From the beginning I was fascinated with the character of Rosaleen, this family matriarch of four, living in an unnamed village in County Clare. When her eldest son Doug tells the family he is going to be a priest, she takes to her bed for days. Two boys, two girls and we follow this family throughout three decades. As with all siblings they take many different paths,live in different countries, and we hear from each of them.
As for Rosaleen she waits, using passive aggressive techniques to make them feel guilty and to blame for her loneliness and unhappiness. Reminded me so much of my Irish mother-in-law, which is why I found her character and her parenting techniques so interesting. But then towards the end, when we hear her story, I began to feel sad for her.
We follow Dan to New York during the days of the aids crisis, Emmett to South Africa, Hannah as she has a child and a drinking problem and Constance, the child who stays the closest in distance to her mother.
This is on all ways a novel about the complications of being part of a family. The grudges, the memories good and bad, the misunderstandings and the misunderstandings we carry through to adulthood. What the idea of family and the family home means to different members.
A very well written, thought provoking read. One I think most readers will find something inside in which they can relate.
ARC from publisher.