Dana's Reviews > The Forgotten Waltz

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
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's review
May 06, 12

Read in May, 2012

This very disturbing and gloriously written novel, by Anne Enright, takes place in Ireland, but a modern day Ireland which, other than the places which are named, could just as easily be modern America. The setting is irrelevant, except that it is a middle/upper middle class venue filled with intelligent, professional characters rather than one of poverty or extreme wealth. The Forgotten Waltz is the story of an affair between Sean Vallely, a married man, and Gina (I am not sure we know her last name) a married woman in her late 30's, though her husband plays such a small role in the story that the reader may forget he exists. The lives of Sean and Gina intersect often and they really do not resist the temptation to begin their affair which seems to go on and off for years. Gina tells their tale, going back and forth in time. It is painful to "watch" and I felt little sympathy for any of the characters, not even the cuckolded spouses. I would have felt sympathy for Sean's little girl, Evie, but she is not very likable. I couldn't summon up much empathy for Evie's suffering from disturbing seizures because she was such an odd child.
Gina is descriptive in describing the details of the affair, the places where she and Sean meet, the conversations they share and the lack thereof. The style of writing reminded me of a movie, one where I was left feeling drained and tired, wondering what really happened. However, the writing and the passion Gina felt for Sean, were so strong that I was glad I read this one to the end.
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