Anne Enright, Book recommendations, Donal Ryan, Flan O'Brien, Irish fiction, John McGahern, Mary O'Donnell, Niall Williams, Nuala O'Faolain, Patrick Kavanaugh, Roddy Doyle, Tana French, William Trevor
I hope that you are all having a lovely St. Paddy’s Day! It’s rather dreary here–the perfect weather to curl up with a good book–and have I got some crackin’ good Irish fiction for you.
Four Letters by Niall Williams
The heartbreaking portrait of a family that disintegrates when a Dublin civil servant abandons his job to paint.
The Light-Makers by Mary O’Donnell
Main character, Hanna Troy looks back over a troubled marriage while she waits for an appointment with a women’s crisis counselor in Dublin.
Tarry Flynn by Patrick Kavanaugh
A dreamy, would-be lothario wrestles with his mother and small-town farm life in County Cavan.
My Dream of You by Nuala O’Faolain
A debut novel set in Ireland and spanning half a century, columnist turned novelist O’ Faolain, follows two women on their quest for fulfillment.
Amongst Women by John McGahern
Another family drama following an old Irish Republican as he tries to make sense of his life then and now.
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Secrets unravel as the large Hegarty clan gathers in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother.
The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle
A trio of novels in one volume, chronicling the Rabbitte family, one of which is the founder of a working class, soul band in Dublin. One of my absolute favorites. Doyle is the master of dialogue.
Broken Harbour by Tana French
One of the best in Irish crime novels, this book follows detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy and his partner through an investigation into the murder of a family in an abandoned, half-constructed housing development.
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
This is one of my new favorites. It tells the story of a rural Irish town devastated by the economic collapse. Gorgeous. Can’t believe it got rejected by 47 publishers before Doubleday Ireland picked it up.
The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
Set in 1920’s Ireland, it follows a privileged Protestant family who is driven from their home, but has inadvertently left one member behind.
At Swim-Two Birds by Flann O’ Brien
A rollicking novel about a mostly-drunk Irish college student and the mischief he gets up to, including trying to write a second-rate novel.
More recommendations including several memoirs on my Amazon list. Please share your favorites in the comments. I love hearing from you!!!