The Light of Evening

The Light of Evening In this contemporary story with universal resonance Edna O Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odd

  • Title: The Light of Evening
  • Author: Edna O'Brien
  • ISBN: 9780618919734
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this contemporary story with universal resonance, Edna O Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odds From her hospital bed in Dublin, the ailing Dilly Macready eagerly awaits a visit from her long estranged daughter, Eleanora Years before, Eleanora fled Ireland for LondonIn this contemporary story with universal resonance, Edna O Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odds From her hospital bed in Dublin, the ailing Dilly Macready eagerly awaits a visit from her long estranged daughter, Eleanora Years before, Eleanora fled Ireland for London when her sensuous first novel caused a local scandal Eleanora s peripatetic life since then has brought international fame but personal heartbreak in her failed quest for love Always, her mother beseeches her to return home, sending letters that are priceless in their mix of love, guilt, and recrimination For all her disapproval, Dilly herself knows something of Eleanora s need for freedom as a young woman in the 1920s, Dilly left Ireland for a new life in New York City O Brien s marvelous cinematic portrait of New York in that era is a tour de force, filled with the clang and clatter of the city, the camaraderie of the working girls against their callous employers, and their fierce competition over handsome young men But a lover s betrayal sent Dilly reeling back to Ireland to raise a family on a lovely old farm named Rusheen It is Rusheen that still holds mother and daughter together Yet Eleanora s visit to her mother s sickbed does not prove to be the glad reunion that Dilly prayed for And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.Brimming with the lyricism and earthy insight that are the hallmarks of Edna O Brien s acclaimed fiction, The Light of Evening is a novel of dreams and attachments, lamentations and betrayals At its core is the realization that the bond between mother and child is unbreakable, stronger even than death.

    One thought on “The Light of Evening”

    1. Sadly I cannot honestly say I liked this book and have therefore only given it two stars. I recognize that the writing itself is beautiful but that just was not enough to redeem the book. The author jumped around constantly between characters, place and time and I found myself having to guess when and where we actually were. She frequently seemed to start an explanation and then drifted away leaving so many things vague that I was just plain unsatisfied. It may be a while before I try this autho [...]

    2. The novel opens with "The past is never dead. It's not even past," words from Faulkner's Sound and the Fury (please correct this if I got the wrong book), and to an extent the novel is about the relationship between a mother living in rural Ireland and her cosmopolitan semi-famous novelist daughter who doesn't seem to have the time to visit. Beyond the geographical divide, O'Brien's novel is an exploration of the presentness of memory, it's ability to keep one rooted in the past while slipping t [...]

    3. Veo que Errata Naturae está recuperando la obra de la archipremiada Edna O'Brien, y recuerdo que esta novela no me dejó buen recuerdo, valga la redundancia. La literatura irlandesa es como un imán para mí, pero Edna O'Brien es la excepción. The Light of Evening (2006) es su última novela. Creo que comparar a Edna O'Brien con Virginia Woolf no le hace justicia a la de Bloomsbury. La tensa relación entre una hija y su anciana madre es de telenovela. Por otro lado, la novela se centra en los [...]

    4. Not so good as expected.3* Saints and Sinners2* The Light of EveningTR Mother Ireland: A MemoirTR The Little Red ChairsTR In the ForestTR Girl With Green EyesTR The Country Girls Trilogy

    5. “…the milk-white china cups with their beautiful rims of gold, dimmed here and there from the graze of lips…” (3-4).“…telling her that she would have to go to Dublin for observation. Observation for what? As is she were the night sky” (8).“…I’ll never forget this moment, the hum of the bee, the saffron threads of the flower, the drawn blinds, nature’s assiduousness and human cruelty” (81).“…finding himself outside under a roof of frozen stars…” (96).“It was snow [...]

    6. Dilly is lying in her hospital bed and her thoughts fade in and out through the years of her life, from her frightening but exciting journey from Ireland to America in the 1920's, to lost love and her struggle to exist and to have a meaningful relationship with her children. Her lost daugher, Eleanora has her own struggles (and many lovers!) and is on her way to her dying mothers side. This is another book that I came across on our bookshelf at work, having never read Edna O'Brien before I was i [...]

    7. O’Brien can make you work: “Men are queer fish hard and soft both all pie when they want you so sweet and whispery sweeter than a woman then not.” Or she can write as if wielding a blade: “Gabriel, the man she might have tied the knot with except that it was not meant to be. Putting memories to sleep, like putting an animal down.” I’m not alone in finding the book’s first 120 pages a work of genius, the middle of the book erratic and sometimes confusing, and the end more genius, as [...]

    8. Beautiful, sentimental, harshI loved it-but since I can't find the words I'll let the book speak for itself-here's the prologue Prologue 'There is a photograph of my mother as a young woman in a white dress, standing by her mother who is seated out-of-doors on a kitchen chair, in front of a plantation of evergreen trees. Her mother is staring with a grave expression, her gnarled fingers clasped in prayer. Despite the virgin marvel of the white dress and the obligingness of her stance, my mother [...]

    9. Loved it, but struggled with it. Just as you think you are going to be given the secret, the "thing" that has been driven between this mother and daughter, you are led back around to something else. But it's there - I think it's there on the last page of Eleanora's journal, the one her mother wasn't supposed to read (or was she?), and then confirmed later when we're told of a young boy watching a woman storm up and down the banks of raging river. Or at least I think we're told. And the tragedy o [...]

    10. Rather like the last rose of summer from this author's long-cultivated garden. Some of the recurring themes might have been omitted from this latest novel, and some of the pokes at Ireland/country folk/the Church are no longer on the mark as in earlier decades,or have since been done in fresher fashion by younger writers, the newly provoked. But all in all, a satisfying read from the self-exiled doyenne.

    11. This was a gorgeous book. Easily one of the best novels I'll end up reading in 2013. Edna O'Brien can do no wrong. The prose is lyrical, evocative and loaded with deep, conflicting emotions that play out in bittersweet tones. The Light of Evening is not an easy read, and definitely not summertime beach fodder. It's the kind of novel that you savor, like sipping 20 year old tawny port. The plot revolves around the difficult and contradictory relationship between a mother and her children, specifi [...]

    12. Dilly Macready lies in her hospital bed, waiting to be reunited with her daughter, Eleanora. Their relationship has been strained, separated by distance and by lifestyle choice. But O'Brien narrates this story from the third person and also from letters written by mothers to daughters.This is my first novel by Edna O'Brien, and upon it's reading, I can understand why she is so highly praised. She is a master wordsmith - the descriptive nature of her prose, the connections she makes and the messa [...]

    13. I strongly suspect that this novel is an attempt by O'Brien to deal with the complicated relationship she had with her mother - but I don't like to read novels over-biographically and don't believe that they should appear over-biographical if they are truly art. In this case, it seems to me that O'Brien had a hard time fictionalizing. Of course, I could be wrong. But feeling like I was somewhere between memoir and fiction was a bit disconcerting. Dilly, the mother, is a fascinating character, an [...]

    14. Reading Edna O'Brien's latest novel was sort of like reading a cross between James Joyce -- I definitely noticed his influence here -- and Alice Munro, and maybe a little Virginia Woolf, too. I wish I remembered more of The House of Splendid Isolation, which I read in 2000. Reading this was a lovely yet somewhat devastating experience, but then, I read about mothers and daughters differently now. The story centers around Dilly, a woman dying from ovarian cancer, and Eleanora, her daughter. Elean [...]

    15. I checked out several O'Brien works to try this author for my reading enjoyment and found I do not find reading this type of book a rewarding experience. Yes, she is a good writer. This is emotional, dramatic, poignant here and there, revealing and very Irish with authentic Irish immigration experiences. Now we know from her son's revelations that his father was extremely jealous of Edna's writing success and imagined he had written her works himself - a scene nakedly portrayed in this book of r [...]

    16. Edna O'Brien's 20th work of fiction does what all of her novels do: it lyrically expounds on the dizzying power of love. Nevertheless, reviews were mixed. Light of Evening is simultaneously overwrought, sentimental, forceful, and heartbreakingly true__even if the tacked-on conclusion felt strained. The narrative shifts between third-person points of view, stream of consciousness, and diary entries also caused a problem for some reviewers, including Erica Wagner from the New York Times Book Revie [...]

    17. Lovely book. I like way Edna O'Brien writes -- beautiful, lyrical, poetic.The blood, of course,I a about family dysfunction -- one of O'Brien's favorite topics -- particularly about Mother/ daughter struggles for closeness and understanding, while being unable to achieve that. You also hear about the morher's (Dilly's) time in New York as a young woman -- and can feel the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn. But poor Dilly is betrayed there by girl friends and a boyfriend -- although maybe that was a [...]

    18. I really enjoyed this novel. Even though at times it felt too self-consciously literary, I thought it was a nice representation of a contentious mother-daughter relationship. Rather than explicitly stating that her mother was over-bearing and a little manipulating, but that the author felt guilty for keeping her distance, the author told the story from her mother's point of view, so I was always rooting for and cared about her mother. It was at once sweet and mature. At the end, you see more fro [...]

    19. The CharactersI had a difficult time keeping the characters straight and the experiences in order at the beginning. I could relate to the difficulties of farming. I've experienced too many times the backstabbing that incurs an inheritance. My mother felt the same way in her latter years. She was so tired of the pain, the past and the future. Many of the letters Dilly wrote to her daughter, Elenora, were similar to the letters my mom wrote to me in the 1980's when the price of a phone call was a [...]

    20. This is the first Edna O'Brien novel I've read picked it up because I wanted to read something by her and it was the only thing on the library shelf. I can't say that I actually liked the story because it was more O'Brien's writing style that kept me reading. Every word matters. Every detail invokes Dilly's desperation in not living the full life she was meant for, especially her passive-aggressiveness in the letters, and her daughter not finding real happiness in the life she has (one that migh [...]

    21. 5.11.12 started this book last night, I think. I like the writing but the story is sooooo sad. Hurrying to get to the end!5.14.12 finished this book this morning. Very sad - such a depressing book, which I certainly don't need. One word review would be "WHY?"Only 293 pages long. I will say "some" of the writing was very LYRICAL. And beautifulbut overall?UGH. my humble opinion. Someone else, perhaps better reader, will have a different opinion.Would not recommend to the readers i know.

    22. The preview sounded like something I'd like, especially given my relationship with my mother. Based in Ireland, the mother waits for a visit from her long-estranged daugther, an author who moved away to London years before. The story talks about the mother's previous life, the only thread that holds the two together - a old farm called Rusheen -- and about the daughter's efforts to be "herself". But the writing was too "too" for meere is a surprise ending but again it left me cold, like the auth [...]

    23. I read a lot of Edna O'Brien when I was in my 20's living in New Zealand. She and I have both aged 40 years since then. This book is about very dysfunctional Mother-Daughter relationships and as a side-bar really bad marriages. I really liked the first part but had trouble with finding any resolution in the end - perhaps because there is none. I think the book has a large autobiographical component. Was selected by a number of newspapers as the best book of the year when it was published. Again [...]

    24. Edna O'Brien is consistently the best Irish author since Joyce. Her delineation of Dilly, the shee-mother-monster, is brilliant. Her final chapter, a litany of letters read by the daughter, is the best thing I've read since Molly Bloom drifted off to sleep. And all this after the sheer gothic terror of In The Woods. Were this plot not so distractingly autobiographical, it would be easier to see, and acknowledge, that no Irish writer, and few of any nationality, can make that foreign language of [...]

    25. Dilly is dying - cancer is overtaking her. Her daughter Eleanora leaves Ireland and writes about their neighbours and homeland, shocking and horrifying people. Terence, her son, marries and they are determined to inherit Roshan - whatever the cost.Mother and daughter are separated but the closeness is there.Beautifully written, sometimes confusing as the story moves to Eleanora and her flighty behaviour and the loss of her children.The letter at the end written by Dilly to her daughter is poigna [...]

    26. Una prosa intensa. E' il primo romanzo della O'Brien che leggo ed è stato una bella scoperta.L'assenza di una trama lineare (salti spazio-temporali con cambi di punto di vista) è funzionale alla descrizione del rapporto complesso e contradditorio tra madre e figlia. Nella luce della sera c'è malinconia, tenerezza, rabbia, ricatti psicologici, affetto, senso di inadeguatezza, ribellione, conformismo, anticonformismo, ti-voglio-bene-ma-vorrei-fossi-diversa, ti-voglio-bene-ma-devo-andare-via e t [...]

    27. a beautiful, tender, honest, and heart-wrenching story about a daughter, her mother, and life. ah. the irish writer -- nonpareil james joyce, frank mccourt, and now edna o'brien so went the sequence of my reading irish writers. depressed, depressing, lyrical, captivating story tellers. all excellent. all exhausting. all worth the time. these stories live on in my own life. amazing. i wonder if it's just me or if other readers are captivated in this way by irish writers and the stories they tel [...]

    28. Can't say I was convinced of the "intense relationship" between mother and daughter that the flyleaf states. Dilly is obsessed with her daughter but we aren't told much about how the daughter feels for her mother, or for Rusheen. The good writing pulled me along as well as the glimpses of the experience of being and old, lonely and thwarted catholic woman in Ireland today. The best past though was Dilly's years in Brooklyn where she should have jolly well stayed.

    29. Enjoyed this Edna O'Brien - my first but not my last. A novel of mothers and daughters.Dilly is determined to leave the problems of Ireland behind her when she goes to America. She becomes a maid, and has an unhappy affair. Eventually she decides to return to Ireland where she marries and has a family. Her daughter, Eleanor becomes a novelist, and marries a man that her mother disapproves of. The split between mother and daughter widens to such an extent that it will never be bridged.

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