The Green Road by Anne Enright

Posted November 11, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction / 0 Comments

The Green Road by Anne EnrightTitle: The Green Road (Goodreads)
Author: Anne Enright
Published: Jonathan Cape, 2015
Pages: 312
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Rosaleen Madigan is the matriarch of the Madigan family of County Clare. The Green Road tells the story of this Irish family, from the perspectives of the four children. Each section is dedicated to one child’s perspective from different times of their lives. A unique narrative style, which I believe Anne Enright adopted in her novel The Gathering which won the Man Booker Prize in 2007.

The Green Road explores small fragments of the Madigan family, which can be frustrating for some people but I really enjoyed. I like dipping in and out of this family and their drama. Anna Enright does not make a clear narrative, and leaves a lot to the reader to try and connect the dots. Different readers will make different assumptions from this novel which makes it an interesting book club pick. In fact this was a book club pick for my in-real-life book club.

The novel is emotionally charged and jammed packed full of drama, manipulation and bleak moments which brings together really rich characters and an interesting story. I found Rosaleen to be my favourite character, she is manipulative for what she considers good reasons; all she wants to do is keep the family together. However each section is years apart and we witness this family start out close but slowly drift into strangers.

Anne Enright considers herself a short story writer and it really shows in The Green Road. Each section is tightly compacted and work like little short stories from the same family. Although to read one story and put it down and come back to the next would be a mistake. This book requires the reader to work at making connections and drawing conclusions but I think that is what makes this novel stand out to me. I loved dipping in and out with the Madigan family and just experience the fragments of their lives.

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