Friday, 17 May 2013

These stories offer a gathering of dreamers and lost souls who contend with the confusions of living.....

This week we are recommending "Where have you been?" by Joseph O'Connor

A collection of short stories which range from urgently contemporary London and Dublin to New York's Lower East Side in the nineteenth century, from dark comedy to poignancy, from the wryly provocative to the quietly beautiful, these stories offer a gathering of dreamers and lost souls who contend with the confusions of living. Here are men without women, children parenting parents, residents of the Broke-bank Mountain that is Ireland after the Celtic Tiger, emigrants, travellers, cheats and lovers, families, friends and foes. The focus is on those moments of the everyday when possibility seems to appear. A football match becomes an occasion of hard-won acceptances. An old acquaintance re-encountered plays mind-games in a bar. A fling between people who have almost nothing in common alters their lives forever. In Dublin, a desperately ill woman meets a tour guide in a hotel. A civil servant drives his father into Wicklow to say a final goodbye. A boy comes of age in a seaside town where everything is about to change.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

May's Read - Bailieborough Reading Group

The lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore

...... is an unflinching and deeply sympathetic portrait of a woman destroyed by self and circumstance. First published in 1955, it marked Brian Moore as a major figure in English literature (he would go on to be short-listed three times for the Booker Prize) and established him as an astute chronicler of the human soul.

Judith Hearne is an unmarried woman of a certain age who has come down in society. She has few skills and is full of the prejudices and pieties of her genteel Belfast upbringing. But Judith has a secret life. And she is just one heart break away from revealing it to the world.

May's Read - Cootehill Library

The Girl you left behind by Jojo Moyes

.........a hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the "Richard and Judy" bestseller, "Me Before You". What happened to the girl you left behind? France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision. Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again...In "The Girl You Left Behind" two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most - whatever the cost. Praise for Jojo Moyes: "Destined to be the novel that friends press upon each other more than any other...Moyes does a majestic job of conjuring a cast of characters who are charismatic, credible and utterly compelling".

May's Read - Cavan Reading Group

December Bride by Sam Hanna Bell

Sarah Gomartin, the servant girl on Andrew Echlin's farm, bears a child to one of Andrew's sons. But which one?

Her steadfast refusal over many years to 'bend and contrive things' by choosing one of the brothers reverberates through the puritan Ulster community to which she belongs, alienating clergy and neighbours, hastening her mother's death and casting a cold shadow on the lives of her children.