Dilly Macready lies in her hospital bed, waiting to be reunited with her daughter, Eleanora. Their relationship has been strained, separated by distance and by lifestyle choice. But O’Brien narrates this story from the third person and also from letters written by mothers to daughters.
This is my first novel by Edna O’Brien, and upon it’s reading, I can understand why she is so highly praised. She is a master wordsmith – the descriptive nature of her prose, the connections she makes and the messages she sends. In Light of Evening, O’Brien unravels the story behind a mother and daughter, being female, being Irish and struggling to break free from convention and into their own selves. The bond between them is related beautifully and accurately, as we see the love and challenges that come of such a relationship.
There were times when the writing jumped around and I found that it did more to detach the reader than draw me in. But still, I enjoyed the journey from Ireland to Brooklyn to London and back home to Ireland again. Makes me want to spend a day at Rusheen.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2006