Review: The Green Road, by Anne Enright

The Green RoadThe Green Road by Anne Enright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Green Road, by Anne Enright, is an introspective, remarkable, often poignant story about the four siblings of the Madigan family, and their mercurial, often tempestuous, aging mother, Rosaleen. Set primarily in Enright’s native country of Ireland, the narratives of the four children sometimes wander from that green island to America and Mali, carrying with them the subterranean influences of their mother’s influence.

This is a story about acceptance: of each other, of ourselves, of the places we inhabit. This could be anyone’s story, and because of that Enright has succeeded in making a very specific story a common and relatable one.

The prose, while easy and straightforward, somehow is also quite precise and lush. She weaves description through the narrative with a deft hand, so that the reader is transported.

But the reader should be aware this isn’t the sort of novel which immediately grabs you and hauls you into a consuming read. Rather, this is the type of novel to be read carefully, with commitment, working through the opening chapters with complete faith the author knows what’s she’s about, and will eventually have you quite absorbed and preoccupied with the world she’s created.

Definitely a novel worthy of the literary accolades it’s been accorded, and definitely a novel worthy of your time.

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