#Ireland: Edna O’Brien
- Author: Edan O’ Brien
- Title: Saints and Sinners
- Published: 2011
- Genre: 10 short stories (208 pg)
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
- An absolutely feel good story.…it is the longest in this collection.
- Title: Shovel Kings refers to the young Irishmen who
- …came to England to do construction and digging work.
- On payday they felt like (shovel) kings!
- Edna O’Brien describes Rafferty (60+)…
- “He doesn’t belong in England and ditto Ireland
- ….exile is in the mind and there is no cure for that”
- Rafferty and Edna O’Brien have something in common:
- …both felt themselves as exiles having lived in England for 50 years.
- Delia runs a small B&B in a rural village.
- The beating heart of this story is her response to events internally.
- Her thoughts run wild
- ….imaging what her 3 guest are doing in one bedroom.
- Flashbacks of her marriage and her children combined with a
- bizarre dream of saints disrobed
- ….drives her to frantically taking a sleeping pill.
- Strong point: pace
- Pacing feels like a hand pressed in the middle of our backs.
- …pushing us along.
- The sense of trying to catch up with Delia’s thoughts.
- This sense must never slack.
- Delia alludes to lewd machinations
- ….going on under her roof.
- We want to know more….sort of voyeurism!
- Mildred is the first person narrator sitting on the steps of
- …Mme Cassandra’s caravan hoping for a meeting.
- Her marriage is falling apart.
- In a moment of emotion she quotes W. B.Yeats:
- ...”Never give all the heart outright.”
- Does the older wife have a card up her sleeve ?
- Can she outplay the young lover’s trump card?
- Strong point: Tension increases.
- We want to know what Mildred will do.
- How can Mme Cassandra help her?
- This was impressive writing
- ….creating a flow of thoughts with a whiff of humor
- …that seems erratic but is so very well constructed.
- Strong point: Edna O’Brien is a champion ‘withholder’.
- It is her unwillingness to over explain.
- She lets the story end ….and the reader must decide.
- Woman: Mona, painting teacher
- Man: Shane …in prison 15 years …just out a few weeks ago
- Mona and Shane meet to take a drive and have
- dinner in a restaurant.
- Shane is free but his enemies
- …are still looking for him.
- This was a short depressing story.
- I didn’t like it.
3 Comments Post a comment
Very unique way of reviewing a book! I like it.
It is always difficult to review a short story collection.
I prefer just writing down my first impressions per story.
What is the crisis? What is the solution/epiphany? Which character was transformed in the story? (…clear change in attitude etc)
I reviewed Julie Paul’s “The Pull of the Moon” (12 stories)
….you can see (Dec. 16 2018)
a different template I use. It is very handy!
Thanks for your commet