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Country Girls by Edna O'Brien

Country Girls (original 1960; edition 2011)

by Edna O'Brien

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395None27,034 (3.59)45
Title:Country Girls
Authors:Edna O'Brien
Info:Faber and Faber Plays (2011), Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Collections:To Read

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The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien (1960)


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Showing 5 of 5
The story of a friendship between two country girls as they enter adolescence in Ireland in the time period after WWII. Kate Brady and Baba Brennen are friends. Kate’s father is an alcoholic and Baba’s father is a veterinarian. Kate is poor and earns a scholarship to a Catholic school. They go together to school where there friendship is strained but then Baba wants them to get kicked out so they are expelled and leave for life in the city.

I actually enjoyed this story. It reminded me of Angela’s Ashes for some reason. I listened to audio version, read by the author. She isn’t the best reader nor the worst and her accent gave the story “place”. This book was banned in Ireland because of the sexual content. ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 9, 2014 |
Country Girls is the first of three novels following an Irish girl from childhood to middle age. It would be wrong to say that this is an autobiographical novel, but its portrayal of an impoverished country childhood, the convent school, and the first steps to independence in 1950´s Dublin could not have been written by anyone who hadn´t been there. The dialog and imagery reaches across half a century with the same expressive power that caused the book to be burnt in Ireland on its first publication. In fact, in todays terms it is not that startling. However it is testimony to the ability of O´Brien to recreate the ścene, that the reader can readily engage with the atmosphere of repression and the small acts of rebellion and liberalism. It has been said that Ireland´s greatest gift to the world is words, and O´Brien´s use of them is brilliant. She reminds me of Brendan Behan, that economical painting of character and scene, and lively dialogue. Altogether a great book, about Ireland, growing up, and young women. It is deservedly placed in more than a few of those lists of the best novels of all time. ( )
1 vote nandadevi | Mar 29, 2012 |
This was an unexpected book. I'm not sure why I'd been expecting a comedy, but if this is a comedy, it's of the blacker kind. Cathleen grows up in rural Ireland and is drawn to the lights of Dublin and the lures of older, more experienced, more married men. O'Brien portrays Cathleen's naivety and unreliability as a first person narrator who clearly only sees scraps of what's going on and puts these together to make huge mistakes. The country and its people, the convent school and finally Dublin are portrayed in the harsh spotlight of a clever girl with the unconscious cruelty of youth and beauty. While she suffers, she survives. Others don't.
2 vote otterley | Jun 18, 2011 |
Je suis restée en dehors, plutôt agacée par l'itinéraire et les personnalités de Baba et Caithleen. Un rendez-vous manqué. ( )
  Helger55 | Apr 26, 2008 |
Je suis restée en dehors, plutôt agacée par l'itinéraire et les personnalités de Baba et Caithleen. Un rendez-vous manqué.
  lenasouslefiguier | Mar 14, 2007 |
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Book description
The story of childhood friends Kate and Baba, two girls living in rural Ireland who yearn to grow up and move to the big city.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452283434, Paperback)

Meet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.

"It's a difficult trip, this coming of age . . . O'Brien tells it with love and outrage, compassion and contempt." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

"A treasure . . . powerful . . . intelligent . . . ironic." (The New York Times Book Review)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spend their childhood together, leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the city. Kate is dreamy and romantic and yearning for love, while Baba just wants to experience life as a single woman. Although they set out together, their lives take unexpected turns with each learning to find her own way.… (more)

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