Saturday 21 March 2020

Actress | Anne Enright #Begorrathon

I have to ask straight up - who is Norah's father? Could you work it out? I wasn't sure. There didn't seem to be any repercussions or exposition after the reveal. Was it all about the #metoo element? But since you kind of figure that out for yourself very early on, it wasn't so much a shock revelation, but a quieter 'I thought so' moment. I'm confused.

Anyway, let's put that all that aside for now and talk about the lovely, lovely writing in Anne Enright's Actress. I loved her descriptions of Norah and her mother, the famous Katherine Odell, her observations of daily life and her empathy for the thinking of a 21 yr old.

  • We had the same way of blinking, slow and fond, as though thinking of something beautiful.
  • I think I mentioned that my mother was a star. Not just on screen or on the stage, but at the breakfast table also, my mother Katherine O’Dell was a star.
  • The boiling eggs chittering against each other and along the metal bottom of the pan.
  • My life felt like an imitation, and I was terrified it might become the real thing.

Actress was an fascinating story but there were many times when it felt rather like trying to drive a car and forgetting to put it into gear. The engine was revving sweetly, but we were going nowhere! Which is maybe why I felt the father revelation late in the story was more of a frustration than anything else. I was waiting patiently for a burst of speed that never happened.

I enjoyed my time in Enright's hands, but it's not the best example of her work.

#Begorrathon2020 #ReadingIrelandMonth2020


  • 'the more I applauded, the better, it seemed to me, did Berma act.' In Search of Lost Time

Enright Reviews:


  1. This was the last book I was able to get from the library before it closed - yet another Covid 19 victim.. I wonder if I’ll have the same reaction you did.

    1. I loved the writing & the premise, but it just didn’t quite come together. Or maybe I was just too caught up by the covid-19 stuff to pay proper attention.


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