M Kassapa, March 14, 2012 (view all comments by M Kassapa)
Anne Enright, Irish author of The Forgotten Waltz, writes about a love affair. It's a book with thick pages, literally heavy, weighted paper. The print is big, almost like you could walk between the spaces of the words or in a tight squeeze you could slip between the letters of the words. Roughly 260 pages. It seems like I should have finished the book in a few hours but it's taking longer. The sentences and style are very simple, almost like a childhood primer. Anne is expressive, articulate, and yet the story dawdles. Is this intentional? Is this love affair written in such a way that one can't hurry through it without feeling its sleight of hand beginnings, its evolution, and its consequences? I have considered abandoning it at times, as if the story was moving too slowly, and I couldn't get through the doorway into the next room of the next paragraph on the next page into the next chapter. Now, with less than a third of the book to go, I am invested in finishing it, in finding out what happens, in figuring out how she writes with a thickness, thicker than weighted paper, that keeps me slogging through each doorway into the next room and into the next scene to feel my life, as I feel the lives of the characters.
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georgina lewis, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by georgina lewis)
An extraordinary and intimate exploration of marriage, commitment, and adultery in all its tawdry banality. Stripped of romanticism but piercingly accurate when it comes to the intensity and stubbornness of 'an affair,' Enright delivers my favorite novel of 2011.
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Alisha C, September 11, 2011 (view all comments by Alisha C)
Enright is a favorite author of mine. I thoroughly enjoyed The Gathering and many of her other novels. Her voice is strong and determined; Enright guides you through her novels, never takes a straight path, but never lets you wander. The journey is just as rewarding as the ending. Her writing his powerful and emotional, leaving you satisfied when you reach the unpredictable end. (excerpt from review at www.luxuryreading.com)
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W. W. Norton & Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this gorgeous critique of Ireland as the Celtic Tiger draws its dying breaths, Enright chronicles an affair between 32-year-old Gina Moynihan, and Seán Valley, a rich, dutiful husband and a devoted if somewhat inept father to the otherworldly, epileptic Evie, not yet 13. Set against a backdrop of easy money, second homes, and gratuitous spending, the dissolution of Gina's and Seán's marriages is both an antidote to and a symptom of the economic prosperity that gripped the country until its sudden and devastating fall from grace in 2008: 'In Ireland, if you leave the house and there is a divorce, then you lose the house.... You have to sleep there to keep your claim.... You think it is about sex, and then you remember the money.' There are, as with any affair, casualties, but what weighs most heavily on Gina is not what will become of her husband, Conor, but rather Evie, who sees Gina kissing her father, and innocently asks if she might be kissed too, oblivious to the fact that this moment heralds the end of her family. She eventually becomes all too aware that her father is gone and that she's stuck with her sad, neurotic mother. And so the question that remains at the end of this masterful and deeply satisfying novel is not just what will happen to Ireland, but what will happen to Evie? (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In The Forgotten Waltz, Enright is at the height of her powers. This is Anne Enright's tour de force, a novel of intelligence, passion, and real distinction.
A haunting story of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing.
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