A treasure of world literature back in print, featuring a new introduction by Eimear McBride
The country girls are Caithleen “Kate” Brady and Bridget “Baba” Brennan, and their story begins in the repressive atmosphere of a small village in the west of Ireland in the years following World War II. Kate is a romantic, looking for love; Baba is a survivor. Setting out to conquer the bright lights of Dublin, they are rewarded with comical miscommunications, furtive liaisons, bad faith, bad luck, bad sex, and compromise; marrying for the wrong reasons, betraying for the wrong reasons, fighting in their separate ways against the overwhelming wave of expectations forced upon "girls" of every era.
The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue charts unflinchingly the pattern of women’s lives, from the high spirits of youth to the chill of middle age, from hope to despair, in remarkable prose swinging from blunt and brutal to whimsical and lyrical. It is a saga both painful and hilarious, and remains one of the major accomplishments of Edna O’Brien’s extraordinary career.
This omnibus edition includes the novels The Country Girls, The Lonely Girl, and Girls in Their Married Bliss.
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
“It’s a difficult trip, this coming of age.... O’Brien tells it with love and outrage, compassion and contempt.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Astonishing! Edna O’Brien is supremely talented.”
“A TREASURE . . . POWERFUL. . . INTELLIGENT. . . IRONIC.”
—New York Times Book Review
“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. . . . O’Brien’s particular appeal is that she can be tender yet merciless, romantic yet grittily sexual. She resides admirably where quality and popular writing intersect.”
“A UNIVERSAL STORY. . . . The spirit of youth, the search for love and the despair from disappointments come through clearly. . . . O’Brien’s sensitivity reaches into the very depths of these young
“MAGNIFICENT, EXUBERANT. . . as vivid as autobiography. . . rich, perfect. . . a strange brew of ecstatic abandon and morning-after sorrow.”
—The Village Voice
“MAGICAL. . . two of the most wonderful heroines in modern fiction. . . impulsively romantic as it is resigned and wise.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good old fashion read.
The Country Girls Trilogy: (the omnibus includes The Country Girls, The Lonely Girl entitled also Girl with Green Eyes, Girls in Their Married Bliss and the Epilogue) by Edna O'Brien; was banned in Ireland.My thoughts & comments:Two girls, Caithleen & Baba are childhood friends in Ireland. This is a coming of age story that goes through the early and mid years of their lives. They attend public school and then of course the Catholic School run by the nuns, getting into all manner of trouble. Finally they are turned out of the Catholic School. Baba's family has money and there is no drunkenness nor violence at home. Caithleen's family, or Kate's, as she comes to be called is poor and full of both.The girls end up going to Dublin where Baba attends school and Kate finds work. Baba is the leader and Kate the follower. Baba loves to party and flirt with all men while Kate is more inclined to sit back and observe. Baba is also very worldly while Kate is pretty naive and an innocent. But when she falls for a man this part of her life becomes her all and she pours everything she has into the relationship, be it right or wrong. The men she falls for seem to all be married as well.Kate's love life and marriage do not work out well at all. One thinks that it is going to work out after all that Kate goes through to get there but she just doesn't seem to have it in her to do and say what is best for herself.In the meantime Baba is having fun and when she marries it is not for love but for money and security. She continues to have her fun on the side.The story is told in the first person narrative of Kate for the first two parts and the third part along with the epilogue is told in the first person narrative of Baba. I didn't understand why the switch until the end and then it made sense.I had mixed emotions about this book until I was about a fourth of the way into it and it hit me how brilliantly the story was being told. Everything in this book is told so simply and as I read I realized: I know someone like that or: I have done/said that. I think the book is much better than it is touted to be and I gave it 4 stars.~belva
I enjoyed the first book or section best. The trilogy and epilogue follows two Irish girls from adolescence to menopause. Most of the book is about the girls' relationship and their relationships with men. At times, their families make an appearance to pass judgement. They tend to pick men who are wrong for them to get involved with. The story is based when telephones are first being put into houses. Towards the end, I was tired of reading it and ready to be done.