The Gathering, written by Anne Enright is a story of loss, love, and life. It has been geared towards a m…more
The Gathering, written by Anne Enright is a story of loss, love, and life. It has been geared towards a more mature audience, the objective of the book being to show how a death can expose all the flaws in a family and in a person’s life, and also bring a family together. It is told in the first person by the protagonist, Veronica Hegarty, a 39-year old Irish woman named in the wake of her recently deceased brother, Liam, who has committed suicide. The antagonist is the secret that Veronica holds and shares with Liam, one that might have influenced his death. Other important characters are their orphaned grandmother, Ada, with an unknown past, her husband Charlie and his good friend Nugent, as well as Veronica’s mother and father. It takes place in Dublin, Ireland 1999, with constant flashbacks to their grandparents in the 1920s and the childhood they spent together in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The theme of the story is that despite adversity, despair and loss, one can still look at life and move forward. and motifs you find in the book are dysfunction in a family, and unclear memories of life in the past. **Spoiler Alert!** When Veronica looks to the past for answers to her many unanswered questions, she reflects on the details of their childhood with an indistinct mother and well-mannered but careless father, and all the time she spent with her closest brother, Liam. She believes that the answers are in her feverish reveries of her grandmother’s past, and that Liam killed himself as a result of an occurrence the summer of 1968 when they stayed at their grandmother's house, when they were eight and nine. The purpose of the novel is to entertain readers, and to tell a story of a family loss that was relatable to real life. None of us have read a book like this before, but we are glad we gave it a shot and ended up liking it a lot. The Gathering appeals to readers who enjoy stories about trying times and overcoming them. It was well written, but the start was a little slow. However, the storyline picked right up about a third of the way through. We would recommend this book to older teens and adults, it had a lot of adult themes and some rough language.