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The Wren, the Wren

A Novel

by Anne Enright

The Wren, the Wren by Anne Enright X
The Wren, the Wren by Anne Enright
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  • Published Sep 2023
    288 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 21 member reviews
for The Wren, the Wren
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  • Christine M. (Indianapolis, IN)
    Our Fluttering Existence
    Reading Anne Enright's "the wren, the wren" is like floating down a mad ,emotional river. Your jostled joints change course with rivets of fresh insight. Then overhead birds and poetry fly by with their complex songs. On page one, we are directed to how minds record their inner lives: with wordless questions, with florid images, with emotion-sensations. Her characters take note. " We don't walk down the same street as the person beside us."

    What happens in this novel is not really important. The philosophical flow of humor and moving-on is. Enright's descriptions are doubled-pronged. Readers will shout affirmations knowingly at " red brick streets that started to look curated" and "addicted to the prick of tears- just on the eyeball's rind", and suitcase filled with "clapped out flip flops and badly chosen scarfs". Kitchen gadgets are " like bits of middle class aspirations." Enright's mind works miraculously with humor and pathos.

    Kudos , also, to the title " the wren, the wren" in symbolic lower case, the arresting cover, and my favorite line: " There is more to life than being sensible." Enright's is a joy.
  • Donna C. )Shell Beach CA)
    Three generations of women and their poet - an enticing serpentine novel
    The Wren, The Wren is a captivating and beautifully written, but strenuous, book to read, with its non-linear format and frequent use of no conversational quotation marks. The opening of the book drew me in, a psychology expert's study on the ways people think, and the book followed that fascinating beginning with every character. Told through the perspectives of three generations of women, the wife, daughter and granddaughter of an Irish poet who left his family, each offers slices of the chapters of her life with many references to both wild birds and their songs. Snuggled in between those is a small section narrated by the poet himself, the man whose influence has greatly affected them all, and snatches here and there of old Irish poetry, some of which is his. I love Enright's use of language throughout. One of my favorite lines was given to the granddaughter: "A year out of college, I was poking my snout and whiskers into fresh adult air…" Truly a book worth reading!
  • Shirley T. (Comfort, TX)
    The Wren, the Wren
    The Wren, the Wren ---how to describe this brilliant novel of a family who inherit both love and disturbing emotions?

    The three women, Grandmother Terry, her daughter Carmel, who is Nells mother and Nell drive each other crazy but whose love for each other is the sustaining thread through the story.

    Carmel, Nell's mother, has a very different view of life from her daughter. Nell longs to escape and see the world and write about it. Through the years, the novel is interspersed with the love poetry of the Grandfather who sees Nell as a little wren, and who remembers the past verses of old Ireland, both of sorrow and love.

    Birds and birdsong move through the narrative with special meaning for each of the women. This magical story supports the passage of time from the old poet to the modern world of Nell McDaragh, making it a very special novel.
  • Julia Emmons
    Intricate,Skillful Novel By Booker Prize Winner
    The seventh novel by noted Irish writer, Anne Enright, whose novel, The Gathering, won the Man Booker Prize (2007) is no beach read, The Wren, The Wren merits close attention from demanding readers who will savor her understated poetic novel as she explores the complex intricacies and challenges which engulfed three generations of a contemporary Irish family when its charismatic patriarch walked out the door.
  • Toby Jill Galinkin
    A Poetic Novel
    The Wren, The Wren is a poetical saga about three women and the husband, father and grandfather who shaped their lives. This was beautifully written as Enright is an incredibly gifted author. I found the style to be a little unique as it is non-linear in the course of events taking place in the lives of the women. This is not a book to be read lightly; it requires some concentration and is more definitely NOT chick lit but literature.
  • Vicki C.
    the wren, the wren
    Anne Enright's latest novel is quite good. The characters' lives all seem to radiate from their relationship with the grandfather, father and lover of the women in the book. Phil, the character to which all lives seem to be secondary, is an Irish poet of some success. He truly seems to be the main character in spite of being deceased. Whether the relationship with men that each of the women is a function of their relationship with the poet or not, that relationship does appear to reflect in his image. The women are strong when facing Phil's failure as a husband, grandfather or father and, in spite of the significant impact of their history with him, they are able to overcome. I loved the poems at the beginning of each chapter!
  • Paula K. (Champaign, IL)
    Tough Going but Stick With It
    I had a difficult time getting into The Wren, The Wren, but the beautiful language would not let me walk away. The more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. Once into it, the story engaged me, and while I wouldn't say I was hooked, I will say that in the end it was well worth the read.
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