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I actually plucked this one from the new books shelf this afternoon. I'm the strange one who enjoys second person, so I'm definitely looking forward to read Ghost Light.


Dani, doesn't your library allow you to renew a book online?


Susan--I think you'll appreciate this one! I think I just don't read many books told in second person, but now that I've gotten used to it, I'm very much enjoying it!
Linda--I can renew books online, but not when other people are waiting for it... I'm trying to hurry and finish so the next person in line doesn't get too peeved at me!


I bought this last week and was looking forward to it then I read a few reviews by critics and they were very unkind. One was by Ursula K.Leguin and she was very harsh as well. Funny enough that makes me more curious. From what you write it sounds still very good.


What a happy coincidence to find this review. I was looking at this book in the store only yesterday but put it back on the shelf because I found it hard to judge whether I'd like it or not. From your review I feel much more confident now that I would.


I really enjoyed it but the slow pace and my lack of any real knowledge of either Synge or Allgood made for a difficult start. With time, I really enjoyed the slow pace of the story, the flashbacks to Molly's past and the descriptions of her current struggles. It is a wonderful book and I'm glad you've persevered!


I absolutely loved the title of this book when it first came out, but wasn't sure whether it would be my cup of tea. But I loved your teasing quote, and am going to put it on my library reserve list. Although it will probably have to wait until after the Orange Prize now.


I'm definitely going to have to look out for this. I used to teach Synge and he is a fascinating character. You can't really teach those Irish playwrights without knowing something abut them and how they fitted into the social, cultural and political struggles of the period, but this sounds as thought it might give me a new perspective altogether.


I, too, have been saddled with fines in discovering that the book that needs to go back is one I want to finish. Good for you for holding on and plunging in to finish it. This sounds like a fascinating read.

Your teaser had me gasping at "But for a woman, once she has offended by outliving the age of childbirth . . ." and makes me wonder at far we have really come in some areas of our lives. Ah well.


This sounds like fun and must be really good if you are racking up fines in order to finish it!


So glad you're enjoying this one! I read it last year and thought it was an amazing book. I heard Joseph O'Connor give a reading of it on Friday night, at the Irish Cultural Centre just down the road from me here in West London. He has the type of voice (a very soft, educated, Irish burr) that I could easily listen to all night.

Dorothy W.

I heard an interview with O'Connor recently that intrigued me, and I'd like to read him at some point. And as you said in an email, it would be perfect preparation for Ireland! Or perhaps good to read while I'm there. This sounds very good.


Caroline--I am happy that I had not read any poor reviews as I think that might have put me off and I am very glad I read it. I do wonder sometimes about reviews that seem unnecessarily harsh--they put me off the reviewer more than the book sometimes. Do give it a try, though, you might think very differently than they did about it.
Litlove--I used to take chances on books all the time before, but now if I am buying books I am much more selective and not so quick to buy them. I really liked this--his prose is very beautiful and I will be looking through my pile of books for an earlier title that I have by him.
Kinga--I was pretty disoriented at first as well, but something kept me reading and I am glad I stuck it out. I don't mind a slow pace as long as there is something more to the story to keep me interested. I really liked Molly--such an interesting character and a little contradictory. The prose was gorgeous, though. That alone made me keep reading.
Victoria--The title caught my eye as well. I loved that quote--and that is very much what the character of Molly was like. I thought it was a great read and definitely worth looking for in the library! And only one week until the Orange Prize list comes out! :)
Annie--I'm not at all familiar with Synge or his work, other than peripherally knowing that he was a playwright. O'Connor does say he took liberties with the actual story of Synge and Molly, but it made for good reading. There is always some grain of truth to the story--it makes me want to read more about them now.
Penny--It was well worth the fine! :) I was afraid it would be too hard to get back into if I got back in line for it. I feel bad for the person who was waiting for it, but I was only a few days late. I thought people would appreciate that quote--I really liked Molly--such a sharp woman and so true, too, what she had to go through.
Stefanie--I've not had a fine like that in years! :) Oh well, the money is for a good cause, and I will be more conscientious next time around.
Kimbofo--That's really exciting you were able to hear him speak. I'd love to hear him read from this novel. Somehow hearing the Irish voice would make it an entirely different experience I think.
Dorothy--I plan on reading something else by him--I have one of his books on my shelves somewhere. I'd love to hear him speak or hear an interview. You'll have to go to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin--I'm afraid I missed it when I was there.


Just as I was about to send a passage from this book to my daughter (who owns a small book shop and is a voracious reader), I thought "This is such an amazing piece of writing, it just might be on the web". And it was! Thank you for your very insightful review (and for allowing me to go right back to reading).


Thomkat--I agree with you that Joseph O'Connor is an amazing writer! I was very impressed with this book as well. There were so many wonderful passages. I read a library book but I think I might have to buy this one to keep! I hope you continue to enjoy it as well.

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