Simple language that caresses your ears
Posted August 26, 2011on:
I have been listening to Edna O’Brien read the unabridged version of this novel. It is quite short. She reads it in a state of holy awe, as if she is filled with wonder at the world. This very much suits the narrative, which tells of the unholy dramas that befall a fourteen-year-old Catholic girl in a little Irish town. It is told in unadorned, elegant English. There is a purity about it, which means you have to quieten your mind and let Edna’s voice fill up your senses in order to appreciate it. You will then realise that it is a life-changing experience to ride in a car with a well-groomed man of middle age who thinks you are lovely; and that lifelong friendship can begin with the gift of a cake placed on your pillow. If you expect any more from life, or a book, than this, then you may well be disappointed. But if you enjoy the purity of simple language that caresses your ears and sharpens your senses, then prepare to be enthralled.