by Molly Keane
In 1914, when Nicandra is eight, all is well at Deer Forest, her family’s grand Irish home. Maman is beautiful and adored Dada, silent and small, mooches contentedly around the stables. Aunt toss, of the giant heart and bosom, is widowed but looks splendid in weeds. The butler, the groom, the land-steward, the maids, the men – each has a place and knows it.
Then, astonishingly, the perfect surface is shattered when Maman does something too dreadful ever to be spoken of…
Not a very enticing cover! Nicandra just wanted her parents love and never got it. So she spent her whole life ‘loving and giving’ to others. But always to people who were selfish, like her Maman and Dada and not to people who would love her back. And the cruelness she showed to the little disabled boy when she was a child was maddening! I am conflicted over this book. Horrid people, sad, selfish story and yet it kept me turning the pages to a story that I really didn’t like much! Nothing pleasant or redeeming, but excellent writing to keep someone so engaged in such a negative story. And the ending! Wicked! I even re-read the last couple of paragraphs to make sure I read it right! The shock at the end was worth the read!
#Read Ireland #Begorraton21
I completely forgot I have three Roddy Doyle books! They were on another bookshelf in the bedroom. I read his ‘The Woman Who Walked Into Doors‘ years ago and loved it. I have the sequel ‘Paula Spencer‘ but I think I’ll pick up ‘A Star Called Henry‘ for my next read. Also have ‘A Greyhound of a Girl‘ which I think is a children’s book.
I’ve found two new Irish authors I want to read already over at Cathy’s this month… John McGahern, would love to read The Barracks reviewed by Cathy. And Helen Cullen. I read Cathy’s review for The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually and went straight away and ordered the book!
I’m about 1/4 of the way through John B. Keane’s Love Bites and other Short Stories. It’s great for just picking up and reading one or two when I have a few minutes.
So what are you reading this week?