From the very opening pages, we see many memorable characters as they move about the Ruttledges, who have come from London home to Ireland in search of a different life. There is John Quinn, who will stop at nothing to ensure a flow of women; Johnny, who left for England twenty years before in pursuit of love; and Jimmy Joe McKiernan, head of the IRA, both auctioneer and undertaker. The gentle Jamesie and his wife Mary embody the spirit of the place. They have never left the lake but know everything that ever stirred or moved there. The drama of a year in the lives of these and many other characters unfolds through the action, the rituals of work, religious observances and play. With deceptive simplicity, by the novel's close we feel that we have been introduced to a complete representation of existence. An enclosed world has been transformed into an Everywhere.
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John McGahern is the author of five highly acclaimed novels and four collections of short stories, and has been the recipient of many awards and honours including the Society of Authors, the American-Irish Award, the Prix Etrangere Ecureuil and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Amongst Women, winner of both the GPA and the Irish Times' Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a four-part BBC television series.Review:
'McGahern brings us that tonic gift of the best fiction, the sense of truth - the sense of a transparency that permits us to see imaginary lives more clearly than we see our own.' John Updike
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