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This third and final volume of O'Brien's celebrated trilogy alternates point of view between the two "girls." It starts out with the spiky mix of rueful comedy and earned anger over the oppressive expectations for Irish women of the first volumes. It has some fantastically funny set pieces, and Baba continues to be a tremendously witty, hard-edged foil to more passive and earnest Kate. As the book progresses, things turn darker, and the epilogue is so sad and bitter, at times it's painful to listen to. I think some readers felt betrayed by the sadness of the final installment, but it exposes the reality of life for women raised in deeply Catholic countries and living in a society that keeps them in inferior roles, surrounded by men addicted to alcohol and misogyny. O'Brien's narration is riveting!
I have the suspicion that many people buy The Country Girls trilogy but read only the first novel. If you are a guilty non-completer of this justly famed trilogy, listening to OBrien herself read is the way to go. She is a beautiful reader of her own work, and the final novel abd epillogue are what push the whole trilogy to the calibre of greatness. By all means listen to this!
Reading by author herself may not be the best quality audio wise, but stunning nevertheless.
This novel was hailed in its day (mid-60s) as one of the first feminist portrayal of women. In some ways, it is.
Unfortunately, this description seems to ignore the fact that the "heroine", who spent the first book (The Country Girls) in ardent pursuit of a married man and the second chasing relentlessly yet another, is now married, looking for something better and is sniffing around yet another married man.
Quite why she does this is never explained. There's never any sign of a single man she could make a play for or who make a play for her, but the fact that this tramp gets her comeuppance in the end seems to be a "bad thing". Hmm. Not from MY point of view!
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