I spent recent months reading plenty of novels by smart, young, cutting-edge writers; it was fun and invigorating. But now it feels appropriate to read a darker novel - about adultery and its consequences - by a seasoned author who knows the various pathways of the heart.
The Forgotten Waltz
, set in and around Dublin, encompasses those incredible years of booming economic growth (the era of the Celtic Tiger) when Ireland, after all its centuries of being an impoverished outsider, finally became a player in the mad scramble for wealth that characterized the early years of the millennium. Gina Moynihan - a recently married career woman who feels she can have any kind of life, house, job or husband that she wants - falls in love with an older married man over a period of five years and infrequent encounters.
At first it is simply lust, drunken indulgence,...
Beyond the Book
The subject of Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz
is certainly not new to literature. Throughout the centuries, the concept of adultery has provided writers with rich fodder for wonderfully compelling stories.
The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850):
After being abandoned by her husband, Hester Prynne has a secret affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and bears his child. Shunned by the community and forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" (for "adulterer") across her chest, she wrestles with her feelings of guilt.