Caithleen and Baba, first encountered in The Country Girls, are now living in Dublin, where they discuss men, drink gin, and try to look fast. Cait, in the pursuit of true love, becomes involved with the fanatically domineering Eugene Gaillard. Painful disillusion and occasional moments of bliss in her life make this a bittersweet tale, and it is told with all the perception and wit that is the hallmark of Edna O’Brien.
©1962 Edna O’Brien (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This is another moving, deeply felt novel about the characters O'Brien introduced in The Country Girls. This time around, it's a love story that takes the narrator through a relationship with an older, divorced man. Given the time (1950's) and location (Ireland) she faces massive disapproval from family and others, including violence/
O'Brien is fantastically vivid. Her descriptions of people, landscapes, and houses are full of detail and emotional resonance. I found this novel slightly more sentimental than the first and some of the narrator's romantic longings seemed overwrought. However, it is a powerful book overall.
O'Brien read this with so much feeling and urgency, the listener is transported. Impossible to imagine anyone reading it more compellingly.
I listened to The Country Girls and enjoyed Edna's descriptions of growing up in rural Ireland because my mother grew up much the same way and it was as if my mother was telling the story. The story is told by the author and her accent is much like my mother's as well. What was frustrating with the first book is that it had no end and left the reader wanting to know what happened to the two young girls in Dublin. I was delighted to see a sequel to the first book and downloaded it immediately only to find it has ended the same way...poor Cait is once again left wondering and sad. My guess is that the publisher took one long book and divided it into three (let's hope it is just three!) books. Enough now, give us an ending!
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