The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. 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. Anne Enright is addicted to the truth of things. Sentence by sentence, there are few writers alive who can invest the language with such torque and gleam, such wit and longing - who can write dialogue that speaks itself aloud, who can show us the million splinters of her characters' lives then pull them back up together again, into a perfect glass.
The four Madigan children are raised by Rosaleen, who feels that she is better than those around her in County Clare. She’s impossible to please, but her children love her. Enright gives the reader an insight into the chaotic Madigan household when the children are young, before giving us a glimpse of their varied adult lives. Dan turns his back on the priesthood to become an art dealer in New York, while Emmet works amongst the poor and sick of Africa. Hannah is a struggling actress in Dublin, while Constance stays nearer home, but marries beneath her, even if her husband is a successful property developer. Living alone, after the death of her husband, Rosaleen tells the children that she will sell the family home, so they gather for one last Christmas in Clare. Enright captures beautifully the tensions of such forced festive gatherings, the sibling rivalry and the maternal melancholy of a woman who does not understand her feelings towards her own children.
'Confirms her as one of the most significant writers of her generation... A master. She has certainly produced a masterly work.' Sunday Times
'The Green Road is true and rueful, as terribly adult in its clarity as its battered Madigans.' -- James Wood New Yorker
'Virtuosic [...] in its loose ends is a bold and brilliant way to approach the sadness of a family that fails to connect.' -- Anthony Cummins, 5 stars Daily Telegraph
'Enright is a shape-shifter who gets into the nerve centres of her creations; the power of her prose lies in its absence of ego. The Green Road is a devastating novel about home and how savage a place it can be.' -- Frances Wilson New Statesman
'This novel should confirm Enright's status as one of our (their?) greatest living novelists. I hope she can be persuaded to do a sequel.' -- John Sutherland The Times
'[A] brilliant, devastating, radical novel.' -- Kate Clanchy Guardian
Publication date: 07/05/2015
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing
|Publication date:||7th May 2015|
|Publisher:||Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing|
Anne Enright was born in Dublin and now lives and works in County Wicklow. She is the author of a collection of stories, The Portable Virgin, which won the Rooney Prize, and three novels, The Wig My Father Wore, What Are You Like? which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and won the Encore Award, and The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch.More About Anne Enright