Actress by Anne Enright

First, I have an obvious soft spot for Irish novels. Something about the sensibility.

45993330

This is a quiet novel–and one about late middle age, I think, even though the central figure is nominally a glamorous actress in all stages of her life. It’s about identity–of yourself in relation to your parents (and your parents for themselves). All the drama is the mother’s, but the impact is the daughter’s. There is a bit of a mystery, but it’s never fully solved.

So many of the facts of the book–of the narrator Nora’s life, really–are obviously fully formed but never much discussed; they just are. Her life, her house, her marriage, her children. It takes skill to create backgrounds like that.

There’s a lot of gender stuff going on here, which the book acknowledges by having a character remark on it, something the narrator doesn’t seem to like. That creates an interesting dynamic.

I’m never quite sure how I feel about books that just sort of drift through memory, pausing on things as they tie into some present thought. A book that’s about a life rather than an episode.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.