Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Haunting. A completely brittle and open look at grief. Anne Enright requires her reader to have vision, not to take all things literally but to step into memories knowing that memories can be misconstrued because of the love you have for people and because of perception. This story's main...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It8 of 9 members found this review helpful
“Yes, I know it won the most prestigious literary award in Britain, but I found it a disappointment. Enright is obviously a very good prose stylist who can summon up beautiful, even startling imagery and insights, and the book is laced with them. But I feel she would have created a much more...”see full review » see other reviews »
“It was hard for me to finish the book but something clicked in the last 40-50 pages & I'm glad I did. If you're not into reading flashbacks & flashbulb memories this book isn't for you; if you need a story with events, this isn't for you either. If you enjoy reading about how the person next to you is stumbling around through a difficult time of her life, you may like it.
I'm not rating this book because I don't feel qualified.”
“‘I would like to write down what happened in my grandmother's house the summer I was eight or nine, but I am not sure if it really did happen. I need to bear witness to an uncertain event. I feel it roaring inside me -- this thing that may not have taken place. I don't even know what name to put on it. I think you might call it a crime of the flesh, but the flesh is long fallen away and I am not sure what hurt may linger in the bones.’- Veronica Hegarty
Anne’s Enrights novel The Gathering shows an extraordinary family journey, it shows how a very dysfunctional family comes together during a dreadful period. The oldest brother Liam has committed suicide and nobody knows why, During this period Veronica (2nd eldest daughter) comes to see her mother who is suffering from severe memory loss, mother has had a dozen children but a lot of them didn’t make it through and Veronica never forgave her mother for that even though she knows it’s not her mother’s fault. Enright uses a lot of flashbacks in this story it goes back and forth usually It starts off with Veronica going to see her mother who she has a very distant relationship, she comes to talk about her brother Liam who has committed suicide she feels like her mother doesn’t care at all. Being in the house she grew up in she gets a lot of flashbacks and that’s where the story really starts.
In grief, Veronica cuts off everything she cares the most about her husband and daughters she starts taking long midnight drives, putting distance to her mourning. She gets one special flashback which means a lot to her, the
When she and Liam walked in the woods through an avenue of beech trees “
And bright,” hung with leaves “as theatrical an orange as leaves could get.” To her, that afternoon was pregnant with emptiness.
p. 6) The last time I cried in this kitchen I was seventeen years old, which is old for crying, though maybe not in our family, where everyone seemed to be every age, all at once.
Veronica feels like her family is very different from others, in the book she explains that she is not even close to some of her siblings anymore and rarely talks to them, they all keep secrets from each other. (p. 53) I don't think we kissed. The Hegarty didn't start kissing until the late eighties and even then we stuck to Christmas. Even showing affection was rare in this family they were never really close they didn’t know how to act around each other what to say to each other
Anne Enright wrote this book admirably, like it happened to her, I believe a lot of people can connect to this. A lot of people today come from a dysfunctional family and only come together when something tragic or amazing happens, She connects this to our world in amazing way using all the emotions we have felt before, that we are so sad that we can’t move on anymore and feel like everything is crumbling below us or when we feel extreme happiness we have all felt this way before and that’s what gives you such a personal connection to the book because the feelings that the characters have you have felt before so you understand them and the book more and it brings you into a new understanding of the book.
With her curiously spare yet over-elaborate style and her ruthless eye. In her past books, she has often let fantasy shape her creations. In one of the stories “The Portable Virgin,” a film editor has the power to edit his own life. In her first novel, “The Wig My Father Wore,” a winged suicide victim moves in with a television producer, it
Talks a lot about family and love and most of her stories are set in Dublin. In the novel “What Are You Like?” long-separated motherless children collide like bumper cars. All the books I know of her are set in Ireland, she is also from Ireland that place she knows best, Anne Enright was the youngest of five so she understands Veronica’s situation, and Veronica might not be the youngest but still struggles with her family.
As Veronica struggles to understand why her brother committed suicide, she tells herself that she owes it to Liam to acknowledge his past. “We know that real events have real effects. In a way that unreal events do not,” she reasons. Liam’s great talent, she believes, was “exposing the lie.” In “The Gathering,” Enright lets Veronica do something even harder: expose the truth.
All in all I think this was an amazing accomplishment of Anne Enright, it was filled with mystery happiness, sadness, drama. It connects it to our world and exposes problems that some people suffer from today, it makes us have a deeper understanding of family and how they are more important to us and through the hardest time they will be the ones who stick by us and through the good times they will stick by us, This is a very rich and powerful novel. She constantly leaves the reader wanting to read more. She remarkably writes the human emotions like you can feel it yourself, Anne Enright is an amazing writer and I am looking forward to many more of her writings.
“Maureen's Book”Romantic @ Heart wrote this review Wednesday, September 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had quite mixed feelings about this book, a woman's tale of travelling back to Ireland with the body of her recently deceased brother, and trying to piece together the childhood events she feels led to his suicide.
Anne Enright writes beautifully, and I can understand why this novel was awarded the Booker Prize. There were numerous incisive and witty points made, there were observations which I thought clever and attractive, and - though the numerous penis references became a little laughable - there was a frankness about sex and relationships which I thought (mainly) refreshing and interesting.
However, it was ultimately quite disappointing, because so little happened. I wasn't looking for action and excitement at every turn, but I was left wanting more to have occurred. Essentially this was an unreliable narrator reminiscing - no matter how eloquently - about numerous childhood memories which may or may not have happened, and how they may or may not have affected her and her family. I was hoping for a little more real a conclusion, having traipsed through a couple of hundred miserable pages encountering few sympathetic characters on the way. ”
“loved it.”drefrench wrote this review Friday, August 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A mixed bag for me, as are many of the Booker Prize/National Book Award winners. I adored getting to know the Hegarty family, but felt overwhelmed at times by the paragraph after paragraph of what seemed to me to be overly verbose and frankly, difficult to follow.”Ann M wrote this review Tuesday, August 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read over half of this book before I just had to ditch it. The story is actually one that I thought was really interesting - Veronica goes home to tell her mother that her older brother Liam has died. Veronica has 11 siblings in total, and her mother is, as a result, a shell and Veronica clearly resents her - she lacked attention as a child as her mother was permanently pregnant. There are also suggestions that Liam was an alcoholic, but had suffered a trauma as a child. We are introduced to a few other siblings, and the relationship between them all seems fascinating....
However I got fed up of this book, which kept wandering off into the past and describing the relationship between her grandparents and the narrator describes events she of course wasn't present at, so it is a sort of fantasy. She also mentions penises on every single age, which I soon tired of and was really unnecessary. I just wanted the author to get on with the story, which simply did not happen, and I eventually got fed up and lost interest in what would or wouldn't happen - as I felt the author wouldn't tell me anyway!”
“Exquisitely written, truly. It was a pleasure to read the words, let them form complex thoughts and pictures. I was less enamored by the story, but the honesty and truth in the relationships, the disappointments and joys, the human feelings we share and hide... incredible.”Lisa H wrote this review Saturday, June 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Family tensions and unresolved conflicts make for a very readable novel.”Carol A wrote this review Friday, June 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No