Scritto in modo scorrevole eppur coinvolgente, e' una storia banale nella sua quotidiana routine ma al tempo stesso eccezionale per la malattia trattata, per la forza della protagonista con tutti i suoi difetti, per una famiglia disfunzionale ma anche no. Struggente, emotivo, le pagine scorrono veloci anche nelle parti in cui in realta' potrebbe sembrar dilungarsi. Bellissimo....Continua
This family saga drags on for three generations (and over 600 pages) with less than interesting participants. The first family is comprised of Irish-Americans, with the stereotyped father a driver of a beer delivery truck and a reformed alcoholic mother, plus a daughter named Eileen who aspires to much greater of life’s accomplishments than can be found in the Archie Bunker-type home in Woodside, Queens. Instead, Eileen has to settle for becoming a nurse and marrying Ed Leary, a professor at the Bronx Community College with no desire for advancement and content with being a highly competent teacher and researcher.
So Eileen has to fulfill her ambitions by encouraging (and failing) to push Ed ever onward and upward. Then she has to transfer these aspirations to her son, whom she pretentiously names Connell. She has big eyes, and wants more and more, finally after a long, arduous argument convincing Ed to move to a house in Bronxville from the three-family home they owned in Jackson Heights, appeasing her upward desires somewhat. And life goes on and on toward the inevitable denouement.
From the start, beginning with Eileen’s father, the characters are wooden and unbelievable, especially Connell, as he progresses in life (the story takes place over four decades). Eileen’s attitude toward her husband and marriage does not ring true. She is satisfied or not, one can’t really know, despite the ending, which doesn’t seem credible. And this is supposed to represent life faithfully....Continua
This story of the experiences of an Irish-Catholic woman in mid to late 20th Century America is absorbing reading, even if the main character comes across as more shrill than admirable. Eileen grows up in a working-poor Irish-American Catholic family, bootstraps herself into a professional career, marries a seemingly like-minded man, and then goes into control-freak mode to keep the upward mobility going. Even when fate deals the family a tragic hand, Eileen never stops.
The author shows great sensitivity to the emotions and thoughts of a woman who insists on rising above circumstances, come hell or high water. An intense read, definitely not something one would read for fun.