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Paperback Annie Dunne Book

ISBN: 0142002879

ISBN13: 9780142002872

Annie Dunne

(Part of the Dunne Family Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"Annie's passionate observations and shifting moods-rendered in dense prose that's close to poetry-fuel this fine novel."-- The New York Times Book Review Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End , is now available. It is 1959 in Wicklow, Ireland, and Annie and her cousin Sarah are living and working together to keep Sarah's small farm running. Suddenly, Annie's young niece and nephew are left in their care. Unprepared for the chaos that the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An Irish Masterpiece

Barry is one of those modern writers whose prose can be so beautiful that one often stops when reading his books to roll a sentence or phrase around again in one's mind. To savour it a second time. Set in Wicklow in 1959, Annie Dunne explores the relationship between two Irish spinsters who together run a small farm. It uses this relationship to reflect the life of Annie both in terms of her own limitations and sadnesses, and against the changes Ireland has undergone in the previous, tumultuous 40 years. Barry describes an Ireland which is slowly disappearing now under the weight of its new-found European Union prosperity and, in his beautiful renditions of the rhythms and patterns of Irish speech, and in the various characters of this beautiful book, he has created a masterpiece.


Sebastian Barry's second novel gives the reader a look at life in rural Ireland in the late 1950s from `ground level' - through the eyes of a woman in her early 60s who has returned from Dublin after middle age to live out her life on her cousin Sarah's farm. Annie and Sarah are spinsters - but while they wonder, and honestly lament, from time to time their lot in life, they are reasonably satisfied with their station. They live together in a small farmhouse with no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing. They are honest, good-hearted people - but not without their faults and quirks (which loom larger in their own eyes than in the eyes of others). One summer, Annie's nephew - who is in the process of relocating his family to London - drops off his son (4) and daughter (6) to stay with Annie and Sarah for the summer. The presence of the two children is both a joy and an awful responsibility to the two older women - and over the course of their stay, their addition to the household, along with other events, cause Annie to doubt the stability of her own future with Sarah.Barry's characters are all very well-developed - each of them veritably leaps off the page into the mind of the reader. Told from Annie's perspective - and making the reader privy to her very thoughts - the story unfolds with many emotional and psychological, as well as social, aspects. The tale marches along at a leisurely pace, picking up steam (as it should) near the end. The language Barry employs is a gift - a rare glimpse (for those of us who have never been blessed to travel to Ireland) into the lives of these women and their neighbors.This novel is a remarkable testament to the resilience of the human spirit, the ties of family and neighbors, and the healing power of even the simplest form of love and acceptance.

Moments of Beauty

It is the summer of 1960 at Kelsha in rural Wicklow where Annie Dunne, an impoverished and proud spinster who has known better times, lives out her days on a farm owned by her cousin Sarah. Annie's nephew and his wife leave their young son and daughter in the care of the elderly Annie and Sarah while they are in London preparing for their family's eventual relocation there. Concurrently, Annie's already shaky sense of security is threatened, testing her mettle to its limits.There are moments of beauty in this story, bolstered by the fulsomeness of Barry's writing. Barry justifies his prose: "If you listen carefully for how people are talking to you in Ireland, in certain districts, it is quite elaborate, there is a strangeness to it." An interesting aside is that Annie Dunne was a real person: the author's father's aunt and, in his boyhood, his "favorite person on God's earth." And, like the boy in the story, Barry lived with her at Kelsha one summer in his youth.

Annie Dunne

This is one of the most beautifully written books that I have read in a long time. If you are interested in the heart of the Irish people you will love this book. It has made me want to read everything this author has written. The lovely cover of the book with the little Irish girl is almost worth the price of the book itself.

Sebastian Barry continues to impress.

With this, only his second novel, Sebastian Barry has become one of my favorite writers. Like "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty," "Annie Dunne" is sublime and engaging. Barry's writing is simply beautiful, and his characters are subtley charming and absorbing. Though very little happens in the novel, Barry depicts an old woman's emotions and fears with profundity, and her sense of peril is very real. In my opinion Barry already outranks Doyle, McCabe, McCourt and Toibin as Ireland's best.
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