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The Little Red Chairs
by Edna O'Brien


Overview - A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal, from one of the greatest storytellers of our time

One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila.
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More About The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien
 
 
 
Overview
A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal, from one of the greatest storytellers of our time

One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.

Then, one morning, the illusion is abruptly shattered. While en route to pay tribute at Yeats's grave, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. The Cloonoila community is devastated by this revelation, and no one more than Fidelma, who is made to pay for her deviance and desire. In disgrace and utterly alone, she embarks on a journey that will bring both profound hardship and, ultimately, the prospect of redemption.

Moving from Ireland to London and then to The Hague, THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is Edna O'Brien's first novel in ten years -- a vivid and unflinching exploration of humanity's capacity for evil and artifice as well as the bravest kind of love.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316378246
  • ISBN-10: 0316378240
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
BookPage Reviews

Book Clubs: Domestic quandries

In her uproarious collection of stories, American Housewife, Helen Ellis skewers traditional notions of domestic bliss—and has loads of fun along the way. The leading lady in “Dead Doormen” is at first glance an expert housekeeper and loving partner, but the life she shares with her husband in their Manhattan penthouse turns out to be decidedly disturbing. When the two female neighbors in “The Wainscoting War”—a story that’s presented as a series of increasingly heated (and hilarious) emails—fail to agree on how to decorate the shared hallway in their apartment building, they go head to head in a territorial showdown. In the all too timely “Dumpster Diving with the Stars,” a writer, an ex-Playboy playmate and a pair of Scientology actors come together on a reality TV show. Fiction fans will recognize the book’s cast of characters—the jealous wife, the uppity neighbor—but thanks to Ellis’ gift for black humor, the females in this smart, provocative collection transcend type.

STRANGER IN TOWN
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien is an electrifying novel about a quiet Irish town that’s infiltrated by evil. Dr. Vladimir Dragan, a good-looking, sophisticated writer and healer, wakes up the sleepy village of Cloonoila when he arrives in the middle of winter. Local beauty Fidelma McBride is drawn to him, betraying her marriage as a result. But the town’s favorable perception of the doctor is destroyed when he’s arrested and his true identity as a Bosnian war criminal is brought to light. The doctor’s dark past horrifies everyone in the village, especially Fidelma, who suffers violence at the hands of his associates. Fidelma eventually moves beyond this bleak chapter in her life, escaping to London to work in a homeless shelter. O’Brien’s tense, politically charged novel—her first in a decade—was inspired by the real-life case of Radovan Karadži´c, the Serb leader who was tracked down and convicted of war crimes after many years in hiding. O’Brien’s portrayal of a quiet village forever altered by a mysterious newcomer haunts the reader long after the last page is turned.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Life of Pi author Yann Martel returns with The High Mountains of Portugal, a suspenseful work composed of three interconnected stories. Tomás, a young man in Lisbon in the early 1900s, finds a journal referencing a remarkable object that has the potential to transform the world. Determined to find it, he sets out on an adventure that has far-reaching effects. The narrative moves forward to the 1930s and the story of Eusebio, a Portuguese physician who becomes enmeshed in a mystery connected to Tomás’ search. Five decades later, the novel reaches its finale, as Peter, a politician mourning his dead wife, arrives at his native village in Portugal, where the threads of the story come together. From the three plots, Martel creates an unforgettable portrait of Portugal across varying eras. Mixing history and suspense into a tale defined by human longing, he delivers a work that’s richly rewarding.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews