Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 12 November 2013
This trilogy represents some of the very best of 20th century Irish fiction. Ireland in the late 50's early 60's was not a pleasant estate. The influence of the church in every aspect of life for the ordinary citizen was omnipresent and stifling. Primary/secondary education, not to mention in-patient hospital care, social services, orphanages, adoption and elderly care were all abrogated by the state to the church. Present day presumptions of entitlement in "reviewing" this work are just irrelevant. Edna presents the suffocating reality as it was then. Hers is the terse voice of unafraid, uncompromising dissent from the warm blanket of "sin" and ultimate forgiveness, of proud ignorance under which the Eire pretended it might be able fight off the evils of the television generation - ie knowledge that it doesn't have to be this way.
Her early works are beautifully written, speak of an awkward, guiltless awakening of self-awareness completely at odds with "country" values and the stupidity of ingrained, hymn-singing prejudice. As works of literature they will endure, despite, or perhaps, because of, the carefully observed poetry of the mundane.