The Gathering - Anne Enright

The 2007 winner of the Man Booker Prize. The story is mostly set in Ireland (Dublin) with some of the tale in Brighton and South England. Veronica Hegary is one of the nine surviving children in her family and at the start of the novel her brother Liam has just died. She dwells on the past, their life growing up and what it was like for her grandparents. It is only about half way through we learn how Liam died and the circumstances surrounding his death.

Veronica does not really love her husband any more although she cares deeply for their two daughters. She suspects he is having an affair as they are no longer sleeping together. She Spends time rewritting the past and imaging the life her grandmother Ada had with her husband Charlie and his friend Lamb Nuggent. Slowly she remembers the past and what really happened. The events she remembers help piece together the truth behind Liam's death.

I didn't really enjoy this novel. It was just too bleak and I don't think I was really in the mood to read it. The ending was slightly more uplifting with some light at the end of the tunnel which helped a little. It was well written, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for it.


    I liked this book more than you did, but I didn't love it either. It was indeed bleak. But wow, beautifully written, wouldn't you say?

    I agree totally w/ you Rhinoa on your take of this book. Pretty bleak but well-written. Thanks for sharing.