The Green Road by Anne Enright

bookshelves: published-2015, radio-4, spring-2015, britain-ireland, lit-richer, aga-saga, families

Read from April 29 to May 16, 2015

Description: A story of family, selfishness and compassion on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, from the Man Booker Prize-winner, Anne Enright.

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined, in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age, their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she has decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for one final Christmas together in the family home, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has published two collections of stories (grouped together as Yesterday’s Weather), one book of non-fiction (Making Babies) and five novels, including The Gathering (which was the Irish Novel of the Year and won the Irish Fiction Award along with the 2007 Man Booker Prize) and The Forgotten Waltz (which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction).
Read by Brid Brennan
Producer: Joanna Green
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

1/10: Rosaleen, on discovering son Dan is to join the priesthood, takes to her bed in a fit of pique.

2/10: Dan, having deserted the priesthood in Ireland, Is living a double life in New York.

3/10: County Limerick 1997, Constance is alone at the hospital with a cancer scare.

4/10: Mali 2002. Rosaleen’s son Emmet is doing aid work in Segou with girlfriend Alice.

5/10: Rosaleen ask her children to come home for one final Christmas all together.

6/10: Dan heads home to Canada and back in Ireland, Hanna is in a real mess.

7/10: Christmas Eve and all are gathered.

8/10: Christmas Day and Rosaleen delivers the surprise.

9/10: Rosaleen takes herself off into the hills but it is dark now and the family are worried.

10/10: Family members, neighbours and police are out in search.

The Forgotten Waltz left me cold with the age old adultery storyline so it was with trepidation that I approached this Book At Bedtime offering. The Green Road bounced me enough* to make me wish to read The Gathering.

* hattip Brazilliant on finding this article.

1* The Forgotten Waltz
3* The Green Road


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