Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Are you ready to get your Irish on? Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day so I thought it might be fun to spotlight some of my favourite female Irish authors. Why just female? Well, it is still Women’s History Month and I want to share women I love to read. So, here’s my top seven books penned by Irish women:
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.
Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the sixteenth century and the twentieth - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.
The Green Road by Anne Enright
From internationally acclaimed author Anne Enright comes a shattering novel set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast. The Green Road is a tale of family and fracture, compassion and selfishness—a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we strive to fill them.
Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart. As they grow up, Rosaleen's four children leave the west of Ireland for lives they could have never imagined in Dublin, New York, and Mali, West Africa. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.
A profoundly moving work about a family's desperate attempt to recover the relationships they've lost and forge the ones they never had, The Green Road is Enright's most mature, accomplished, and unforgettable novel to date.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick
Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted.
Originally published in 1945, made into a movie in 1947, and later adapted into a television sitcom in 1968, this romantic tale explores how love can develop without boundaries, both in this life and beyond.
The Country Girls (The Country Girls Trilogy #1) by Edna O'Brien
Meet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.
The Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran Peninsula #1) by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Hanna Casey, local librarian on the West Coast of Ireland's Finfarran Peninsula, is wondering where it all went wrong ...As she drives her mobile library van between farms and villages she tries not to think of the sophisticated London lifestyle she abandoned after finding her barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she's living in the back bedroom of her mother's retirement bungalow in the small town she walked away from in her teens. Now with her daughter Jazz travelling the world, and her relationship with her mother growing increasingly fraught, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence. But when the threatened closure of the library puts her plans in jeopardy, she finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of Finfarran's fragmented community. Hanna's about to discover that the neighbours she's always kept at a distance have come to mean more to her than she ever could have imagined. But will she find the new life she's been searching for?
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
'Everybody remembers where they were the day they heard that Paddy de Courcy was getting married'.
But for four women in particular, the big news about the charismatic politician is especially momentous...
Stylist Lola has every reason to beinterested in who Paddy's marrying - because she's his girlfriend, yet she definitely isn't the bride-to-be ... Journalist Grace wants the inside story on the de Courcy engagement and thinks Lola holds the key ... while Grace's sister, Marnie, still can'tforget her first love: a certain Paddy de Courcy. And what of the soon-to-be Mrs de Courcy? Alicia will do anything for her fiancé and is determined to be the perfect wife. But does she know thereal Paddy?
Four very different women.
One awfully charming man.
And the dark secret that binds them all...
The Irish R.M. by Edith Somerville
Major Sinclair Yeates leaves England to work as an Irish Resident Magistrate convinced that two and two make four. But as he passes judgement on a range of cases and characters that would have driven Solomon to drink he learns that in Ireland, two and two are just as likely to make five, or three, or even nothing at all...
First published at the turn of the century as EXPERIENCES OF AN IRISH R.M., these stories were quickly recognised as classics of Anglo- Irish literature and as some of the funniest prose in the English language. This collection- containing all thirty-four stories- inspired the hugely successful television series.
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MRS N, Book Addict