Nuala O'Faolain attracted a huge amount of critical praise and a wide audience with the literary debut ofAre You Somebody? Her midlife exploration of life's love, pain, loneliness, and self- discovery won her fans worldwide who write and tell her how her story has changed their lives. There are thousands who have yet to discover this extraordinary memoir of an Irish woman who has stepped away from the traditional roles to define herself and find contentment. They will make this paperback a long-selling classic.
One warning is that O'Faolain is rivaled only by Dominick Dunne in the name-dropping department, and many of the luminaries mentioned will mean nothing to non-Irish readers (like me). Beyond that, it offers a frank account of the life of a Dublin woman that is well worth reading.
Semi-redeeming qualities: the author seems quite candid about her experiences, and especially her failings as a young person. She is not trying to gloss over things or paint herself in a better light. She looks back on herself from a feminist perspective and discourses on how women were just becoming able to have prospects for a life besides getting married and popping out a bunch of kids.
Update - so far so depressing - I think it'll get better but gee Irish women had (have?) it rough.
Ok, I'm sorry, I had to give up. As other reviewers have said, it's awfully confusing if one doesn't already know her work or at least some of Irish culture, brand and place names, celebrities like her father... and she does do a bit too much 'stream of consciousness' and a bit too little coherence. That being said, I can see why it's popular for readers not disadvantaged by unfamiliarity - she does write a message of power with grace.
I guess I was hoping for (based on the word accidental in the title) memoirs of an ordinary Irish housewife, something like that..."
Her midlife exploration of life's love, pain, loneliness, and self- discovery won her fans worldwide who write and tell her how her story has changed their lives. There are thousands who have yet to discover this extraordinary memoir of an Irish woman who has stepped away from the traditional roles to define herself and find contentment.
Frankly, for me this book was a struggle right from the beginning. Such degradation of children and adults that it left me longing for the book to end. To stop the sadness. For people to get wiser. To learn. To be better to each other.
Even writing from a different perspective of the challenges would have been an opportunity to leave a better taste in this reader’s mouth. If it weren’t for the Ireland Reading Challenge, I would not have completed the reading of these ongoing depressing scenarios. Definitely not how I want to spend my valuable reading moments.