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Belinda McKeon

Författare till Tender

4+ verk 300 medlemmar 23 recensioner

Om författaren

Foto taget av: Uncredited photo found at author's website.

Verk av Belinda McKeon

Tender (2015) 150 exemplar, 13 recensioner
Solace (2011) 137 exemplar, 10 recensioner

Associerade verk

Granta 135: New Irish Writing (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 74 exemplar, 3 recensioner
The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 57 exemplar, 1 recension
Dubliners 100 (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 31 exemplar
Beyond the Centre: Writers in Their Own Words (2016) — Författare — 2 exemplar


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McKeon takes a line from James Salter’s Light Years as her epigraph: “You know, you only have one friend like that; there can’t be two.”

Tender is an absorbing at times irritating examination of an obsessive friendship among the young, of Irish history during the Nineties when homosexuality is finally legalized in Ireland, of urban university life versus the rural upbringing they share, of art and literature as the protagonist studies Hughes and Plath and writes art criticism, and finally the jealousy that undoes them. Catherine is eighteen when she meets aspiring photographer James in 1997. He is a year older, just back from working in Berlin. They bond like magic and talk daily. The author opens the book with a James Salter quote: “You know, you only have one friend like that; there can’t be two.”

The book is structured in interesting ways, starting out with much talking in the narrative as the two become close, moving into choppiness in Moonfoam and Silver when deeper relationships and sex intrude and tapering off to lots of poetry in Romance when the connection falters and fails. The final sections occur at a reunion fourteen years later.

My exasperation with Catherine in the beginning of the story was high, her youth, her naivete, her self-absorption but slowly the reader understands her intensity, her desperation not to lose James. By the time she loses herself in an ill-planned confrontation and forsakes the friendship, it is a much more empathetic eye gazing at young Catherine and absorbing her shock and horror at what happens around her. Fortunately, the author gives us a look at the two of them fourteen years hence to see how all turned out. There's humor, too, and beautiful sentences. And again very much along the periphery of this story of young people at Trinity College in Dublin are the weight and effect of the Troubles in Ireland.
… (mer)
featherbooks | 12 andra recensioner | May 7, 2024 |
Darn, I was so excited to read this after reading Tender, which I think is an excellent book, the best I've read all year, but I can't help being disappointed.
My expectations were obviously too high. I still love the prose, the realism, and the ending. But there was something about the tragedy that was a bit corny to me, and I do wish she would have given us readers a couple of pay-offs here or there; some moment of connection between our young couple- some puzzle piece that comes full circle, without being something too obvious- there are a couple attempts at this, but neither quite works. Is the family that Joanne is representing at the beginning of the book meant to mirror her own family at the end of the story? And more importantly, what becomes of her louboutin-sporting colleague? I enjoyed the book, but I think there were some problems with the pacing, and telling parts of the story in retrospect seemed messy to me. There seemed to be a constant attempt at not letting us see the relationship of the couple or any dialogue in the present between them- I think this was done purposely, but I can't quite figure it out. I'm rambling, but at least I'm not giving a book report like half the people on here :) On to some Philip K. Dick to keep things interesting!… (mer)
squarishoval | 9 andra recensioner | Oct 3, 2022 |
This is a beautifully written and difficult to read (in a good way) love story. This book was so much better than anything I have read recently that I was terrified the author might let me down. At first I wasn’t sure I liked where the last chapter was going, but in the end it was perfect. Anything else I could say would be a spoiler. I have already ordered McKeon’s first book, Solace, and I might save it until the summer. Highly recommend!
squarishoval | 12 andra recensioner | Mar 30, 2022 |
When this opened I thought, I might like this. University life in Dublin - shades of Normal People. Even the audiobook's narrator, Michelle Ferguson, with a strong Irish accent in my books, was understandable with a reasonably pleasant timbre - two qualities I haven't always found with the Irish narrators chosen to read Irish stories.

And I quite enjoyed the style of writing, the sharp eye for detail, the perceptions.

Didn't much like the swearing, which wasn't in direct speech but in the author's writing, strangely.

But I couldn't get into the story. The story was a non-story, despite the sharp detail in the telling - where was it going?! So I gave up listening to the audiobook after 3/13 parts.
… (mer)
Okies | 12 andra recensioner | Sep 12, 2021 |


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