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The Country Girls: Three Novels and an Epilogue
The Country Girls: Three Novels and an Epilogue: (The Country Girl; The Lonely Girl; Girls in Their Married Bliss; Epilogue) | Edna O'Brien
10 posts | 4 read | 11 to read
A treasure of world literature back in print, featuring a new introduction by Eimear McBride The country girls are Caithleen Kate Brady and Bridget Baba Brennan, and their story begins in the repressive atmosphere of a small village in the west of Ireland in the years following World War II. Kate is a romantic, looking for love; Baba is a survivor. Setting out to conquer the bright lights of Dublin, they are rewarded with comical miscommunications, furtive liaisons, bad faith, bad luck, bad sex, and compromise; marrying for the wrong reasons, betraying for the wrong reasons, fighting in their separate ways against the overwhelming wave of expectations forced upon "girls" of every era. The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue charts unflinchingly the pattern of womens lives, from the high spirits of youth to the chill of middle age, from hope to despair, in remarkable prose swinging from blunt and brutal to whimsical and lyrical. It is a saga both painful and hilarious, and remains one of the major accomplishments of Edna OBriens extraordinary career. This omnibus edition includes the novels The Country Girls, The Lonely Girl, and Girls in Their Married Bliss.
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LeahBergen
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Found at today‘s book sale:

Yet ANOTHER author I‘ve been meaning to read for years. Any fans of this trilogy?

batsy Nice find! I've been meaning to read her, particularly this trilogy, for years too 😉 5mo
readordierachel I'm loving that cover! 5mo
BarbaraBB No, I‘ve been meaning to read this too for years. I did read and enjoyed this one though. (edited) 5mo
See All 20 Comments
CarolynM I tried The Country Girls once, but couldn't get into it. Might have just been a case of poor timing, but I've never tried again. 5mo
Theaelizabet I read the first one. Works if you keep the publication date and the fall out that occurred in mind (condemnation from the pulpit, book burnings, etc.). The story seems so tame now. 5mo
Lindy I read the first one and loved it. 👍 5mo
Reviewsbylola I‘ve been meaning to read her too! 5mo
saresmoore I‘ll jump on the good intentions bandwagon. Beautiful edition! 5mo
LeahBergen @batsy Buddy read in seven years? 😆 5mo
LeahBergen @readordierachel It‘s kinda groovy, isn‘t it? 😄 5mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I always thought that one sounded great, too! 5mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM Oh oh! 😳 5mo
LeahBergen @Theaelizabet I‘d always heard about how scandalized the Irish public was about this one. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 5mo
LeahBergen @Lindy Oh good! 👍🏻 5mo
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola @saresmoore Well, let me know if either of you ever feel like reading it! 5mo
Leftcoastzen On my TBR forever! 5mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB 👍🏻 5mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen Right? 🙄 5mo
emilyhaldi Yes, need to read this trilogy!!! Preferably that edition .... 5mo
85 likes2 stack adds20 comments
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vivastory
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O'Brien's trilogy, published in the 60s, was the first post WWII fiction by an Irish woman to address social & sexual issues openly. Facing backlash from both the public & the clergy, all three of the books were banned & was even burned in public, including in her home town. I have not yet read this trilogy, but am hoping to soon. I was deeply impressed by her book The Little Red Chairs. #BadGirls @Mdargusch @emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola @Cinfhen

Leftcoastzen Excellent choice! Still on my TBR 6mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen So many excellent books, so little time! 6mo
See All 9 Comments
Theaelizabet I‘ve read the first one, The Country Girls. Must have been mind-blowing for its day. 6mo
Tove_Reads Really enjoyed the first two, but then the third... 6mo
Mdargusch Sounds like a perfect pick! 6mo
Reviewsbylola This trilogy sounds awesome! 6mo
emilyhaldi Stacking the hell out of these!!! 6mo
vivastory @Reviewsbylola @emilyhaldi I have high hopes for them. I'm hoping to start the trilogy in a couple of months. 6mo
76 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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therealdealbeall
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@Lacythebookworm Thank you so much for the beautiful package! I wish that I had been able to do more with yours. Today was pretty rough, so it was nice to be able to come home and open this. #blanketandabookswap

Lacythebookworm Sorry to hear you had a bad day, but glad you had some surprises at home! Were the other goodies in the package as well? 😊 2y
therealdealbeall @Lacythebookworm I'm sorry I wasn't able to do more with your package, but I've been unemployed for about two months now, so I don't have much money to spend. :/ 2y
15 likes3 comments
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vivastory
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I apologize for flooding your feeds, but I have a massive #bookhaul Thank Buddha for Holiday bonuses! The Gaiman/Riddell 3 book set is currently only $9 on Amazon!

TricksyTails Wow! Great haul! 😍♥️😍♥️ 2y
LeahBergen I get this calendar every year. 👍🏻 2y
vivastory @TricksyTails Thanks! I'm pretty happy! 2y
vivastory @LeahBergen This is my second year. Will definitely be getting it each year, because it's not like my TBR isn't already out of control 😬😂 2y
LeahBergen @vivastory I hear ya! 😆 2y
62 likes5 comments
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Leniverse
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The third book is partially narrated by Baba, which gives a more nuanced impression of her. She's still a self-centred bully, but she's also unapologetic, uncomplaining, sardonic, and rebellious. Her impression of the others tally with mine. All the characters here are flawed. I feel like I've been sucker punched repeatedly in the stomach. Breathless, stunned, bleak. Only the epilogue left. I need a drink.

24 likes1 stack add
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Leniverse
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Going into the the third book! I preferred book 2 to the first one. And I have rarely been so afraid for a character! (Not in the thriller sense of fearing she'd get killed. Just... other fears.) The middle part of the book had me feeling like this: 😳😬😡😤😰(simultaneously).
By the end there was a bit of blessed comedy and both narrator Kate and I are feeling a bit hopeful. Will our hopes get crushed? (Don't tell me!)

merelybookish Your reviews of these books have definitely piqued my interest! 2y
vivastory I've only read one Edna O'Brien book (Red Chairs) but I really liked it 2y
Leniverse @merelybookish @vivastory I think this the female counterpart to Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man". Not in terms of writing style, but in terms of growing up in a parochial, limited and limiting, Ireland and wanting a wider scope for life. 2y
vivastory There's an edition being published this year with all 3. I'm going to pick it up when it's released. 2y
Leniverse @vivastory Yeah. I bought a used copy, also with all three, but they are a bit hard to come by now. A new edition or reprinting is definitely due! Glad they're doing one. 2y
30 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Leniverse
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Started the 2nd book and I still hate Baba and the MC is still a tool. Was getting a bit bored. And then, bam! Holy hell and brimstone, Ireland! 😳😤😧I spent several chapters barely breathing and now it's 2:30 am. I'm at a relatively safe place, but I'm sure it will go wrong again soon. Need to stop and let the outrage and adrenaline wear off so I can sleep.

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Leniverse
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I've finished the first book. Baba is slightly less cruel, Kate is still easily led. Book ended rather abruptly. Not on a cliffhanger, but certainly with enough lose ends.

I can't believe this book was banned and burned due to the depictions of female sexuality. The female sexuality is sadly ignorant and naive in this book. The male, on the other hand, is a predatory sleaze-bag sexuality. (Also, there are no actual sex scenes.)

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Leniverse
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Only 35 pages in, but I can tell I'm going to have to take this one in instalments with something happy between each book. I desperately hope that Kate (the redhead) will grow a backbone and I want to slap her "friend" Baba silly. I know they're both victims of their circumstances, but Baba's behaviour towards Kate upsets me more than the alcoholic parents and sleaze ball neighbours.

quirkyreader Does this include "The Girl With Green Eyes"? 2y
JenP I didn't really care for this one. 2y
Leniverse @quirkyreader Yes, that's the second book. Except here it's called "The Lonely Girl" for some reason. 2y
Leniverse @JenP What didn't you like? Writing style? The characters? I'm finding it gripping so far, but it's still early days. 2y
JenP @Leniverse the content, plot. The writing was good. I'd have to go back and look at my review. I didn't hate it but I didn't like it enough to keep reading past the first book. 2y
26 likes5 comments
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Jeanette
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Something borrowed from the library. #booktober

RealLifeReading I like the cover! 3y
19 likes1 comment