The Forgotten Waltz

The Forgotten Waltz

by Anne Enright

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

2012 Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Award for Excellence in Literature


"This stunning novel by a Booker Prize winner . . . Offers up its brilliance by way of astonishingly effective storytelling."—Booklist, starred review


"A new, unapologetic kind of adultery novel. Narrated by the proverbial other woman—Gina Moynihan, a sharp, sexy, darkly funny thirtysomething IT worker—The Forgotten Waltz charts an extramarital affair from first encounter to arranged, settled, everyday domesticity. . . . This novel’s beauty lies in Enright’s spare, poetic, off-kilter prose—at once heartbreaking and subversively funny. It’s built of startling little surprises and one fresh sentence after another. Enright captures the heady eroticism of an extramarital affair and the incendiary egomania that accompanies secret passion: For all their utter ordinariness, Sean and Gina feel like the greatest lovers who've ever lived.”—Elle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393342581
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/02/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 554,608
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has published three volumes of stories, one book of nonfiction, and five novels. In 2015, she was named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. Her novel The Gathering won the Man Booker Prize, andThe Forgotten Waltzwon the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

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The Forgotten Waltz 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
inparadise More than 1 year ago
I'm ashamed to admit that I was unfamiliar with this author's work, so reading an advance copy of The Forgotten Waltz was a wonderful introduction to a truly gifted writer. I had the pleasure of hearing Enright speak recently, and her lilting Irish voice comes through in her writing, filling this novel with interesting phrases and characters. I consider it a cautionary tale for those who might be tempted to stray from their marriage vows: Gina Moynihan, a thirty-something Dubliner, is seemingly happily married until she meets Sean Vallely. A neighbor of her sister's, she is attracted to him, eventually considering him to be the love of her life. Throughout the story, Enright weaves the pleasures (and perils) of an affair and gives us insight into Gina's relationships with her sister, parents, and husband. I was particularly intrigued by her interaction with Sean's young daughter, Evie. All in all, this was a delightful read, and I highly recommend it. I think book clubs will find a lot to chew on, with fodder for some lively discussion. And I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of Enright's Man Booker Prize winner, "The Gathering," which I've just ordered!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't get past the first 50 pages. A sad waste of time and money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not enjoy. Could not get past the first few chapters. Disjointed and uninteresting content. Doesn't read as the description sounds.
DudleyS More than 1 year ago
I want to read the book that inspired the overview on the inside flap of this book. That story looks interesting. The actual story in "The Forgotten Waltz" left me wondering "why?". I found the main character, Gina, to be lacking in character. We know nothing about who she actually is as she rambles from one topic to another making little sense. In the first 60 page of the book we learn about Gina falling madly in love with the man she ends up marrying and at the same time she finds nothing redeeming about the man she has an affair with, Sean. Even after she has sex with Sean, she has nothing kind to say about him giving us no idea why she would want to have an affair with him. The characters are written at a very shallow level, resulting in the reader looking fruitlessly for a reason to care about any of them.
StephenSLC More than 1 year ago
This was a surprising book, and held my interest from the third page on, and then never wavered. It had a good plot, and emotional barriers crashed down throughout the book. I really liked this one. My girlfriend and I were happy with our find. It is a treasure. I hope this author gets recognition she deserves. Also happy with The Chateau - another good author that should get recognition for her story telling, and ability to keep the reader glued from first page until the last surprising ending. Twists, turns and all kinds of unexpected things surfaced in this book.
Citizenjoyce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. All the characters are perfectly believable. Unlike most Orange Prize nominated books there's no war, poverty or violence; but there is a very accurate description of a woman engaged in an adulterous affair, the economic downturn, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, a young girl ascending into adolescence, the reaction of parents to their child's health problems, the attempt to woo the child of a lover. I believed in these people and their reactions and their acceptance of life's being less than they had expected. This was a nomination well deserved.
rainpebble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story written on the infidelities of a husband and sister-in-law. It is written in a rather simplistic style and again, I found this one to be fairly boring. I was not drawn in to the characters nor was I fond of them. Pretty much a waste of a couple of hours. Not what I am used to in an Orange Prize listed book. This one will not make the short list.
sunnydrk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Recommended by literary journalists in numerous publications, I jumped at this book. After 2 months of trying to "get through it". I finally finished. What was it about? I have no idea. The story was disjointed and forced. There was no character development and the writing was well, let's just say that it must have been way over my head as I just didn't get it. The story is told by Gina, a self-centered, narcisstic character who can't even tell a good story. I would have stopped before the book was done but I held out hope until the end that the book would get better.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s a nicely executed tale of an extra-marital affair. The affair very much like other affairs- nothing surprising here if you don¿t take the absence of passion as a surprising factor. The book is narrated very matter-of-factly by Gina- an attractive and thoroughly modern thirty-something year old who lives in Dublin, and works in a thoroughly modern office having something to do with media and IT. The book is just well written until we hit the parts that deal with the death of Gina¿s mother. These seem to have more depth- there is more colour to Gina¿s past life than there is ever to her present love affair. That is unless we take her stepchild, Evie, into account: Evie is a colourful and interesting character in her own right. It¿s a book without a climax, reminiscent of Richard Wright¿s Adultery, in which the adultery happens at the very beginning of the tale, and the rest of the novel is piecing together how it happened. Nice language, and a style that I can easily imagine a woman like Gina to be using to narrate her story. With witty one-liners that I wish I could remember.
mrstreme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Had The Forgotten Waltz not been nominated for the 2012 Orange Prize, I probably wouldn't have read it. When I read The Gathering by Anne Enright, I found it to be such a bleak novel; I was not in a hurry to read something by Enright again. Thankfully, The Forgotten Waltz was a better reading experience.At the core of this novel is an examination of modern marriage. Gina is newly married when she meets one of her sister's neighbors, Sean. Over time, Gina and Sean begin to have an affair. When Gina's mom died suddenly, Sean and Gina become  little less careful about their secret, and eventually, they must make decisions about their marriages and their own relationship.Sean has a daughter, Evie, who experienced unexplained seizures as a child, leaving Sean's wife, Aileen, overprotective and nervous. Enright does a commendable job showing the strains an unhealthy child can have on a marriage. Furthermore, Enright taps into the difficulties of becoming involved with a person who has a child. As the story progresses, Gina realizes that she will always be second to Evie's needs. She must decide if she can live with that.Gina is an interesting character. If I knew her in real life, I would have to plan an intervention. She is fallible and borderline delusional about her relationships - not only with Sean, but with her husband, sister and deceased parents. She reaches for cigarettes and alcohol a lot, but what she really needs is a good therapist.All in all, The Forgotten Waltz was a solid read that explored relationships, love and marriage. It just goes to show you: sometimes you can't judge an author by just one book.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Almost exactly four years ago, Ireland¿s Anne Enright was the ¿surprise winner¿ of the Man Booker Prize for what is said to be a rather bleak novel called The Gathering. Despite my good intentions, I have yet to read that one, but after reading her latest work, The Forgotten Waltz, I have to wonder if Enright does not specialize in ¿bleak.¿Set in a Dublin suburb, The Forgotten Waltz recounts Gina Moynihan¿s reflections on a love affair she seems almost destined to have had, an affair in which she is the one wearing the tarnished label of ¿The Other Woman.¿ Herself married at the time, Gina was immediately attracted to Sean Vallely when she first encountered him at a family function. The two would be thrown together numerous additional times before the more oblivious Sean would finally succumb to the affair that would ultimately break up both marriages.Complicating the affair for both Sean and Gina, is Sean¿s young daughter Evie. Evie is said to be a ¿special¿ child, one with fragile health ¿ she suffers seizures - who, at least to Gina, seems to be uncannily observant of her father¿s moods and whereabouts. Almost despite herself, Gina is drawn to Evie in some inexplicable way and comes to believe that, without Evie, the affair with Sean would never have happened. Gina¿s life, of which the reader will share the most intimate of details, is further complicated by a deteriorating relationship with her sister, the breakup of her marriage, the death of her mother, and the challenge of competing with Evie for Sean¿s love and attention. Frankly, nothing out of the ordinary happens in The Forgotten Waltz. Enright¿s story is one of commonplace adultery, the kind of love triangle that happens all around us, whether we notice or stop to think about it, every day. What makes the book memorable is Enright¿s ability to get so deeply inside the head of a narrator like Gina, someone honest enough with herself not to try to rationalize her involvement with a man like Sean. Before she takes up with him, Gina knows that Sean has a loving wife ¿ and, perhaps even more importantly, a daughter who needs him - but she gives little thought to their needs. She wants Sean for herself, and when she gets him, guilt is not much of an issue for her.None of the characters in The Forgotten Waltz are particularly likeable but, thanks to Anne Enright¿s way with words, they are real. These are just ordinary people making do with what life throws their way. They do not always make the best decisions or choices, but tomorrow always comes - and they get to try again. Isn¿t that just the way it is?Rated at: 3.5
ReadHanded on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The writing in this novel was excellent. It tells the story of an extramarital affair between the narrator, Gina, and Sean, a man whose family she meets through her sister. The story is realistic and bleak, following the couple from their first meeting, through their trysts and secrets, and past their selfish disregard for the promises and people they leave behind.I don't really like Gina as a person. She's very self-absorbed, which we all are to some degree, but Gina really does not give thought to anyone but herself. Take this for example: "I can't believe I am free of all that. I just can't believe it. That all you have to do is sleep with somebody and get caught and you never have to see your in-laws again. Ever. Pfffft! Gone. It's the nearest thing to magic I have yet found" (pg. 41). When Gina leaves her husband and Sean leaves his wife, Gina learns that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, it's really just the same grass, just in a different spot: "I thought it would be a different life, but sometimes it is like the same life in a dream: a different man coming in the door, a different man hanging his coat on the hook. He comes home late, he goes out to the gym, he gets stuck on the internet: we don't spend our evenings in restaurants, or dine by candlelight anymore, we don't even eat together, most of the time. I don't know what I expected. That receipts would not have to be filed, or there would be no such thing as bad kitchen cabinets, or that Sean would switch on a little sidelamp instead of flicking the main switch when he enters a room" (pg. 204).So, the writing is excellent, the story is compelling, and the characters are self-absorbed.
bobbieharv on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gathering won the Booker prize, but to me, this book was so much better. I kept contrasting it with The Twoweeks, a LibraryThing reviewers copy that I detested, unfortunately. The books were so similar, in content: an adulterous relationship. Enright, however, writes from the inside out - she's inside her character's head, thinking her thoughts and feeling her emotions and seeing the world from her perspective. Duberstein, on the other hand, is just making it up, adding details that feel extraneous, conversations that feel forced.I apologize to Enright for including a writer of such less distinction in this review, but it helped me figure out why some writing feels artistic and others contrived. In short, I loved this book. Beautiful beautiful writing, engrossing, real characters.
smcbeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written novel describing the feelings, emotions, touch, sounds and sights of passion when one experiences the temporary insanity called "in love". No wonder those Victorian women who took to their beds and died of broken hearts. It's real. Enright examines through her novel the destruction and havoc this temporary insanity can cause, and how helpless one can be when trapped inside it. The writing is poetic. Enright won the Booker a couple of years ago for The Gathering. I loved this book.
starbox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Basically, quite good chick-lit. The narrator embarks on an extra-marital affair with the curiously unlikeable Sean, but his epileptic daughter is part of the package.
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This book is awesome. Anne Enright knows how to wrie a story with emotion and feeling.
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