Review: The Gathering – Anne Enright (2007 winner)

Some thoughts on the book: 

I’m struggling to write this post. I finished the book this morning and have been thinking about what to write on and off all day (it’s now 9.15pm). I think this is because I don’t really feel anything about it, it’s a bit of a nothing book (I wrote a post about this before I started reading it ‘That book is terrible’ and perhaps I should have taken their advice).

I’ve just looked up some other reviews to see what others thought of it. The Guardian’s review includes the line ‘made distinctive by an exhilarating bleakness of tone’. But I would say that the book was very much indistinctive. Nothing stood out as a key event, no particular character won me over, or even made me feel much! 

Strangely enough there are a number of similarities with the last book I read, ‘The Sea’. Both are set in Ireland, both are about losing loved ones and both involve drownings (don’t think I gave away too much there).

To give the book some credit, it gives some interesting insights and experiences of life, love and loss, and the power of secrets in families, it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere as it does so.

Do you like my bookmark? It's better than the book underneath it!

do you like my bookmark? It’s better than the book underneath it!

I don’t generally like being negative, but this book really tested me, and finishing it felt like more of an achievement of my persistence and perseverance than anything else and I’m a bit disappointed that it won the Booker.

A quote: 

A little bit how I felt about the whole book…

“It is like Christmas in Hades.  It is like we are all dead, and that’s just fine.”

Format read in: Hardback, Library book borrowed from Tolworth Community Library (75p reservation charge).

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2 Responses to Review: The Gathering – Anne Enright (2007 winner)

  1. yasmine rose says:

    Oh no I have had this on my shelf for a while and have been really looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the honesty though, it has made me more intrigued to see if it is something I would like. I may have to read it soon.

    • amytomlins says:

      Aah sorry, the perils of reading book reviews. If you read it soon let me know what you think! I love a good debate about a book, especially when someone can make me see it from a completely different perspective!

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