A searing novel about longing, intimacy and obsession from the award-winning author of Solace.
When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close friends. She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist. In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto. But as Catherine opens herself to new experiences, James's life becomes a prison, walled off by a truth he feels unable to share. When crisis hits, Catherine finds herself at the mercy of uncontrollable feelings, leading her to jeopardize everything.
By turns exhilarating and devastating, Tender is an exploration of human relationships, of the lies we tell ourselves and others. A high-wire act with psychological insights, this daring novel confirms McKeon as a major voice in Irish fiction, alongside the masterful Edna O'Brien and Anne Enright.
Dreams fled away, and something about a bedroom, and something about a garden, seen through an open window; and a windfall, something about a windfalla line which made Catherine see apples, bruising and shriveling and rotting into the ground. Windfall-sweetened soil; that was it. And, the flank of an animal, rubbing against a bedroom wallthough that could not be right, could it? But it was in there somewhere, she knew it was; something of it had bobbed up in herconsciousness as she lay on the lawn in front of James's house, a woolblanket beneath her, one arm thrown over her eyes to do the job of the sunglasses she had not thought to bring.
The French windows were open. They were to the left of the front door, which seemed a bit strange, or pointless or somethingif you wanted to walk out to the front of the house, wouldn't you just use thedoor? Still,they were niceelegant ,that was what they were, and modernand through them now came the noise of James ...
It takes special talent to take basic, everyday story material and turn it into high art. Read this book for the audacious and brave perspective that McKeon shines on our very human vulnerabilities. Then, just like I did, read it again for the spellbinding writing. What more can I say? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of novels that I have read twice – back to back. Tender is one of them.
(Reviewed by Poornima Apte).
In Tender, Catherine Reilly takes up a job writing horoscopes, the kind that you routinely find in newspapers, generic enough to possibly apply to a wide swath of people, yet specific enough to make the individual reader feel like it was written just for him or her.
The word horoscope comes from the Greek words hõra (time or hour) and scopos (observer). Elaborate horoscopes and birth charts are based not only on a person's birthdate but also on the location of birth, since these data points are then used to calculate the precise alignment of the planets and stars, which in turn were believed to affect a person's path in life.
While the ancient Greeks used horoscopes - predictions based on the position of the planets ...
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