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Girl with Green Eyes by Edna O'Brien

Girl with Green Eyes (1962)

by Edna O'Brien

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410938,861 (3.55)72



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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A looooong time ago in the decade old life of Arukiyomi, I read August is a Wicked Month. That was my first taste of O’Brien’s work and it’s been too long since I’ve been back. Her writing is always heavy with meaning and carefully crafted.

Although this didn’t live up to August, I did enjoy it. It’s a tale of young love set in O’Brien’s native Ireland. What action there is takes place in Dublin or the countryside nearby.

But this is not a novel about action. It’s a novel about a clash of cultures. O’Brien skilfully uses the medium of a woman in her early twenties falling in love with a much older (and essentially a much more married man) to portray the gap between contemporary Irish culture and the traditional.

Traditional Irish culture gets treated mercilessly. We have the
religious bigots and hypocrites, the decaying Irish village, the village weirdos, the controlling family, the damp housing … even the weather and landscape away from Dublin fail to find sympathy with O’Brien.

Against this backdrop, you have the young country girl struggling to find her new identity on various levels as both Dublin and her new lover inspire her to conquer her fears and forge her path.

The only judgment here comes from those too prejudiced to have an objective viewpoint. I’m tempted to include O’Brien herself in that. Not only, as I’ve said, does she not have a good word to say about the traditionalists, but she fails to provide any tangible exploration of the failings of the new culture that is emerging.

In this she disappointed me. No culture is perfect. Present-day cultures which condone the so-called freedoms of adultery, infidelity and the myth of premarital sex apparently without consequences will be condemned, as every other culture has been, by history itself. This makes the novel important for capturing the essence of its time, but its weakness for me was that it did not transcend this. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jun 5, 2016 |
I actually enjoyed this book more than the first in the trilogy.

However, Caithleen has not changed much. She is older, but she is still not able to make her own decisions. As may be typical of a girl whose mother died when she was young and who grew up with an alcoholic father and a domineering best friend (Baba), Caithleen just wants to please. This makes her rather wishy washy, as she holds the opinion of the person with her a the time.

This is also a very trait to have as a young woman in 1960s Ireland who has left home for the city. With no supervision, a friend who just wants to have fun, and a job, Caithleen cannot be trusted to do what is best for herself or for herself. She has no real opinions of her own to trust, as she can't read people at all.

Must read book 3. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
Country bumpkin falls in love with older, more sophisticated man. A quick read; funny at times and insightful at others. ( )
  Lynsey2 | Jan 15, 2016 |
The Girl with Green Eyes Edna O'Brien aka The Lonely Girl
Part 2 of The Country Girls Trilogy picks up where the first book left of with Baba and Caithleen settling into life in Dublin.
The most important questions left over from book 1 are answered here :)
1) Do Caithleen and Baba grow up? No
2) Do they make good choices with regard to men? No
3) Does Baba become a better friend friend? No
4) Do we get a more in depth insight into Caithleen? Yes and sadly it made me want to slap her
I think that covers it lol
I will be reading book 3 purely to find out how it all winds up and to delay starting part 3 of Proust (see the series is good for something) ( )
2 vote BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Also known as "The Girl with Green Eyes", this is the second of The Country Girls trilogy.
Young Kate and her best friend Baba have fled the Irish countryside and moved to Dublin to find adventure and men. Awkward, easily led Kate has once again found an inappropriate love interest: older, married Eugene, whom she pursues until he decides he likes her. Word of her romance gets back to her father, who arrives in Dublin, kidnaps her off the street and keeps her at home with the help of half the village. Her father's behavior only makes Kate more determined that Eugene is right for her.
It's hard not to like Kate, even as she hounds Eugene, behaves childishly and allows her friend Baba to treat her horribly. This book of the trilogy was made into a good movie. This particular cover has nothing at all to do with the story.4 stars ( )
1 vote mstrust | Aug 14, 2015 |
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It was a wet afternoon in October, as I copied out the September accounts from the big grey ledger.
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aka The Lonely Girl
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140021086, Paperback)

The comic sequel to "The Country Girls", in which Caithleen Brady finds romance in Dublin - classy romance with the second Mr Gentleman. The story of Caithleen and Baba continues in "Girls in Their Married Bliss".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Baba roams Dublin looking for men to give her a good time - and dragging with her a reluctant Kate, worrying about her figure and wanting to talk about books.

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Average: (3.55)
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