Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Country Girl by Edna O' Brien

                                                     Country Girl by Edna O'Brien

When Edna O'Brien speaks you listen. You stop what ever nattering you were doing yourself and sit there quietly taking in every syllable until the good woman is finished. I have been a fan of Edna's since my mother told me of her own experience of living in Co.Clare a few miles from where Edna lived as a child . I often listened to my mother as she told me about how the book The Country Girls was excepted(or rather not) in the small community in which they lived near by. That book was a big deal back then and reading it was frowned against to say the least. My grandmother being a great lover of reading and knowing the family from living in the same area was keen to read it ..she did not admit to reading it until much later but it was hidden in the house. My own mother hearing all the gossip about the book was intrigued as you can imagine and when ever she got the chance would sneak the book to read a few pages. We would both later own the book and in fact the series and could read it with much enjoyment, often together ,often ringing each other to chat over what part in the book we both came across and were enjoying most.
Country Girl takes us back to the very beginning of Edna's life in Co.Clare and to Drewsboro ,Tuamgraney.I got the audible version of this book as I think Edna has the most beautiful soothing eloquent voice that I have ever heard. Time flew by listening to her adventurous life and every moment of that I savoured. Edna   packed a huge amount of experience into her life and she will never shy away from telling about the hard times and sometimes less then glamorous moments .Her honesty is refreshing and her comic wit delightful!
The relationships in her life esp at the time of the publication of The Country Girls was alarming. Her family's reaction to the book I am sure must have saddened her , reading the book, it's innocence , it's hard to believe such a fuss it caused . The Country Girls is a beautiful book about friendship and relationships and family and if you are wondering which of her books to start reading I recommend this one.
Country girl takes us all through Edna's life. Her childhood,relationship with her parents,her school years, moving to Dublin. First love,marriage,her many adventures around the world,the famous people she met and became friends with and even buying a house on the coast of Donegal where she lived in the pink house near the ocean. A peaceful place but hard to direct an ambulance to(read the book you will understand then ;0).
As the book ended I was left feeling deflated. Not because the book ended badly, but because I was sad leaving her wonderful voice and interesting life behind. Memories of her book have stayed with me since I have finished it and there are many chats ahead of me with my mum about the book. We listened to the book together many times in her own kitchen in her home in Donegal. Another Co. Clare woman who survived the hills off Donegal :0)