House of Splendid Isolation

Overview

Josie is a widow living in a remote old house outside an Irish village, possessed by memories of her troubled marriage and one clandestine love affair. Her solitude is violated by the arrival of an escaped IRA terrorist, McGreevy, a bloody crusader for a United Ireland, who has chosen her beautiful home for sanctuary as he has plan for a new action. Their coexistence - a hostile standoff at first between the yearnings of an elderly woman whose youthful joy was broken an the intransigent idealism of her captor - ...
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Overview

Josie is a widow living in a remote old house outside an Irish village, possessed by memories of her troubled marriage and one clandestine love affair. Her solitude is violated by the arrival of an escaped IRA terrorist, McGreevy, a bloody crusader for a United Ireland, who has chosen her beautiful home for sanctuary as he has plan for a new action. Their coexistence - a hostile standoff at first between the yearnings of an elderly woman whose youthful joy was broken an the intransigent idealism of her captor - evolves in to something far more ambiguous. Before the novel reaches its powerful conclusion, they have come to an understanding. House of Splendid Isolation marks a new departure and a new degree of acheivement in Edna O'Brien's distinguished career. The portrait she draws of the enduring dilemma of her native country is compassionate, wrenching, and unforgettable.

Josie is a widow living in a remote village in Ireland. Her solitude is violated by McGreevy, an escaped IRA terrorist who has chosen her beautiful house for sanctuary as he lays plans for a new action. Their coexistence, a hostile standoff at first, evolves into a powerful, eerie understanding. "The most gifted gifted woman now writing in English."--Phillip Roth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An elderly Irish woman develops a relationship with an escaped IRA terrorist who has sought refuge in her home in O'Brien's 14th novel. June
Library Journal
``A man will come and a child will go out,'' says a gypsy girl to Josie some time after she first enters her husband's house, having returned to Ireland from America to marry him. The man who comes in is an IRA terrorist on the run from the police who invades Josie's house when she is living there alone as an old woman. The child had been lost to an abortion early in Josie's marriage, at a time when she could not cope with her uncouth husband and a life she had chosen in desperation. The two stories are deftly woven together by the remarkable O'Brien ( Time and Tide , LJ 4/1/92), who manages to sum up a century of Irish sorrow in this taut, lyrical novel, filled with scenes so vividly rendered they seem captured in a flash of lightning. Not the least of O'Brien's accomplishments is her ability to present both sides of the Irish problem in all their complexity without settling heavily on either side. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/94.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452274525
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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