14. The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007)
Length: 261 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 8 February 2013
Finished: 9 February 2013
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 February 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Anne Enright is a new author for me.
Thirty-nine year old Veronica Hegarty is the middle child in a large Irish Catholic family of nine. She travels to London to collect the body of her rebellious elder brother Liam, after he commits suicide. As Veronica escorts Liam’s body to Dublin for his wake, she contemplates her family – her overly passive mother, her own unhappy marriage, her dissatisfaction with her husband and children, and the deep, dark secret that drove Liam – her favorite brother – to commit his final desperate act.
Something unspeakable happened to Liam at his grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968, something which Veronica has kept secret for all their lives. As Veronica’s family assembles for Liam’s wake – amid all the reacquainting, squabbling, and various recollections of their shared past – Veronica broods on Liam’s death and the single traumatic event that occurred in Liam’s childhood that ultimately affected him his entire adult life. As Veronica recalls her own and Liam’s childhood spent together at their grandmother’s house, she is unsure if she actually witnessed the trauma that Liam experienced in the winter of 1968, or whether it is something that she has imagined happening.
Anne Enright is an extremely talented writer – her writing is incredibly lyrical and very evocative, in my opinion. I did enjoy parts of this book, however the line between reality and fantasy was rather blurred for me at times. I found it hard to decide what actually happened and what was only in Veronica’s imagination. I feel that I should have liked The Gathering more than I did because the writing was so good, however I ultimately had to give The Gathering by Anne Enright an A!
A! – (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight