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The Banyan Tree
Christopher Nolan
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The Banyan Tree

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  16 reviews
From the internationally acclaimed author of Under the Eye of the Clock, comes a novel of unsurpassed beauty and eloquence–a loving and gritty paean to the people and land of Ireland.

Minnie O’Brien is a widow in her eighties fighting to keep her farm from the clutches of her avaricious neighbor. Her three grown children long since gone, she trudges through her daily chores
Published (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After several attempts to read this book, I finally took the time to really sit down and absorb the language of this book. Once I was used to the rhythm and the language, and felt that I knew the characters, I did not want to put this book down. Read a few chapters a day then many chapters in amazement. The final half of the book really hit home with me as it covered so many emotions of this family, and thinking of so many families who are not in touch with one another.

I did not read about the a
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, fiction
"'You're the first Irish girl I've noticed in over thirty years,' he breathlessly said. 'But it wasn't you that noticed me,' she whimsically whispered, 'but my need that spotted you.'
Terry Perrel
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book to read for language, the way Nolan take ordinary nouns and creates exciting verbs. He's a language outlaw, and it saddens me that he has died. He was only 43.
Did a review of this book here: ...more
Ron Charles
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was obviously fraudulent.

What else could explain the stunning autobiography supposedly written by an escaped slave named Frederick Douglass in 1845? Southerners pointed to the book's clear style and sophisticated imagery as evidence that this was the work of some clever abolitionist spinning out incendiary propaganda. No African slave could be that articulate.

Au contra ire, Douglass must have mused.

Ten years later, he published a revised version of his "Narrative" called "My Bondage and My Fr
Margaret Capozzolo
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-books
Why is it harder to find the words to extol a novel of such rare beauty and craftsmanship than it is to pan one that is a complete dud? Is it because the reader is so wrapped up in the warm feelings engendered by the book and he or she fears that they will vanish if the novel is examined too closely. That’s how this book affected me. This is the story of a simple Irish woman from young bride to old woman of 80 years and the longing that consumed her throughout her lonely final years. Besides Min ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I think I'm going to have to give up on this book. I've made very little progress; only about 50 pages in and it's been 3 weeks. I feel a little guilty about it, because the author was severely disabled and underwent a painstaking, tortuous process to write this book. My problem with it is that I'm not Irish. The author was, and the book of course is written in English, but not...American English. It is full of Irish slang and colloquialisms and is therefore difficult for me to understand. I wil ...more
Laura Marr
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
The most amazing thing about this book is what an incredible imagination this author has. This male writer has overcome many physical barriers and has written a very realistic, very poignant picture of the life of a farmer's wife in Ireland and her family. The language was a bit difficult for me to comprehend at times, and the descriptions are beautiful and sometimes obscure. But a lovable character and an enjoyable book.
John Talisker
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully, almost poetically written. The story lingers long after the last page has been turned.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was one of the more difficult books that I've read. The writing style, though commendable, was not to my liking. I really disliked most of the characters, except for the main one, and found the situations more annoying than anything. I would not recommend this to anyone for a "light" read.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The novel was overly descriptive of the Irish setting. I felt the pacing was a bit slow and that the plot would have been improved by more insights into the lives of Minnie's children. Minnie as a character was quite static and feeding off of her, the novel was trapped in a lengthy doldrum.
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book about Ireland. Great portrait of the relentless fight of a woman to accomplish her destiny no matter what as her life inexorably follows its course. I really liked the descriptions and the detailed settings of each moment in the book.
Karen  Fiandaca
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Very wordy, very Irish, story eventually draws you in can't help but think about how the handicapped author wrote it.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksandbuns
A sweet story and prose that reads like poetry.
rated it it was ok
Apr 01, 2018
Kindle Morell
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Dec 27, 2014
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Aug 12, 2009
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Oct 17, 2017
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Nov 07, 2014
Angela Schroder
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Dec 06, 2014
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Oct 26, 2019
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Sep 21, 2008
Matt Rose
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2016
Pixie Orvis
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Mar 27, 2009
Amara VanAmburg
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Oct 18, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2016
Anne Kennedy
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Jul 06, 2018
Margaret Fairbairn
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Dec 14, 2017
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Jan 11, 2013
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Nolan was an Irish poet and author, son of Joseph and Bernadette Nolan. He grew up in Mullingar, Ireland, but later moved to Dublin to attend college. He was educated at the Central Remedial Clinic School, Mount Temple Comprehensive School and at Trinity College,

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