October Meeting

For our book club meeting on Wed October 19th, we read Solace by Belinda McKeon.

Jacket Synopsis:
“Mark Casey has left home, the rural Irish community where his family has farmed the same land for generations, to study for a doctorate in Dublin, a vibrant, contemporary city full of possibility. To his father, Tom, who needs help baling the hay and ploughing the fields, Mark’s pursuit isn’t work at all, and indeed Mark finds himself whiling away his time with pubs and parties. His is a life without focus or responsibility, until he meets Joanne Lynch, a trainee solicitor whom he finds irresistible. Joanne too has a past to escape from and for a brief time she and Mark share the chaos and rapture of a new love affair, until the lightning strike of tragedy changes everything.

Fresh, sensitive and genuinely brave, Belinda McKeon is a startling new talent in the great Irish mould, and Solace is a work to admired equally for its spare, intense lyricism as its range, understanding, and deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is now.”

1 thought on “October Meeting”

  1. I looked forward to reading this book club choice. “Elegant, consuming and richly inspired. Superb”, writes Colum McCann. “A command of style and structure which will make this a much-loved and a treasured book by readers everywhere”, promises Colm Tóibín. “Outstanding”, says John Boyne. Perhaps I could be forgiven for expecting a literary masterpiece…

    On the plus side, we are presented with modern day Ireland, rural and urban. No overly sentimental evocation of the ‘auld sod’, nor over-lyrical, over-blown language that is perhaps more defining of “the great Irish mould” – a good thing in my book.

    I just found I couldn’t really care about Mark and Joanne. I found their parents more interesting, and as a result I felt more sympathy for Tom, Mark’s father, and Irene, Joanne’s mother. Indeed I wanted to know more about Irene, about the Lynch family dynamic.

    So perhaps I find myself agreeing with Anne Enright in that ‘Solace’ is a “lovely debut”. No more, no less.

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