills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sharp and witty tale of three elderly sisters and an elderly brother forced to live together in their much depleted family mansion by the terms of 'darling Mummie's' will. None of them likes or understands the others, each in their own way is maimed: Jasper lost an eye in a shooting accident; April is profoundly deaf; May was born with a deformed hand and Baby June is dyslexic. They live in barely-concealed animosity in their crumbling home, but reasonably peacefully, until the return of their ...more
Hilary Tesh
I read 11 pages of this book and decided I disliked the characters intensely, couldn't be bothered to find out what happened to them, and besides, I didn't enjoy the author's writing style, so no point carrying on with that then!
Jan 24, 2010 Jody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story takes place on a deteriorating Irish estate. An elderly brother and his two sisters are living on the estate, and each, needless to say, are a character in their own right. Some of the stuff they did made me laugh. Some of it was just pathetic (due to that holding on to privilege when it clearly isn't holding on to you!) Then someone from their past comes into the scene and stirs up the mud. I think the context of the story, and probably the location, too, reminded me of an Iris Murdoch bo ...more
Sep 07, 2008 Susanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A funny and intriguing tale of four elderly siblings, each handicapped or disabled in some way, who live together in the once grand but now crumbling family home in Ireland. Their strange but fairly harmonious co-existence is disrupted by the arrival of their cousin (equally elderly and equally disabled) who discreetly wreaks havoc. Having thrown the pieces of their lives in the air she expects to depart in triumph, having got her revenge for past wrongs, but the pieces fall and reassemble in un ...more
Linda Chrisman
Sep 16, 2014 Linda Chrisman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Jasper is so awful you have to adore him!
Phoebe Hoare
May 02, 2015 Phoebe Hoare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Batty but brilliant.
Nicole Wedemeyer
What a fantastically dark, tragic yet funny book I've read on a while. Very insightful!
Mar 10, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The four Swift siblings live together in their crumbling Irish manor house. Each has a disability he or she must compensate for, and each take turns insulting and belittling the others and revenging both past and present slights. Then the long lost cousin arrives to be waited upon and gather the secrets of the Swifts so that she can reveal them in the most appalling manor.
This is a book about nasty people being nasty to each other. The only good thing about it is that in the end they all get the
Aug 01, 2015 Zimon66 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Saw the British TV adaption on PBS(?) years ago. Didn't know it was based off the book until fairly recently when I went in search of a dvd release. Happy to have discovered the book. Hope someday the movie winds up available again.
Florence Penrice
This is a wonderful book, acerbic, clear-eyed about the human condition, a beautiful evocation of the minutaue of life. It is also very satisfying in the way that the author, in the end, gives all the characters their just deserts.
Karen Lowe
A difficult book to take to as all the characters are unremittingly dreadful. It did pick up half way through with the arrival of calculating cousin Leda, and towards the end, the plot resolution made me think more kindly of it.
Austen to Zafón
It was okay. I like Keane's earlier books better. These characters were hard to like and the writing had a kind of "dahling" brittleness to it that was annoying and detracted from the story. It was certainly no "Good Behavior."
Mar 19, 2013 Pamster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Everyone is eccentric and stunted.

Gross racist part at the end - why? Ugh.
Dec 14, 2007 Cherie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I tried, I tried, but could not get into it
Dec 10, 2010 Marilyn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm REALLY enjoying this so far . . .
Sarah Batterbury
Aug 19, 2013 Sarah Batterbury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoying this enormously!
Dec 14, 2014 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tania is currently reading it
Oct 21, 2016
Melanie Swain
Melanie Swain marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2016
Jude marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2016
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Molly Keane (20 July 1904 – 22 April 1996) was an Irish novelist and playwright (born Mary Nesta Skrine in Ryston Cottage, Newbridge, County Kildare). She grew up at Ballyrankin in County Wexford and was educated at a boarding school in Bray, County Wicklow. She married Bobby Keane, one of a Waterford squirearchical family in 1938 and had two daughters. She used her married name for her later nove ...more
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