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The Gathering
by Anne Enright


Overview - A dazzling writer of international stature, Anne Enright is one of Ireland's most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a return to an intimate canvas and moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family haunted by the past. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea.  Read more...

 
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More About The Gathering by Anne Enright
 
 
 
Overview
A dazzling writer of international stature, Anne Enright is one of Ireland's most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a return to an intimate canvas and moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family haunted by the past. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him--something that happened in their grandmother's house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester. The Gathering is a family epic, clarified through Anne Enright's unblinking eye. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about how fate is written in the body, not in the stars. The Gathering sends fresh blood through the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. As in all of Anne Enright's work, this is a book of draing, wit, and insight, her distinctive intelligence twisting the world a fraction and giving it back to us in a new and unforgettable light.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802170392
  • ISBN-10: 0802170390
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
  • Publish Date: September 2007
  • Page Count: 260
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.55 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 40.
  • Review Date: 0000-00-00
  • Reviewer: Staff

In the taut latest from Enright (What Are You Like?), middle-aged Veronica Hegarty, the middle child in an Irish-Catholic family of nine, traces the aftermath of a tragedy that has claimed the life of rebellious elder brother Liam. As Veronica travels to London to bring Liam’s body back to Dublin, her deep-seated resentment toward her overly passive mother and her dissatisfaction with her husband and children come to the fore. Tempers flare as the family assembles for Liam’s wake, and a secret Veronica has concealed since childhood comes to light. Enright skillfully avoids sentimentality as she explores Veronica’s past and her complicated relationship with Liam. She also bracingly imagines the life of Veronica’s strong-willed grandmother, Ada. A melancholic love and rage bubbles just beneath the surface of this Dublin clan, and Enright explores it unflinchingly. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

The Gathering

Winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, this moving chronicle of an Irish-Catholic family is characterized by Enright's musical prose and ability to spin a compelling story. Veronica Hegarty, struggling to come to grips with the suicide of her brother, Liam, prepares to meet with the rest of her large family in Dublin, where her brother's wake will be held. Having claimed Liam's body, Veronica keeps watch over him, remembering, as she does so, an incident that took place in 1968 at their grandmother's house. Thinking back on the event—a secret that only she and Liam knew about—awakens all sorts of memories for Veronica, and her recollections send the narrative swirling into the past. The novel follows three generations of the Hegarty clan, and the family's history illuminates the present in a way that adds complexity and drama to the book. Most poignant are Veronica's memories of her teenage years in Dublin. Her parents, always short of money, were too busy to give their children the care and affection they needed. As a teen, Liam was molested by a friend—a traumatic experience that Veronica views as the root of his emotional problems. Once the Hegartys come together for Liam's wake, emotions run high, and Veronica's secret is at last revealed. Enright offers a searing, insightful portrayal of family relationships and the difficulties of dealing with grief.

A reading group guide is available at groveatlantic.com.

 
BAM Customer Reviews