188th out of 289 books — 368 voters
One by One in the Darkness
A story about three Northern Irish sisters. It has a double narrative, part of which describes their childhood and shows the impact of the political changes and the violence of the late-1960s upon the people of Ulster, as the wholeness and coherence of early childhood gradually break down.
Published September 18th 1997 by faber and faber
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One by One in the Darkness confirmed for me a trend that I have been noticing in quite a lot of contemporary Irish fiction: namely the lack of a concrete, driving plot. The meandering pace of the narrative which skips back and forth between the characters' present and the past of their childhoods is characteristic of several other novels I've read which deal primarily with the political and religious unrest of Northern Ireland. This stylistic technique allows for the gradual revelation of inform...more
It wasn't until I was over halfway through this novel that it occurred to me how definitively it had me in its grip. It sneaks up on you, perhaps because of the sliding time references of the alternating chapters but also, I'm sure, because of the patience and care with which Madden develops the characters of the three sisters. The narrative bespeaks a quiet but assured confidence, which is especially notable given that it confronts the networks of trauma and incomprehensibility of Northern Irel...more
This book is an insightful look into what it was like to be a Catholic family living in Northern Ireland prior to the IRA ceasefire of 1994. "One by One in the Darkness" tells the story of three sisters. I enjoyed the character development in this story, as well as Madden's beautiful ability to write on her native Northern Ireland.
Deirdre Madden is from Toomebridge, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and at the University of East Anglia. In 1994 she was Writer-in-Residence at University College, Cork and in 1997 was Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. She has travelled widely in Europe and has spent extended periods of time in both France and Italy.More about Deirdre Madden...