WHEN AN ACCLAIMED writer and flamboyant character such as Edna O’Brien pens a memoir, we have the delicious prospect of reading the story of a life well lived, well told.
O’Brien brings the reader on a journey that begins with a young girl’s childhood in a small rural community in the Co Clare of the 1930s and 1940s, a period and place in her life that would provide a rich source of material for her writing. Her family had the trappings of wealth, living in a large house with a gate lodge and avenue, but money was scarce. Her mother, a devout Catholic, had an air of glamour about her, having lived in the US for a time before getting married. Her father’s alcoholism had its destabilising effects.