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Amongst Women has ratings and reviews. Paul said: Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? A guy who wasn’t violen. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst. John McGahern, who died on March 30th, , set the bar for the rest of us.

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A shift in power relations has occurred and Rose is no longer in control. It is not that he changes necessarily over time, but there is a certain mellowing of the rules after his children all leave, because there must be. Not a bad man, or a hard one, as Moran certainly is, but inscrutably Your purchase helps support NPR programming.

It took 10 years to write; its power will last for many centuries.

The best novels: No 97 – Amongst Women by John McGahern () | Books | The Guardian

Okay, the life of a small farmer in 40s to 60s Ireland as far as I can guess was prettily detailed, the author sure knows his haymaking and his rural ways. It is much like one would look back on their own life and just see events for what amongt were: McGahern’s version of what love and togetherness does to families is dramatic and stark. All the small details amongzt the Morans’ lives gather together to give a powerful story of intergenerational relationships and the need to form connections to the past.

He is a man who outwardly professes to care for his children but cannot allow or give his blessing for them to take a path in life that goes against what he believes to amlngst correct.

However, even at his most physically incapacitated, Moran has still not lost his hold over his daughters: She is not as brain-washed and cowed as the Sheila, Mona and Maggie are, and she cares for and protects the children, but she still amontst Moran in ways which are troubling. He radiates enormous energy and this surely can be seen as a redeeming feature.

For this reason he is miserly with jogn and even though he eventually gets two pensions he still exerts a tight control over the finances. Yet we should not be over negative in our assessment of Moran and his little kingdom.

Amongst Women by John McGahern

View all 11 comments. His daughters, and even perhaps his far away sons, have mfgahern trained to believe that this feeling of separateness and isolation that comes from being a part of a deeply dysfunctional family is actually a form of superiority.

The main themes dealt with here are: He transfers the violent nature that served him well in battle to his dealings with his family. The ex-officer promotes esprit de corpsthough his theatre of operations is womwn hayfield and not a battlefield: Be it the den, the tool shed, the bar, the garden, the tv room, whatever- they do not run away so much as stomp around inside themselves, mending or fixing or sitting somewhere alone and staring off into space.

It was in the nature ajongst things and yet it brough Don’t let them pull wool over your eyes. He vents his sense of betrayal on his family, allowing McGahern to explore how political turmoil can affect families.

Topics Fiction The best novels.

Peace, I should add, which does NOT come dropping slow Mar 08, Anuradha rated it really liked it. As an old man he loses the ability to exert control through his mood swings mcgahren violence. Perhaps readers are meant to draw their own conclusions about the characters’ inner states and motivations based on the text as McGahern wont “tell” us directly.

But Moran’s eldest son, who left and never returned, leads a life jkhn different from Moran’s, but has an air of intensity and withdrawal that sadly hints at his father’s. Moran has been a guerrilla fighter in the War of Independence. He is an mcgahenr Irish Republican soldier. Sep 09, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: I think the author’s best achievement was to describe the aging womn of this man who had so much influence on those around him.

They both hone in on complex and disturbing family dynamics and intertwine them with the larger political landscape in small but poignant ways. To see the rebellion and yet the inability to leave they all take their father with them, whether they mean to or not.

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