The Light of Evening

The Light of Evening

eBook - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this contemporary story with universal resonance, Edna O'Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odds.

From her hospital bed in Dublin, the ailing Dilly Macready eagerly awaits a visit from her long-estranged daughter, Eleanora. Years before, Eleanora fled Ireland for London when her sensuous first novel caused a local scandal. Eleanora's peripatetic life since then has brought international fame but personal heartbreak in her failed quest for love. Always, her mother beseeches her to return home, sending letters that are priceless in their mix of love, guilt, and recrimination. For all her disapproval, Dilly herself knows something of Eleanora's need for freedom: as a young woman in the 1920s, Dilly left Ireland for a new life in New York City. O'Brien's marvelous cinematic portrait of New York in that era is a tour-de-force, filled with the clang and clatter of the city, the camaraderie of the working girls against their callous employers, and their fierce competition over handsome young men. But a lover's betrayal sent Dilly reeling back to Ireland to raise a family on a lovely old farm named Rusheen. It is Rusheen that still holds mother and daughter together.

Yet Eleanora's visit to her mother's sickbed does not prove to be the glad reunion that Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship -- a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.

Brimming with the lyricism and earthy insight that are the hallmarks of Edna O'Brien's acclaimed fiction, The Light of Evening is a novel of dreams and attachments, lamentations and betrayals. At its core is the realization that the bond between mother and child is unbreakable, stronger even than death.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2006
ISBN: 9780547525280
Branch Call Number: EBOOK FIC O'BRIEN 2006
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vii, 294 pages)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 20, 2016

I would read this author's grocery talented. Enjoyed this surprise. Preferred accounts of mother to daughter, but all is so well written and relevant.

lpwords Nov 24, 2012

As ever, O'Brien's language is wonderful, her themes poignant, her storytelling astute.

May 01, 2012

Autobiographic. O'Brien's mother's letters are wonderful - full of love, recrimination and gossip. Her mother went to Brooklyn as a young woman and is now dying. Although mother and daughter are always at odds, the bond between them is unbreakable.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top