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The Green Road by Anne Enright
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The Green Road (2015)

by Anne Enright

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6414722,424 (3.62)122
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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Marvelous. Beautifully written. So far, my favorite of the Man Booker long list. The Madigans are quite a family. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
The story of Rosaleen and her relationship with her 4 children captured in snapshots of their lives over the years. Lovely writing but a sad and lonely book. ( )
  TheWasp | Oct 20, 2018 |
I liked this quite a lot -- I'm not always crazy about Anne Enright's work, but The Green Road really worked for me. The characters were all fully fleshed-out--I thought Dan and Constance were particularly well handled--and the second half of the book manages to have both an elegiac quality and a shot of sly humor. And as always with Enright, the writing is beautifully elegant. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize
I wasn’t familiar with Anne Enright’s work before I was given The Green Road as a gift. The synopsis sounds wonderful:
From internationally acclaimed author Anne Enright comes a shattering novel set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast. The Green Road is a tale of family and fracture, compassion and selfishness―a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we strive to fill them.
Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart. As they grow up, Rosaleen's four children leave the west of Ireland for lives they could have never imagined in Dublin, New York, and Mali, West Africa. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.
A profoundly moving work about a family's desperate attempt to recover the relationships they've lost and forge the ones they never had, The Green Road is Enright's most mature, accomplished, and unforgettable novel to date.

I even saved it until I had to spend some time in an airport. It starts out pretty good, but quickly goes downhill in my opinion. The beginning and the ending are the best parts.
The story starts in 1980 with Hanna, seemingly the youngest of the Madigan brood. Mom Rosaleen has taken to her bed after the oldest, Dan, announces he wants to become a priest. The story then shifts to focus on Dan. It is 1991. He is living in New York. Not sure what his occupation is as the story is more about his life as a gay man and the AIDS epidemic more than anything. The next section focuses on Constance, stilling living in Ireland, in 1997. She is at a hospital to determine if the lump in her breast is cancer. The next shift is on Emmet, who is, I think, a missionary in Mali in 2002. As I read these sections, I felt that Enright kept the reader at arm’s length. Then the story jumps back to the Madigan home for Christmas 2005.
The father, who we don’t see much of, died ten years (I think) earlier. Rosaleen is the same melodramatic matriarch that she was in Hanna’s section. There are no explanations of how the four ended up like they did, which made me feel disconnected to the character’s problems.

I give The Green Road 2 out of 5 stars. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 2, 2018 |
A good read, but not memorable. The characters are all likable and believable. ( )
  MelbourneSharonB | Nov 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
The novel's form beautifully embodies its theme. Since it is concerned with breakages and splits, it begins by presenting us with one of Rosaleen's quarrelling children at a time, a chapter for each.
 
Enright withholds closure but doesn’t skimp on pleasure. Barely a page goes by without a striking phrase or insight. She convinces you of her setting, whether it’s west Africa or the East Village. The sons’ stories, unfolding farther afield, are story-driven; the energy in the daughters’ stories comes from the texture of experience (a supermarket run; half-cut on vodka).
 
The characters are so finely realised that they seem continuous: we feel the pressures on Emmet as coming from the long past, part of the air he breathes; we understand that the absence of all three of Constance’s siblings is an unspoken part of her homemaking; most extraordinary of all, we experience Dan’s gaps and distance as part of his character, his distance from himself. It is not much like a novel, but it is a lot like knowing people; an awful lot like being alive.
 
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Later, after Hanna made some cheese on toast, her mother came in the kitchen and filled a hot water bottle from the big kettle on the range.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393248216, Hardcover)

A major new novel from the winner of the Man Booker Prize.

Spanning thirty years and three continents, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigan family, and her four children.

Ardeevin, County Clare, Ireland. 1980. When her oldest brother Dan announces he will enter the priesthood, young Hanna watches her mother howl in agony and retreat to her room. In the years that follow, the Madigan children leave one by one: Dan for the frenzy of New York under the shadow of AIDS; Constance for a hospital in Limerick, where petty antics follow simple tragedy; Emmet for the backlands of Mali, where he learns the fragility of love and order; and Hanna for modern-day Dublin and the trials of her own motherhood. When Christmas Day reunites the children under one roof, each confronts the terrible weight of family ties and the journey that brought them home. The Green Road is a major work of fiction about the battles we wage for family, faith, and love.

“Enright’s razor-sharp writing turns every ordinary detail into a weapon, to create a story that cuts right to the bone.”—New York Review of Books

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:15 -0400)

"Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart."--Dust jacket flap.

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