The Wren, the Wren brings to life three generations of McDaragh women who must contend with inheritances—of poetic wonder and of abandonment by a man who is lauded in public and carelessly selfish at home.
Exquisitely crafted ... Often very funny ... This is a powerful, thoughtful book by one of the great living writers on the subject of family, about how very long it takes to make peace with cruelty and loneliness, about being a woman living in the shadow of a man who wrestles with Ovid, doing the nonpoetic work of raising children and defrosting the freezer. Speaking about love in terms both domestic and transcendent, Enright coos through newly connected wires.
Wondrous ... Enright...is a master at dissecting family life ... If the internet is supposed to have caused a general dumbing-down, Enright shows how, on the contrary, in the hands of a truly inquisitive and deeply intelligent and creative mind like Nell’s, it can be a window into ourselves ... The novel is interspersed with translations of old Irish poetry — each poem is in direct counterpoint to or an accent on her themes. Far from feeling ancient, these poems have a language of their own that transcends time. Like the novel itself, they sing with grace and beauty and hard-hitting truth.
A tough, mordant story ... The power of Enright's novel derives not so much from the age-old tale of men behaving badly, but from the beauty and depth of her own style. She's so deft at rendering arresting insights into personality types or situations ... Enright makes it clear that such stories are never small when they happen to you.