August is a Wicked Month

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August is a Wicked Month

August is a Wicked Month

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A short novel, it is nevertheless jam-packed with the O'Brien's trademark haunting prose - in her best works ( House of Splendid Isolation, In the Forest), her trance-like writing is both comforting and harrowing - often at the very same time. For a while, I thought maybe O'Brien was showing the emptiness of a life based on liquor, sex, and celebrity. A novel about thirty-something Londoner Ellen who, while estranged from her husband, has a meaningless vacation affair on the French Riviera. After being brought as low as possible, Ellen does find her way back to herself and living her life.

Ellen is bored at home in London, bored with her straight-laced sexual encounters and bored with life in general. The novel trundles in this direction long enough to lull you into a false sense of security but is swiftly overtaken by the harsher realities of life.A week into her leave, a male friend she’s known for about a year drops by and kisses her in the garden. When he comes to take the boy on holiday, she makes her own to the south of France, spending her days in a haze of decadance and forgetfulness. This frees her up to enjoy her summer vacation from her job as a theatre critic by becoming “a sort of tourist doing tourist things” in London. When her husband takes their son on a camping trip she bounces around her house for a bit, has a desultory sexual encounter with a conflicted neighbor, and then decides to go somewhere exciting. If you want to see how a masterful author can develop a character so real seeming that you want to befriend, help, and guide her, this book does that and more.

For more than 60,000 years, stories have formed, and continue to form, an integral part of the culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

In my opinion O’Brien is a less happy and less moral Barbara Pym, she’s a MUCH happier and sexier Anita Brookner and for some reason I want to throw in W. Hey, I thought, it would be way cheaper to read a story of wanton lasciviousness than to get an infected belly button (and a lot less painful, too). At any rate, this novel by O'Brien explores the psychology and neurosis of a youngish, attractive mother who's separated from her husband and goes a little crazy on her summer vacation alone. After a number of false starts with hotel staff, Ellen falls in with a louche crowd of hangers-on surrounding an American film star.

I really didn't find much to enjoy in this novel whose main protagonist Ellen, left home alone while her son goes on holiday with his father, decides to take a holiday in France to rediscover some excitement in her life. This frees her up to enjoy her summer vacation from her job as a theatre critic and on a whim, she books a trip to the south of France. Yes, Ellen is young and naive, but that doesn't excuse her bizarre behaviour once she arrives in France.There's also a totally unexpected and where-in-the-hell-did-that-come-from tragedy, that I found unnecessary to the plot and weird.

A few plot points are a bit over the top but for all that it’s still a realistic portrayal of a woman in Ellen’s predicament and at her time in life. Unfortunately for Ellen she finds herself attracted to the one guy who is not available and winds up sleeping with the oldest man in the group for a totally awful experience. A new voice, not the same Kate of The Country Girls trilogy, a slightly older but much more mature woman. Thanks Lisa… I have allowed comments on that page now… it was set up in the new block editor and didn’t realise I had to check the “discussions” box to allow comments.The copyright page states first published 1965 indicating the first edition, with copyright Edna O¿Brien 1965.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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