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The Gathering
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on 26 May 2015
Sometimes deeply thoughtful, always truthful, frequently very funny, I know these people, we have the same heartbeat. I wish it weren't so bleak, I treasure the moments of humanity, but recognise the fragile, hopeless, dysfunction. I am a grandchild of such a large Irish family, and the generations before. The shoes are in place before the child begins to walk. All are loved, theoretically, some more than others. The differences are sharp and vicious. The stories of favouritism , preference, alliance and cliques uncomfortable. The longing for recognition and simple love as an individual, painful. I grew up thinking that a big loving family was exotic and magnificent. I learned, as I grew older, that they were all terribly alone, and that alliances were made and broken, over and over. Loved this book for something I can see as true.
8 people found this helpful
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on 1 March 2017
If you were born before 1970, if you're female, if you're Irish or Scottish in origin you will recognise this story. If you're not any of these things, you will too.
6 people found this helpful
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on 21 August 2016
I thought this book was amazing .Couldnt put down .Beautiful prose .Fascinating story line .Just my cup of tea .Just about to download another of her books .I feel at a loss because I've finished the book .
6 people found this helpful
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on 19 April 2015
I found the characterisations to be finely drawn for the most part. There were so many moments where I felt a connection to an experience long forgotten but resurfaced as a result of this narrative. Being a parent and being dead are the two things for which we have no previous experience as a general rule. This book felt poignant and deeply felt to me. I think I enjoyed it but I think perhaps I survived it well may be a more accurate description of the piece.
One person found this helpful
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on 14 September 2015
I read this because I enjoyed the author's other book "The Green Road" so much. This however just wasn't my cup of tea at all. It's not a million miles away from the Ulysses "flight of fancy, imagine if ..." type storyline. There is no doubting it's well written but I struggled to follow the author's train of thought. As with each of Anne Enright's books I have read (3), it ended abruptly and not in a good "that's given me pause for thought" way.
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on 11 June 2018
Anyone who comes from an Irish family will know exactly what Ann Enright means about a funeral for a sibling. Veronica trying to hold everything together. The roles we all play within our childhood that stay with us.
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on 18 May 2018
Taking me forever to read. Very weird. Jumps about to much for me. Not enjoying it but persevering ☹️
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on 4 March 2011
Ann Enright has a gift for dissecting family dynamics and the peculiarities of the Irish family;death and the causes of the suicide are her main focus , but it is also a study of the memory and multi-sensory triggers;this is a work of Literature and not for those after an easy read, so not really suited for a holiday relaxing read nor one you can dip in and out of.For those who like a challenge , it has rich rewards in store,and will deepen your sense of the Irish family.Reminiscent of the novel Last Orders and the play Stones in His Pockets.Last OrdersStones in His Pockets
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on 4 October 2015
The theme of this book focuses on one woman's memory of an early childhood event featuring her dead brother. This is interwoven with another, seeimngly minor theme, of her problem with her marriage. Although Anne Enright's prose is beautiful, the main protagonist is irritatingly self centred, which makes this a book a slightly pointless read.
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on 14 December 2014
A rather long first half to the story but it improves as it goes on. I thought it dealt with the pain of grieving for the loss of a loved one very poignantly. But I felt I had very little identification with most of the characters.
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