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Reading Anne Enright’s The Gathering

Seems like I’ve been on the roll for the Man Booker Challenge. Picked up and started reading Anne Enright’s The Gathering, a novel about nine siblings gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother who drowned in the sea. The highly poetic writing is a bit of an effort to read but it’s very evocative. It’s almost like watching  a craftsman who carves out, bit by bit, a large slab of wood but not knowing what his agenda is. Enright is a literary craftsman. As she traces the line of betrayal and redemption through generations, the writing shows how memories warp and secrets fester. Enright writes with such a huge heart:

“There are so few people given us to love. I want to tell my daughters this, that each time you fall in love it is important, even at nineteen. Especially at nineteen. And if you can, at nineteen, count the people you love on one hand, you will not, at forty, have run out of fingers on the other. There are so few people given us to love and they all stick.” (15)

So true and hit-home. A bit cruel in fact. I haven’t even run out of fingers on one hand!

2 Responses

  1. I’ll have to check out this book one of these days. It seems either people hate it or love it!

  2. I thought there were a number of thoughtful statements throughout the book but I never got into this one. Enright is obviously talented though. Just wish there was more emotion or action or something. I think it is a love/hate type book.

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