Women and Readers first….

June 7, 2009 | No Comments

I suffer from a queasy concoction of guilt and desperation if I abandon a book before its conclusion, as though I were elbowing my way past the infirm to reach a lifeboat. I made it to the end of John Banville’s Birchwood (1973), but I confess that I skimmed at an ever-more frantic pace through its final third. God, this book was awful….Fine writing, ’tis true, but so damned joyless… After completing Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture some time ago, I felt I’d had my fill of miserable Irish history, no matter how moving, so I’ve got what I deserve for returning to that well. Question is, what do I do with Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, perched atop my ‘to read’ list?…

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