Unbelievably good! So real and so touching. There are passages from this book that I know I will remember always. Any woman who is 40ish and facing that question of "What now?" should read this. The landscape descriptions alone are worth reading the book - they're poetic. I want to go to Ireland just to see the places she describes. The real meat of the story, though, is the main character's self realization. It is soul stirring.
A love story inside a love story. The tale of a woman who faces getting older alone, and her obsession with a historical scandal after the famine in Ireland, her homeland. She comes home to research the story and face her past and understand how it has shaped her life. An excellent read, my favorite book this year.
The heroine, Kathleen de Burca, is an Irish travel writer living in London. Estranged from her homeland and her family, pushing 50 but still living in the same dingy basement flat that's been her home for two decades, Kathleen's is a life gone "even and dry." Love has been her traditional panacea: "I believed in passion the way other people believed in God: everything fell in place around it." But the only love that comes her way these days takes the form of grim, anonymous sex--and even that grows harder to find.
Oddly enough, it's history--her own, and Ireland's--that brings Kathleen back to life. Shattered by a close friend's death, she leaves her job and London to immerse herself in a 150-year-old divorce case. In 1849, according to court documents, the Anglo-Irish landowner Richard Talbot divorced his wife because she committed adultery with their ragged Irish groom. Or did she? The book Kathleen imagines writing about the affair is a classic tale of passion--yet her research turns up a more complicated story, even as love once again makes inroads into her own life.
A must read. Couldn't put this one down. Intelligently written.
Really enjoyed it--very different in writing style. The novel tells the story of an Irish travel writer living in London, who throws over her life there to return to Ireland and write a book. She's writing a book about an affair in early Ireland between the wife of an English landlord and her Irish servant..but it interweaves the two women back and forth. It is really about the travel writer understanding herself, her life, and her feelings about her childhood, about Ireland...