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The Light of Evening

Cover of The Light of Evening

The Light of Evening

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From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London. The epochs of her life pass before her; she also retraces Eleanora's precipitate marriage to a foreigner, which alienated mother and daughter, and Dilly's heart-rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. But Eleanora's visit does not prove to be the glad reunion Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship-a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.

From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London. The epochs of her life pass before her; she also retraces Eleanora's precipitate marriage to a foreigner, which alienated mother and daughter, and Dilly's heart-rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. But Eleanora's visit does not prove to be the glad reunion Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship-a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.

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About the Author-
  • Edna O’Brien is the author of 19 books. She was the winner of the 1993 Writers’ Guild Prize for Fiction.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine O'Brien's nineteenth novel is a story of the divisions between mother and daughter--a generation apart, a country apart. The mother's story is the easiest to follow as the lyrical narrative switches from one woman's point of view to the other's. O'Brien's poetic language is delightful, but much is left unsaid. Years pass, people marry, divorce, die, children are born, books are written, Dilly's treasured farm goes downhill, along with her husband's love and care. While listeners are left to guess at these in-between times, Dearbhla Molloy's narration is a welcome aid. The heavy brogue she falls into whenever she's speaking in the mother or grandmother's voice provides clear character differentiation for the listener. R.R. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 26, 2006
    In her 20th work of fiction, O'Brien meditates with haunting lyricism on the lure of home and the compulsion to leave. Dilly, 78 and widowed, lies in a Catholic hospital in rural Ireland waiting for her elder daughter, Eleanora, to arrive at her bedside. In gorgeous stream-of-consciousness from the masterful O'Brien (Lantern Slides
    ), Dilly recalls her early years as well as decades of misunderstanding and conflict with Eleanora. Dilly's past unfolds in fits and starts: she leaves her mother behind in a small village in Ireland to seek a better life in 1920s Brooklyn, returning after a failed affair and the death of her brother, Michael. She promptly marries the rich Cornelius; they settle at Rusheen, his dilapidated family estate, and have two children. For Eleanora's story, O'Brien shifts to the third person: the daughter moves to England, marries an older novelist and begins a successful career as a writer before divorcing him and embarking on a series of affairs with married men, a life that Dilly both envies and scorns. The award-winning O'Brien evokes the cruelty of estrangement while allowing her characters to remain sympathetic and giving them real voice.

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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Light of Evening
The Light of Evening
Edna O'Brien
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