Tag: Irish literature

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne Review

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud GonneTitle: The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne

Author: Margery Brady

Genre: Nonfiction

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this romantic tale unfolds against a background of political unrest and tenant agitation in Ireland. The poet William Butler Yeats in a central figure in the Irish literary revival, while Maud Gonne, a political activist, is passionately involved in the struggle for Irish independence. But this is not a dissertation about Yeats’ work, nor is it about the history of the day or the political involvements of Maud Gonne. It is a love story, containing some of the most poignant poems ever written.

The Love Story Of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne by Margery Brady Elaine Howlin Books Blog bookstagram photo
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

Review:  First of all, how pretty is this book? Very!

This book chronicles the relationship between W.B. Yeats and the inspiration behind many of his poems, Maud Gonne. I wouldn’t go as far as to call their story a love story because it seems to be pretty one-sided but it’s a very interesting story.

I learnt a lot about these fascinating people and the turbulent time in Irish history that they lived in.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Reading Vlog 4 | June 2018 | Falling For a Dancer & Asking For It Stage Adaption

In this months vlog I chat about going to see the stage adaption of Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, I’m reading Falling For A Dancer by Deirdre Purcell and Reap The Wind by Karen Chance, and I’m watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix.

Falling For A Dancer by Deirdre Purcell TowerHouse Dublin MacMillan publishers

I set myself a reading goal of 400 pages for the weekend I recorded. Not a huge goal but I’m a slow reader so it is a good bit for me to read.

The Irish Readathon Wrap Up

Hi Ho!!! Here are the books I read for The Irish Readathon. I’m a bit disappointed with the amount I read. I really hoped to read at least 4 books but I got lazy. Story of my life.

Salomé Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family Marian Keyes Asking For It Louise O'Neill

 

Salome by Oscar WildeSalome by Oscar Wilde

This is a bit of a strange one. It’s quite different to Wilde’s other plays. I did enjoy it though. I’m not familiar with the original story of Salome but I believe Wilde changed it a bit.

Synopsis: Outraged by the sexual perversity of this one-act tragedy, Great Britain’s Lord Chamberlain banned Salomé from the national stage. Symbolist poets and writers — Stéphane Mallarmé and Maurice Maeterlinck among them — defended the play’s literary brilliance. Beyond its notoriety, the drama’s haunting poetic imagery, biblical cadences, and febrile atmosphere have earned it a reputation as a masterpiece of the Aesthetic movement of fin de siècle England.
Written originally in French in 1892, this sinister tale of a woman scorned and her vengeance was translated into English by Lord Alfred Douglas. The play inspired some of Aubrey Beardsley’s finest illustrations, and an abridged version served as the text for Strauss’ renowned opera of the same name. This volume reprints the complete text of the first English edition, published in 1894, and also includes “A Note on Salomé” by Robert Ross, Wilde’s lifelong friend and literary executor. Students, lovers of literature and drama, and admirers of Oscar Wilde and his remarkable literary gifts will rejoice in this inexpensive edition.

Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family by Marian KeyesMammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family by Marian Keyes

So entertaining!! And since Mammy Walsh is unlikely to get a novel of her own it was a great insight into the head of the family. Full of wonderful Irish wit.

Synopsis: For all fans eagerly awaiting Marian Keyes’ new novel The Mystery of Mercy Close – featuring Helen Walsh and out in September – here is a laugh-out-loud ebook-only short guide to everyone’s favourite dysfunctional Irish family, Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walshes.

It does exactly what it says on the tin but here’s a brief word from its author, Mammy Walsh herself:

‘There’s this woman I know from bridge, Mona Hopkins, a lovely woman she is, even if I must admit I’m not that keen on her myself, and she said a great thing the other day. I was expecting her to say “Two no trumps,” but instead she comes out with a saying about her children. She says, “Boys wreck your house and girls wreck your head.” Isn’t that a marvellous bit of wisdom – “Boys wreck your house and girls wreck your head!” And God knows it’s the truest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I should know. I have five girls. Five daughters. And let me tell you, my head is wrecked from them.

Although, now that I think of it, so is my house . . .’

Asking for It by Louise O'NeillAsking For It by Louise O’Neill

Amazing book. So haunting. Read my full review here.

Synopsis: In a small town, where everyone knows everyone, Emma O’Donovan is different. She is the special one – beautiful, popular, powerful. And she works hard to keep it that way.
Until that night…
Now, she’s an embarrassment. Now, she is a slut. Now, she is nothing.
And those pictures – those pictures that everyone has seen – mean she can never forget.


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Asking For It by Louise O’Neill Full Review

Asking For It
Title: Asking For It
 
Author: Louise O’Neill
 
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
 
 

Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

 
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What I thought about the book: Amazing book. So haunting. I have a feeling it will stay with me forever. Watch my full review below.
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My Rating: 5 star review

Discussion Questions:
Emma’s Beauty is very important to her. She thinks it makes her the most remarkable girl in Ballinatoom. In what way does it inform her identity? Hoe does it affect her relationships?

Emma observes the women around her extremely closely. How does she see other women? Do you think she is sexist?

What values has Emma learned from her mother? What do you think of them?

They’re good boys really. This all just got out of hand.
What does Nora mean by this? How does this statement impact on Emma?

What do you think of Emma’s father? How would you describe his relationship with Emma before the rape and afterwards?

Bryan plays a pivotal role in the novel. Would you agree that he is one of the few characters who treats Emma with respect while at the same time not putting up with her more selfish behaviour?
Do you think Bryan will forgive Emma for not going through with the trial, or is it important for him to see her as a victim?

Why did the boys put the images of their attack on Emma online? Why weren’t they afraid of the consequences of showing what they had done?


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