Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Gathering

***spoiler alert***

Anybody up for discussion on the Booker winner of this year, Anne Enright's "The Gathering"?

I just finished it and overall I enjoyed it very much but was a little confused in parts.

Jem (one of the twins) appeared to be female in parts of the book and male in other parts. Perhaps deliberate?

At times, I was gobsmacked at her sentences, at her use of language and metaphor and the way she describes love and hate and the endless variations in between.

The dark Lamb is always moving in the shadows but had such a profound effect on all who came in contact with him.

I loved how her perception of her family changed with the introduction of Rowan.

Overall I would give it a 9 out of 10, a totally enjoyable read, at times even sublime.


  1. Hi WWW

    I've not read it yet but you might want to pop over to Fiction Bitch (See my side bar). She's got quite a bit to say about it.



  2. Thanks Pants, yes I read her many posts on it and so glad she caught the humour in the darkness of it all. Because that's what life is, how we can still laugh amid the tragedies that befall each and every one of us.

  3. Sorry to say, www, I've just finished it and I was very unimpressed. I kept thinking, what do they all see in this book that I don't? It's billed as a story about families but for me it didn't say anything about families that I didn't know already. Yes, childhood traumas are psychically damaging. Yes, mothers get exhausted by lots of children. Etc.
    I think there are much better books about families like Ann-Marie Macdonald's As The Crow Flies. And better books about grief like Joan Didion's The year of Magical Thinking. There were flashes of brilliant insight but a lot of rather humdrum descriptive prose in-between. Not 9 out of 10 for me, I'm afraid!

  4. Yes, I too loved As the Crow Flies, Nick, and her subsequent book as well, darned if I can remember the title, but I remember the story - about an army base.
    I find it terrific that we can take different impressions away from what we read.
    I took away the watery sense of memory, shifting and changing,and the alliance of members in a family and how historical 'truth' is never what
    we think it is.


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