Enright’s writing is as gentle and honest as ever, providing an enchanting exploration of finding one’s true identity.
By Anne Enright ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023
The acclaimed Irish author is back with a novel that focuses on a three-generation female family. It is a story of both the trauma and the beauty that is passed down through generations. Phil McDaragh, Carmel’s father, is remembered for his poetic love poems as well as his violent outbursts.
His poem dedicated to Carmel is a romantic vision of a bird, “so fierce and light / I did not feel / the push / of her ascent / away from me / in a blur of love….” Phil’s departure leaves his two daughters with the responsibility of caring for their mother, who is dying of cancer, and the debt he left behind. Carmel refuses to have a man in her life, and Nell, who was raised without a father, struggles to form relationships with men.
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She travels the world in search of a future and a place for herself as a writer. The narrative shifts between the perspectives of Nell, Carmel, and Phil, and Enright’s writing style is adapted to each. Poems of birds are scattered throughout the text, as well as examples of violence between men and women, siblings, and even parents and children. Despite the pain and suffering, the familial connections are strong and lasting.
Carmel remembers how easy it was to love Phil, and Nell realizes that the connection between them is more than just DNA. It is a rope full of blood that ties them together from the past.
Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023