RaveThe Irish Times (IRE)... a memoir with a difference, one with an ethical, emotional and philosophical edge on most grief memoirs ... The extraordinary story is told with humour and humanity ... Bloom provides colourful detail about food, clothes, places and just enough about medical procedures. Apart from being a refreshingly frank account of a marriage (they quarrel sometimes, they use Viagra) it is an exploration or even a definition of true love. Most significantly, it opens the way for a discussion about the right to die ... Lively, accessible and deeply thoughtful, In Love is a truly important book.
RaveThe Irish TimesOften richly metaphorical, her work is so beguiling at the level of story that it’s only on a third or fourth reading you begin to notice subtextual layers, the poetic subsoil ... Favourite Munrovian themes are explored: \'the persistence of desire\' (to use John Updike’s pithy term); the conflict between the impulse to self-fulfilment and parental, mostly maternal, duty; the challenging love lives of the physically or psychologically damaged ... To be honest is to be moral. The other great morality of her fiction is that it is compassionate and nonjudgmental – more than ever, now that she is an octogenerian ... In this collection, too, her abiding concerns with class, gender and religion continue to find expression ... This is a fresh masterpiece, surrounded by stories that are simultaneously old and new. Implicit in this volume is an invitation to view Munro’s life work as a unity, an evolving work, almost like one very long novel ... From very simple stuff she has created very great literature.
RaveThe Irish TimesThe ghosts of William Trevor and Elizabeth Bowen hover over the meticulous, articulate prose, iterated in an almost standard Trevor-land locus of comfortable country hotel ... There is also a whiff of Wuthering Heights in the novel, peopled as it is with larger-than-life dark characters with a propensity for emotional and physical violence ... The history of neighbours and family embroiled in a web of guilt and envy, misunderstandings and lies, has an interestingly timeless feel to it, as if the author is letting us know that the trappings of life don’t really change very much that is elemental in human nature ... While there is limited description, a sense of place permeates the work ... The most impressive aspects of this first novel from the pen of prize-winning short-story writer Anne Griffin are its rich, flowing prose, its convincing voice, and its imaginative and clever structure. She has complete mastery of her quite complex plot, and manages to imbue her sizeable cast of diverse characters with life and energy.
RaveThe Irish TimesThis work is a light-hearted and lightweight collection of articles and stories about Christmas ... a highly amusing little bagatelle of a thing, ideal for a Christmas stocking, especially if your family is doing books this year. Better than a single mince pie – although possibly not as safe a bet as whiskey. It will definitely get you, or your granny, through the day as far as Urbi et Orbi – or the Queen’s speech, if that’s your poison.
RaveThe Irish Times\"In its form the novel blurs boundaries between fiction and memoir, essay and story. Its voice is the intimate tone of the memoir, related by someone possessed of a well-stocked, thoughtful, indeed brilliant mind ... Many novels explore the nature of writing, but this one does it superlatively ... here is a novel that subtly represents a fresh way of doing things ... Nunez’s is not a \'look at me, am I not clever? Watch while I turn a sentence upside down\' novel. But it is very, very clever. Mature. Entertaining. Eminently readable and re-readable. In short, absolutely delightful.