A dazzling writer of international stature, Anne Enright is one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a return to an intimate canvas and a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family haunted by the past. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea...more
this book was very frustrating. i feel like i should love it, but it's like there is a barrier - a chastity belt between us preventing our love, and as much as i want it, it isn't going to happen for us. there is a quality to her writing that reminded me of what i loved or housekeeping, books i am also told i am supposed to love, but just can't feel anything for, like distant relations. she is a less antiseptic writer than hustvedt, though. i respect her prose - there are lines in here of amazin...more
Let me start with the one perk I can honestly give this book. Anne Enright has a beautiful grasp of words but she doesn't know how to use them. She also had a wonderful gem of an idea for a story, but she didn't know how to develop it. Combine those two together you get a reader...more
As a book critic, I of course try to steer clear of any information I can about a book I'm about to review, until I'm done with the book myself and have already made up my mind about what I thought; so imagine my surpris...more
"I know, as I write these... that they require me to deal in facts. It is time to call an end to romance and just say what happened in Ada's house, the year that I was eight and Liam was barely nine."
That passage occurs about halfway through the book. The preceding pages are an endless series of shapeless ponderings on what may or may not have happened. The narrator leaps from one era to the next, with the basic point being "S...more
Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Tonight's contest from the palatial surroundings of Monkstown Boxing Club here in Dun Laoghaire is to decide who is to represent the Republic of Ireland in the 2012 London Olympics Most Miserable Contemporary Novelist event.
(Scattered applause from the twenty or so people in the audience)
In the blue corner, we have Anne Enright
(Anne gets up tiredly from her chair in the corner and raises her hands on which giant gloves have been tied - she...more
I'm afraid a re-read is not going to persuade me to add a star, I still can't 'like' this, sorry.The brick wall smash arrived at exactly the same point as the first time round: page 131. Veronica muses on faith and saints, mentioning that her brother Liam liked "three Roman saints with funny names who were turned upside down and had milk and mustard put up their noses, which killed them, apparently. It didn't seem to bother Kitty, as I recall." Kitty, as one might imagine, is the little...more
Well, it wasn't terrible, but once again, I was deathly bored. More and more, I find myself very annoyed at authors who use the carrot-on-a-stick opening shtick (e.g. "OMG, you guys! Something HORRIBLE happened at my grandmother's house in 1968!! Now you've got to read this to find out what it was!!!! LOL!!!"...more
Enright's The Gathering may have a some inciteful, well written sentences, and it may be well structured both in sequence and theme, but for what purpose? I did not feel that the structure wa...more
Enright captures the peculiar relationship of close siblings perfectly. It is not about love - you don't "love" a close sibling just as you don't "love" your arm. They are a part of you. When they die, you are broken. It is a hard, bitter, angry book because the grief you feel when a close sibling dies is a hard, bitter anger. An anger that is as close to madness as makes no difference. Grief colours everything, and makes everyt...more
I am not a grieving middle-aged woman with a large family who has lost her brother to suicide. But the strong and accurate portrayal of alienation, loss, and grief - and the way people deal with these things in ways that are erratic, self-destructive, confusing, and unpredictable and illogical even to themselves - had me finding myself identifying with the narrator much more fr...more
First of all, while I would be the last person to minimize molestation, its prevalence, and its traumatic effects, it has really become a literary cliche: young child of a dysfunctional family living in a less enlightened place and/or time is molested, no one ever finds out/addresses it properly, young child is psychologicall...more
After reading the Gathering you can begin to understand why. The Irish seem to be haunted not only by guilt and shame, but by the ghosts of their dead relatives as well. Here's a particularly telling passage from the novel :
" I know I sound bitter, and Christ I wish I wasn't such a hard bitch sometimes, but my brother blamed me for twenty years or more. He blamed me fo...more
This was another selection from my book club. We affectionately refer to it as the 'bad book club' because we have chosen some really bad, awful, horrid, ghastly books and this one is right up there with the worst of the worst as far as I'm concerned.
I guess you either get Anne Enright or you don't and I don't. If this had been some sort of cathartic memoir like Joan Didion's 'Year of Magical Thinking' I could have given the author...more
This line, found in the third to the last page of Anne Enright's The Gathering is an example of the many contradictions this novel has. This won the 2007 Man Booker Prize and I can see why. It is different. Ms. Enright has this fondness of contradicting herself not just in a single statement but in paragraphs, in several pages, the whole book and maybe even herself. Mrs. Enright, during the interview upon the anno...more
While my summary of this self-indulgent mess of a book is obviously meant to be facetious, it's not far off. Enright's narrator really doesn't have anything to say, nor does Enright give us any reason that we should want to hear her say it. We're supposed to be interested in the narrato...more
Likewise, someone, Anne Engright in this case, writes a confusing and mu...more
Veronica is a fortyish female from a large Irish Catholic family, who is having a meltdown in the wake of brother Liam’s suicide a la Virginia Woolfe (stones in pockets and all!). Liam’s death brings on the ghost of a secret the two shared since childhood, and...more
Anne Enright may not deserve all the love, but this novel of hers deserve a credit. After all, she made a challenge - to assess how true I am in feeling different emotions.
The composition is like puzzle pieces that needs to be put together, piece-by-piece, for you to understand its bigger picture and its message. Chapters are illustrated in one era to another, one generation t...more
Veronica Hagerty narrates the story about her Irish Catholic family of twelve children. She is particularly concerned with a disturbing event that occurred one summer when she and two of her siblings, Liam and Kitty, are sent to live with their grandmother. Liam ne...more
It did got an awful lot be...more
I read, rather I forced myself to run my eyes over these sentences but they run through me like water. There was nothing to hold on to, at first, so I down a chapter and think of something else completely irrelevant. Although this book has a strange way of reducing emotions a...more
Защото е права, че когато сме обичани, често се чувстваме притиснати, изправени в ъгъла,...more
I never minded 'listening' to the thoughts in...more
She has published essays, short stories, a non-fiction book and four novels.
Before her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Enright had a low profile in Ireland and the United Kingdom, although her books were favourably reviewed and widely praised.
Her writing explores themes such as family relationships, love and sex, Ireland's di...more