READERS GUIDE. Questions and Topics for Discussion. INTRODUCTION Amongst Women pulls us into a tight family circle with its first sentence: “As he. Buy Amongst Women Main by John McGahern (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst.

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The clue is in the title. Read it Forward Read it first. Whenever he earned money from his books, he would buy another field for his cows, whom he loved. McGahern explores how loyalty works in a family in ways which are quiet and dark and sometimes lit up as by a lightning storm, with occasional bright flashes. It’s of course the once place where he doesn’t violate the privacy of others, which is his curse, but it’s also where he takes people in. He’s caught between an indifference he feels politically from the country he was proud of fighting for and has now somehow gone past him and the proud, sullen self-sufficiency he has spent a lifetime accumulating.

Maybe this final epiphany is the blessing he always craved and was unable to receive, a blessing hinted at in the name Rose? It’s not easy to be a father and a husband, especially if your EQ isn’t too high. Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

The 100 best novels: No 97 – Amongst Women by John McGahern (1990)

Don’t let them pull wool over your eyes. Rose Brady is the main character who makes life bearable for everyone in Great Meadow. View all 13 comments. Irish people everywhere seem to have an often inexplicable affection for their country, whether they be urban, suburban, rural or living in Boston.

The story ends with Moran’s death. But it has that feeling of horror and air-less-ness. Yet we should not be over negative in our wome of Moran and his little kingdom.


In his old age, however, he is bitter about the “small-minded gangsters” that are now in charge of the Republic of Ireland. There’s lots to applaud, and my only reservation is that I don’t feel that McGovern brings any deeper or original insight to the realities and dynamics of close knit family life than the great D. For example, on his wedding day he is content because “he needed this quality of attention to be fixed upon him in order to be completely silent.

Patriarchy in Amongst Womenn can be seen to derive to a great extent from patriotism.

The oldest brother, Michael, is the patriarchal figure and controls their However, Amongst Women is now taught on the syllabus of the Leaving Certificate English course in Irish secondary schools. Dec 21, K. When he is about to remarry, for instance, he tells his daughter Maggie that he is doing so in the best interests of the family, though it has just been revealed to the reader that his only motive is his own future welfare.

The characters are so well depicted in this novel and especially that of Moran. However, he and me sometimes is not aware that silence amongdt also a statement.

Now in old age, living out in the country, Moran is still fighting but this time with his family, his friends and even himself.

The novel shows that Moran’s contradictory behaviour is a personification of the contradictions of postcolonial society. It’s an incredibly evocative scene in a novel that is awash in them. Like a few novels I have read recently, the father’s word is law whe This is my first McGahern novel and I am so in love with the way he writes and his forgiving perceptions that I have ordered two more of his books. He does exhibit some inherent attractive qualities. An ode to family.

How many times has a friendly, wise, personable woman decided to align herself with a man who is anything but? I think the author’s best achievement was to describe the aging process of this man who had so much influence on those around him.

Amongst Women Reader’s Guide

Though certainly the patriarch of the family, a Irish farmer who imposes a hard rule about the way life should be on his three daughters and two sons, is not the sort of dad people would want, the author is recording a time and way of life very far from where I live New York City. What keeps Michael from running away from home permanently like his brother Luke? McGahern focuses on one family and one house and we follow the subtle changes that take place in the comings and goings of various members of the family.


You rarely knew how much time had passed between events. The Rosary is peculiarly identified with Moran and it is a very clever device used by McGahern to emphasise the narrative repetitiveness, which is a feature of this novel.

McGahern seems to imply that the idea of family identity is so strong that regardless of the psychic or physical pain, nothing can surpass the pain of not being connected to the family as a unit. Cold Blow Lane Her previous profession has been that of valued servant: The tragedy, if there is one, is that life moves on and the si A narratively straightforward story about family and understanding guided by emotion.

Refresh and try again. Retrieved from ” https: His constant insistence on praying the rosary is equally as intense as his “who cares, anyway” remark, which he makes on matters relating directly to him and to those around him.

Amongst Women by John McGahern – Reviews Rants and Rambles

McGahern in Leitrim and Kavanagh in Monaghan both knew that the realities of life for poor, farm families were radically different from this version offered by de Valera. The story spans a period of twenty years in the middle of the twentieth century. This approval completely shifted the Irish public’s reception of his work. Audible Download Audio Books. I didn’t say anything- I didn’t have anything to say.

Nevertheless, in a subtle way the story draws you into the life of this traditional catholic family.