Amongst Women has ratings and reviews. Paul said: Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? A guy who wasn’t violen. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst. John McGahern, who died on March 30th, , set the bar for the rest of us.

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Unhappy or not, family relationships are part of larger equations. Irish lore is endlessly fascinating, and its no surprise that so many great writers and poets come from Ireland, and continue to do so. A shift in power relations has occurred and Rose is no longer in control.

The novel moves from scenes where exquisite amognst are scrutinized and tiny moments given immense power; amonyst sweeping judgments of motive and character, almost as though the book is a cantata, with heartbreaking aria followed by calm recitative.

Amongst Women Reader’s Guide

How do other elements of Irish life contribute to familial dysfunction? Above all they brought the mcganern breath of the outside, an outside Moran refused to accept unless it came from the family. They all came at Christmas. Moran in the story thinks that by retreating, issues are solved since people are unhurt. This is a character driven novel and the plot takes a back seat.

Secure jobs such as the civil service were recommended. Love in Moran’s family is filled with bullying and the need to ritualize. July External links: McGahern eventually succeeds in making you understand why the family tolerate and even love this monster, and by the end of the book one almost feels sorry for him. All three girls planned to come to revive Monaghan Day.

If this is the case, yawn.

Amongst Women by John McGahern

His two sons are distant from him, literally and figuratively. She has acquired the social skills that please employers, learned to indulge their whims. The real heroes here, though, are the women — Rose, Amongwt, Maggie, Mona — who are buffeted but never bowed by Moran’s storms.

He in turn charms and terrorizes his family and as harsh as that sounds I found myself admiring him in some ways. McQuaid, who has long outstripped Moran in terms of worldly achievement, is happy to indulge in war memories for an evening, but he is unwilling to perpetuate his former role of junior officer. Are there any similarities between Moran and the character of Paddy Maguire? The callers continued coming to the house throughout the day.


Michael, their younger brother, had promised to come from London at Easter, but Luke, the eldest, still would not come.

This is another — another — story about a patriarch and how his family must dance around him on hot coals fearing the wrath and looking lively whenever he bestoweth his gla Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? I can see why McGahern was selected to write the forward for NYRB’s edition of Stonereven though McGahern is distinctly Irish and Williams is distinctly American, the writing in both is patient, lyrical, and meditative.

Man Booker Prize Nominee He changes and writes a letter of apology to his oldest son Luke who has left him a long time ago.

Moran has a very strong sense of his own importance that stems partly from inheritance and partly from his own past glory in the Irish War of Independence. To think it took me until now to discover this great writer! Once reviled — he left the country after his novel The Dark was banned by the Irish Censorship Board because it was deemed pornographic — he became one of Ireland’s most eminent writers of fiction.

It was in the nature of things and yet it brought a sense of betrayal and anger, of never having understood anything uch. This particular relationships is set up I think to show how the political is personal, the historical is personal, and it is also to a certain degree allegorical.

Moran is left on his own with Rose and simply becomes more introverted and depressed. He transfers the violent nature that served him well in battle to his dealings with his family. The depredations of Michael Moran are ordinarily nasty, nothing to speak of, a trillion households will be like this, the daughters trembling and the sons fighting and leaving, who cares.

Even though there is a timeless quality to the novel and no dates are mentioned we are being asked to pass judgement on the new State that has emerged and was beginning to find its feet under the influence of the Constitution. From distant London or Dublin, Great Meadow in summer appears a therapeutic, pastoral world: I don’t know as much about 20th Century Irish politics as I ought to, but the point has been made to De Valerain Home Rule enclosure, rural insularity, fetishization of old fashioned home and hearth.


The Rosary is peculiarly identified with Moran and it is a very clever device used by McGahern to emphasise the narrative repetitiveness, which is a feature of this novel. The title can be interpreted in two ways.

Amongst Women by John McGahern

It is not that he changes necessarily wome time, but there is a certain mellowing of the rules after his children all leave, because there must be.

Therefore, McGahern manages to balance the attractive and the repellent aspects of patriarchy in this novel. When he promotes the values of home and family he is obliquely bolstering his own self-importance.

The screenplay was written by Adrian Hodges. And the specialness they feel because of their father’s way of setting apart the family from others. This is a finely written novel and a moving study in human strength and human frailty. Moran is an old Republican who was a guerrilla leader in the War of Independence. And we get a perspective on the roles of education and emigration in changing Irish society, and on the failure of religion to offer any counter to amobgst, even where it preserves its mcgajern power.

Although rarely likable, Moran is nevertheless Many significant Irish novels published during the 80s and 90s Amonst think, in particular, of Colm Toibin’s wonderful The Heather Blazing seem to feature characters and plots that struggle to reconcile the revolutionary ideals of the early twentieth century with the soullessness and disenchantments of some aspects of the new state that finally came into being. Moran is a man who is disillusioned by the political reality.