Monday, July 20, 2015

The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Gathering is another read that's aimed towards a mature audience and uses strong language. The book is set up in a way that it is written by the main character herself, Veronica. It mostly consists of memories she holds and memories she has made up from her grandmother's past. It is absolutely stunning how well Enright is able to capture how the human mind thinks and remembers. The Gathering very much sounds like Veronica is trying to explain far away memories, correcting what she has remembered wrong ,in some cases, at the end of the chapter.

Throughout the book, Veronica is dealing with the death of her family member, and you can see the fog death throws over you in 'her' writing. The mood and feel is expertly done, with incredible descriptions and attention to little details added in.

As mentioned, the book switches through Veronica's real memories, the made up ones about her grandmother, and the present. This transition is done fluidly with no confusion between which is which. Each new segment offers something new, in the same descriptive way. The Gathering has stunned me with the amount of detail and mood, I can't stress that enough.

However, This is not a perfect book. There isn't a whole lot going on in the story. No major conflict that is the main focus, sure there are problems, but it's never focused on, and gets lost within the segments of the chapters. What is being told is being told slowly, with no anticipation. A story can be slow, if it has suspense or anticipation. The only way anticipation is added to The Gathering, is if you read the back of the book first, which I do not, which informs you that there is a family secret to be uncovered. That family secret isn't discussed at all in the book until it is revealed. Personally, I had it figured out within a couple chapters from how Veronica acted, but that could just be me. Needless to say that took away any surprise and suspense I might of had. But Veronica did react correctly to that 'secret', she had the same response most others would have, so I give Enright credit for that. It is a hard topic to express.

Overall, not the best story-line, and not the best way to deliver it. However, the details, mood, and ability to express thoughts and emotions saves this from being flat for me.In the end, I would say The Gathering is a decent book, I didn't waste my time reading it. I am a firm believer that every book is worth a read and will offer something to everyone, but with that in mind, I wouldn't put this to high up on you're reading list.

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