The Light of Evening: Book summary and reviews of The Light of Evening by Edna O'Brien

The Light of Evening

By Edna O'Brien

The Light of Evening

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About this book

Book Summary

A story of attachments, the attachment to land and especially the attachment between mother and daughter, who yearn for closeness but are also estranged. From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London ... 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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Speaking specifically to mother-daughter relationships, this poignant novel also explores the larger issue of the Irish American consciousness." - Booklist.
"The award-winning O'Brien evokes the cruelty of estrangement while allowing her characters to remain sympathetic and giving them real voice." - PW, starred review.
"O'Brien explores the profound ambivalence of the mother-daughter relationship, but the land and the climate seem more fully developed as characters than do many of the one-dimensional humans." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Edna O'Brien Author Biography

Photo: Orion Books

Edna O'Brien is the author of 19 books. She was the winner of the 1993 Writers Guild Prize for Fiction. Her biography of James Joyce was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in June 1999. Her recent fiction has been about Irish topics - religion, politics, property. In 2001 her documentary novel, In the Forest - about a brutal murder on the west coast - caused a furor in her native Ireland. It was the subject of a BBC Omnibus film.

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