We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

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 by Edna O'Brien X
The Light of Evening by Edna O'Brien
Buy This Book

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

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

This information about The Light of Evening was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Edna O'Brien Author Biography

Photo: Orion Books

Edna O'Brien is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer. She is considered the "doyenne" of Irish literature. She was the winner of the 1993 Writer's Guild Prize for Fiction. Her biography of James Joyce was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in June 1999. 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 and was later shortlisted for Irish Book of the Decade.

O'Brien now lives in London. She received the Irish PEN Award in 2001. Saints and Sinners won the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the world's richest prize for a short story collection. In 2018 she received the PEN/Nabokov Award. Faber and Faber published her memoir, ...

... Full Biography

Other books by Edna O'Brien at BookBrowse
  • Wild Decembers jacket
  • The Love Object jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.