The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. His sister Veronica was there then, as she is now: keeping the dead man company, just for another little while.
The Gathering is a family epic, condensed and clarified through the remarkable lens of Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is also a sexual history: tracing the line of hurt and redemption through three generations – starting with the grandmother, Ada Merriman – showing how memories warp and family secrets fester. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sarah on 19-04-16
Anne Enright and Fiona Shaw a Killer Combination.
Would you listen to The Gathering again? Why?
Yes, it was funny and sad and painfully accurate when it came to families.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gathering?
I loved the memories of the interplay between the kids when they were little.
Which character – as performed by Fiona Shaw – was your favourite?
She was brilliant at them all, obviously.
Any additional comments?
This was the first time I have come across Anne Enright's writing, I have now gone straight on to The Green Road.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 30-09-17
This novel is work, but it's worth it.
As always with Anne Enright, I'm left dazzled, with a wanting to re-read, as if something dense and clever (clever, not "unredeemed", as with the Hegartys, or what was it?) has hit me, something very well thought-through. Though some chapters may have seemed redundant when I read them, a sense of completion and of coherence remains now, in the end. Dark, yes, and mad, and gross, too; full of sex, but narrated by a narrator who's not merely gross and postmodern for the sake of it, of postmodernity (yes, so many versions of the same story, all possible), but who, by being so, is also knitted in discourses about the remembrance of history, the (Irish) community, the female body, senses. Many aspects of life, which often remain unsaid, are well-observed and described, and so spat out to the reader, not to make the reader uncomfortable on purpose, but to finally spark the long-due discussions about them, one might think. Because if we don't speak them, do we, like Veronica, turn a little mad over time? Clever, yes.
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