Friday, April 9, 2010

The Adultress - Noelle Harrison

I don't read many novels these days but recently read the latest novel by Noelle Harrison, The Adultress. Noelle has launched an issue of Boyne Berries for us and gave the Boyne Writers a workshop a couple of years ago so she sends us invites to her launches. I got the latest book at her launch in Dublin but only read it recently.

It's the story of two people who lived in the same house in Cavan, June Fanning who came there from England with her Irish husband in 1941 and Nicholas Healy who has come there in the present, escaping his wife who has had an affair. June's ghost haunts the house and Nicholas hears her story from a lady who had been her friend.

It's a complicated novel with many layers of meaning and suffering which are gradually revealed. What I liked especially was the way the novel was composed. For the most part alternate short chapters present the story from the points of view of the two main characters.

It has its moments of humour also. There is a great scene where a husband suspects his wife is having an affair with Nicholas (She isn't - yet) and arrives at the house one night with a chainsaw. He proceeds to attack and lay waste the apple trees in the orchard.

Irish Independent review

Sean Rocks talking to Noelle Harrison on RTE

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