Tuesday 12 February 2008

The Gathering by Anne Enright

thegatheringsmall.jpgPublished by Black Cat - An imprint of Grove/Atlantic Inc.
Distributed by Publishers Group Canada

Compared to the rest of her family, Veronica seems to have it all – a nice house, a loving husband, beautiful children and financial freedom. Following her brother's tragic death, Veronica makes the journey to collect his body and bring him home to Dublin where the rest of the Hegarty clan - including Veronica's other eight siblings - are waiting. As Veronica travels with her brother's body, she finds herself revisiting childhood memories and once more faces the dreadful secret that she shares with only one other. Liam. Now, more than ever before, it seems that Veronica's family are relying upon her to keep things together and only time will tell if she will succeed, or whether the Hegarty wake will be accompanied by fireworks.

This was a fascinating and powerful read. The eloquence and descriptive detail were truly impressive. In the early pages when the character discusses the first time her grandparents met, I found it practically spellbinding. This author has a gift for intertwining everyday facts with thought and emotion that make every single second of life seem magical.

The style of writing is unique - to me at least. The character shares her life as it happens with a frank and honest style and I especially love the way her thought process is captured. Fleeting images, playing out each line of thought to the end only to begin again and letting her mind wander through each alternative scenario. The reader is teased into playing along and using their own imagination in such a way that the characters seem to become more real. I think another thing that did it for me, was the richness of the Irish culture. It made me realise just how much of my Irish ancestry was still evident in my own upbringing and perhaps that made this novel just a touch more special to me.

I will definitely read this again.


S. Krishna said...

I have had this book in my TBR pile forever and haven't read it! The adjectives you used make me want to move it higher up on the list.

Charlene Martel said...

It was a fantastic book. I do hope you read it soon. It fast became one of my favourites.

When you do read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it too.

Happy reading!