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The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne | Brian Moore
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is an unflinching and deeply sympathetic portrait of a woman destroyed by self and circumstance. First published in 1955, it marked Brian Moore as a major figure in English literature (he would go on to be short-listed three times for the Booker Prize) and established him as an astute chronicler of the human soul. Judith Hearne is an unmarried woman of a certain age who has come down in society. She has few skills and is full of the prejudices and pieties of her genteel Belfast upbringing. But Judith has a secret life. And she is just one heartbreak away from revealing it to the world.
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mklong
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Quietly devastating. It's a book that is hard to sum up in a review because I couldn't possibly convey the depth of both despair and empathy that Moore was able to draw into Judith's story. It is one no review can prepare you for, it simply has to be read.
#NYRBBookClub

Suet624 A wonderful review. I completely agree. 2w
mklong @Suet624 Thank you! I was surprised by how much I liked this one 2w
youneverarrived Agreed 💚 2w
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merelybookish
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Hey #NYRBbookclub peeps! Like @sisilia I have another question about this book...I want to hear your thoughts on all the other characters. Although this is Judy's story, we do get an array of fairly well-developed minor characters. As well as a pretty brutal (but almost throwaway) rape scene. 😲 So how did these other characters contribute to your understanding of Judy and this society? Any you liked or disliked?

batsy I can't think of any character I warmed to or liked besides Judy & Moira. I disliked Madden from the start & wanted to reach into the pages & shake Judy a bit to make her realise! 💔 The rape scene was so brutal. Though it felt almost throwaway I could feel that sense of oppression & violence that girls like Mary who are the domestic help face in that situation. 2w
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batsy Like @emilyhaldi I felt that Bernard had some similarity to Ignatius from The Confederacy of Dunces, but then the latter, for all of his nuttiness, is not so vile & odious as Bernard! And his mother! I was torn between feeling bad for her because she had that kind of a son (& that life), but also kind of mad at her for raising that kind of a son. This book left me exhausted, lol 2w
vivastory I'm going to echo @batsy The only characters I really liked were Moira & Judith. I couldn't stand Madden from the very beginning. Bernard definitely gave off Ignatius vibes. I will say that some of the black humor & eccentricity of the characters did help temper & water down the despair of this book a little bit. 2w
merelybookish @batsy Yeah, I.think that clearly establishes what a terrible man Madden is! (In case we were sure.) But I think showing the sexual.assault the servant girl experiences shows how screwed women are in all levels of society. And what Madden does, while brutal, isn't much better than how Bernard treats her. This book definitely depressed me. That said, I kind of got the crabby,.judgey teacher in the rooming house. 2w
vivastory @merelybookish Oh, I forgot about her! Wasn't she the one always reading while everyone else was gossiping? I did like her. 😂 2w
merelybookish @vivastory Yep! She wasn't nice but I got her. 😂 2w
vivastory Yeah, I remember wanting a few more scenes with her reading her book & giving the other lodgers the side eye 2w
merelybookish @vivastory And arguably she is the only independent woman we see in the book. 2w
vivastory Good point! I hadn't thought of that 2w
BarbaraBB I liked no one, not even Judith who I mostly pitied. Often in books, dislikable characters go way over the top during a story (like Ignatius imo - sorry @emilyhaldi and @Reviewsbylola 🙈), but I loved that they were so realistic in this one. Personally I could relate most to Moira‘s daughter 😀😉 2w
batsy @merelybookish Oh yeah, she's an intriguing one! Seemed to really see through the crap & preferred her own company & books, which made perfect sense 😆 2w
Suet624 That scene with Bernard getting his hair washed by his mother, the scandal of his not having a shirt on, his Pillsbury Dough Boy appearance, ugh.
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Aimeesue I liked the O'Neills. The kids mostly get a pass because kids are pretty self-centered and only think about things in terms of how it affects them. They did as Moira asked them to, though. And the doctor who tried to help Judith by getting her aunt into a home. He could forée the fallout. What a bad decision passing that up was. Guilt'll get you every time. 2w
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Fair! And maybe she represents some hope for the future. She's getting an education and seems pretty savvy about people. (And I've never read a Confederacy of Dunces, but not sure I want to.)
2w
merelybookish @Suet624 The way Bernard is written and described (his hair, his weight, THAT scene) really accentuate how much of a big baby he is. And it is sickening, and makes his treatment of Mary seem even worse.
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merelybookish @Aimeesue Oh, I forgot about the doctor! But you're right. He did try to help. I understood why Judith felt so conflicted but hard not to feel she sacrificed too much for her aunt.
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mklong I‘m with @Aimeesue about the O‘Neill kids getting a pass. They are just immature and can‘t possibly understand how lonely Judith‘s life is. What more can we expect from them when their father literally hides from her? Only their mother seems interested in teaching them some compassion. 2w
batsy Unrelated to the characters & I've mentioned this before I think, but I really wanted to pull Judith out of these pages to meet Lolly Willowes from Sylvia Townsend Warner's novel! No man, no kids, God's letting you down? Um, there's always other women or Satan!!! There's a whole (glorious & bad) world out there, Judy! 💔 2w
merelybookish @batsy I haven't read Lolly Willowes but I definitely want to! Our previous conversation did make me wonder at the difference between a man vs a woman writing the spinster. Like maybe a woman can imagine more agency and a more creative life IN SPITE of the rules and constraints and no man. 2w
batsy @merelybookish Yes, I agree, it's something I frequently thought about too while reading this. How would an Irish woman writer have written Judith? It did seem, with his characters, that he was aiming an arrow at a certain segment of middle-class, Irish Catholic society while staying within the bounds of realism, so I guess I'll forgive him the absence of witchcraft :) 2w
vivastory I 💯 agree with @batsy on Lolly Willowes. It's one of my favorite NYRB titles 2w
Suet624 @merelybookish that‘s a really good insight. I hadn‘t thought of that idea@that a woman could imagine more agency and creative life. 2w
youneverarrived I really hated that scene and I think we knew he was a horrible character without it but you‘re probably right that it shows how women were treated in that time. I liked the O‘Neil‘s, despite how they talked about Judith, they seemed like a pretty normal family. 2w
Billypar Completely missed this post the other day, but great question. Madden is interesting to me because besides Judith we spent the most time in his head. Before the rape scene, he was annoying with all his America talk, but you could picture him becoming more sympathetic, maybe another tragic figure. And then the rape happens, and Moore doesn't give us much more time in his head because he probably understood he was dead to us by then. 2w
Billypar I agree with @Aimeesue about the O'Neill children - that is just what kids are like, hurtful as it may be. I don't give Prof O'Neill a pass: he didn't have to run and hide every time his wife's friend showed up and model that kind of behavior for his kids. But also probably realistic for some husbands 😑 I did like Moira- even if she wasn't 100% committed to the friendship, at least she made the effort to do the right thing. 2w
merelybookish @Billypar So many good points! We are in his head, we do get to have some sympathy for him, and then...yeah dead to us. Maybe it's to show how men can be victim of illusions too. And to contrast US and Irish societies. To go to @batsy point that this book is really intended as a critique of Irish society. 1w
batsy @Billypar That is indeed a very good point about how we go from being inside Madden's head to not, after the rape. Dead to us indeed. The more I read everyone's take in the discussions the more impressed I am with how Moore juggled several balls, or perspectives, in the air and brought it all together. 1w
merelybookish @batsy Yes, and that we are still talking about the book a few days after the official discussion ended says a lot about its depth too! 1w
Billypar @batsy I don't read that many floating third person novels, but his approach fascinated me- how we have one central character and occasionally wander away into other perspectives. Skillful juggling indeed, and you're totally right @merelybookish - if we're still talking about it, must have been doing something right! 1w
batsy @Billypar Yes, and reminded me of Austen in a sense, that narrative style. She's another one who nails it. I wonder if this is what is referred to as free indirect speech... 1w
batsy @merelybookish Agreed 🙌🏽 1w
merelybookish @Billypar Floating third person! Like it. And I feel like I've been reading a few of them this year and was feeling it was a very 2019 device and maybe a way for (white) writers to incorporate more diversity into their novels. But then I read this and had to wonder if it's not new or if Moore was ahead of his time. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on Lady of the Lake by Lippman or Attenberg's latest. 1w
Billypar Oh, interesting: I mostly to stick to backlist titles, so I'm not aware of the current trends. It would be interesting if it's an older style that's come back into fashion recently. I haven't read those two, but I'll have to check them out! 1w
50 likes35 comments
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sisilia
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Do you notice how the story starts with Judith unpacking silver-framed photograph of her aunt, and ends with her looking at the same photograph? And how she looks at the her long pointed shoes for comfort: “The little buttons on them, winking up at her like wise little friendly eyes. Little shoe eyes, always there.” 💔 I love how Moore used these two items as highlights of her loneliness; it‘s so heartbreaking #nyrbbookclub

Leftcoastzen Love the “little eyes” .did you see the film ? I haven‘t yet. 2w
sisilia I haven‘t @Leftcoastzen It‘s tough to find old movie here 😆 2w
Leftcoastzen I can imagine. I‘m cheap ,I try to find them in the library or a service I already pay for .I didn‘t look for it before the discussion, didn‘t want to be tempted to watch it . 2w
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batsy I'm so keen to watch it because of Maggie Smith. But I don't know how I'll find it here, either... And don't know if I'm ready to be devastated yet again 😢 2w
Leftcoastzen @batsy I hear that! Maggie Smith is always wonderful. 2w
merelybookish I loved that detail! And it was one of the things that made me like Judith! To animate her little button shoes! ♥️ 2w
merelybookish Also I had no idea there was a film version! 2w
vivastory I was completely unaware of a film adaptation, but while reading this I was thinking it'd make a great one! Also loved the comments about her shoes 2w
batsy The shoe eyes detail was used to great effect... At one point when she looked down & it was just regular buttons, I really felt that. How thoroughly her world had fallen apart. 2w
sisilia @batsy 😭😭😭 It‘s an impactful scene... 2w
BarbaraBB Yes @batsy that was so confronting. As was the end in which she put up the picture and the sacred heart again who ‘make it feel like home‘ as a euphemism for another defeat 😢 2w
batsy @BarbaraBB Yes, I couldn't help but read the end as a kind of defeat 💔 I want her to be safe but I sense that Moore is confronting our expectations of a redemptive ending, as readers 2w
sisilia @batsy @BarbaraBB and I love Moore for that 😑 2w
Suet624 Haha, I'd completely forgotten about the buttons! How odd. Because they were such a great device in the story. Thanks for the reminder. 2w
emilyhaldi The shoe buttons made me so damn sad every time 😭😭😭 2w
mklong @batsy @barbarabb I read the ending as defeat as well. She knows the neither the button eyes, the pictures, or the whiskey will actually bring her comfort, so she just resigns herself to giving everyone what they want to see from her so she can go back to being invisible 2w
BarbaraBB @mklong Well said and how sad is that? 😢 2w
batsy @mklong I agree with @BarbaraBB you put it so well & I think that sums up Judith's potential future 💔 2w
youneverarrived Yeah I think they were her comfort; like having them with her feels like home. But both her aunt and religion are a source of despair too. 2w
Liz_M @batsy Oooh, Maggie Smith! 6d
Liz_M @mklong I think you voiced exactly my informed thoughts about the putting up of the pictures at the end. 6d
Theaelizabet I‘ve been meaning to watch the movie. Has anyone seen it? 1d
sisilia Not yet @Theaelizabet Tough to find it in Singapore 1d
29 likes23 comments
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Reviewsbylola
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#movember was an #amazing reading month for me.

7 audiobooks
1 ebook
11 physical books

If I push even harder next month maybe I‘ll actually make my GR goal. Only 23 books to go!

Cinfhen That is an #Amazing month 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2w
Cinfhen Steph, I read the first line (paragraph) of Black Water. And it‘s really good!! I want to save it for #Pop20 #GreatFirstLine 😉can we put off our buddyread until January?? It‘s also super short and it will probably be a #OneSittingRead #Booked2020 2w
Kalalalatja You go go go 🙌👏🙌👏 2w
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BarbaraBB 😂 @Cinfhen that‘s how I‘m thinking all the time these days too! 2w
Reviewsbylola That works for me! @cinfhen 2w
Cinfhen I feel like December is book purgatory/ so many books I want to read but I need to “save” them @BarbaraBB 😂 2w
Mdargusch Great month! Good luck in December 🤞🏼 2w
66 likes7 comments
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BarbaraBB
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#NovemberStats #BestofNovember

Another 14 books this month, I‘m surpassing my own expectations. And lots of good ones among them! The five in the pictures were my favorites this month, all worth at least four stars 🌟

cathysaid This one sounds so good 2w
BarbaraBB @cathysaid It is, I can definitely recommend that one and hope you‘ll read it! 2w
Kalalalatja 👏👏👏 2w
61 likes3 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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#NYRBBookClub Question 5/5 Thanks everyone!
@vivastory

vivastory I had to check the copyright while reading, because Brian Moore's understanding of alcoholism as a disease is surprisingly contemporary. 2w
youneverarrived I never felt she was descending into madness, just that she was in a lot of despair. 2w
Billypar @vivastory Agreed - it felt very authentic, dramatic at times, but not melodramatic. 2w
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Billypar I didn't see any signs of madness, but it seemed like the fate of her aunt and her friend loomed large over her situation, like she feared that it might be her destiny. 2w
merelybookish @youneverarrived Agreed! Abject despair! 2w
Liz_M Both. In some ways madness is a social construct -- when we don't understand someone's behavior, when it is outside “the norm“ we label it crazy. So some of the consciously-made bad decisions seem mad to others. But also some of the decisions were not made rationally, were instead made under the influence of alcohol and/or extreme emotion. 2w
vivastory @youneverarrived Very well put! 2w
Theaelizabet Neither, really. She lived in such a constricted, narrow world. Her ability to make decisions for herself were limited. I also didn't feel the was mad, but pitiful and delusional, which might be a reasonable (though loathsome) response to her circumstances/world. 2w
LeahBergen @youneverarrived Yes! Definitely despair and probably what would now be called clinical depression. I never felt that she portrayed a true break with reality that the term “madness” would imply. 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M Exactly. 2w
Suet624 @LeahBergen Well that behavior in the church at the end would probably qualify as a break of some kind! 😂 2w
Liz_M @Theaelizabet 😁 I love that we responded with opposite words but similar explanations. 2w
LeahBergen @Suet624 Haha! True! But come on ... we ALL wanted to know if it was just bread. 😆 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M Great minds! 😃 2w
Suet624 @LeahBergen Totally. It is so sacrilegious though! Her wild nature finally coming out and defying a sacred trust. Pretty rebellious! 2w
Leftcoastzen @Liz_M love and agree with your comment. 2w
Aimeesue Despair, sublimated anger, and rebellion. She's fighting all the societal expectations and empty (for her) promises of religion. One of the big things she's missing is community connection, which is a big part of what religious organizations offer. She doesn't get that sense of belonging, first bc she's taking care of her aunt, then due to hiding the drinking. She's sort of mad in parts, but because she's trying to be "normal" & isn't. 2w
Leftcoastzen @Aimeesue So well put! great comments. 2w
BarbaraBB Well said @youneverarrived I think it was despair too, cumulative, but nod madness. 2w
BarbaraBB @Leftcoastzen @vivastory such great comments. I love this book club so much, thanks for the fantastic choice and questions 💜 2w
Suet624 @Aimeesue Perfectly stated. 2w
Reviewsbylola I think Judith became so despondent because she finally realized where life had led her. I fed don‘t think it was a descent into madness, but more of an awakening. 2w
batsy @youneverarrived @merelybookish Abject despair really sums it up, and I agree that it seems like it would lead to depression @LeahBergen for all of the reasons @Aimeesue said. That community aspect & religious salvation were what kept her going, so that the loss of it triggered her breakdown. 2w
batsy So many great answers here. I also felt that Moore was giving a really incisive critique of Irish society at the time. Judith Hearne is absolutely an original, memorable character but in some sense she has internalised society's expectations, failures, & hypocrisies ... What seems like madness is that life-altering knowledge that all is not as it purports to be. 2w
Leftcoastzen @batsy I loved all the conversation today , I love this bookclub ! All the books have been great , this may be my favorite so far. 2w
batsy @Leftcoastzen I love it too ❤️ I'm sorry to chime in late just to echo what everyone else said, time difference sucks 😆 2w
Leftcoastzen @batsy we are all empathetic to the human condition, makes us a great bookclub!😀Your comments are welcome and I especially love the one above.He nailed elements of Irish society. (in my humble opinion) 2w
batsy @Leftcoastzen So true about what makes this book club special 🥰 I hadn't really heard much of Brian Moore before this one and I'm curious to see what his other books are like. 2w
32 likes28 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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#NYRBBookClub Question 4/5
@vivastory my ability to cut and paste has left the building!The next one will be up soon.

vivastory Definitely more, without a doubt. I read this book in one sitting, but I was honestly a bit annoyed, although also intrigued, by Judith at the very beginning 2w
Theaelizabet More, especially now that we know that alcoholism is a complicated disease. This book was a wild ride for those of us who have had alcoholics in our life (in my case a very close friend, not a family member). 2w
vivastory @Theaelizabet Agreed, it definitely adds a personal level 2w
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Billypar More for me too. All of her struggles with alcohol aside, Moore doesn't make Judith overly sympathetic from the start - she's just as prone to gossip or snobbery as others. But it's through her suffering with her situation, her drinking, and spiritual crisis that I started feeling more empathy about who she was. 2w
Suet624 I empathized with this poor woman throughout the entire story. Because of the writing, I felt I understood and sympathized with her. In that time period a single woman of her age and financial means could be in a very perilous position. She was emotionally tipsy and just couldn‘t see fact from fiction anymore. I was very happy she found a tiny bit of relief at the end. (edited) 2w
youneverarrived More. At the beginning she annoyed me a bit with her uppityness but then I started to sympathise with her, especially when alcohol came into the picture. 2w
youneverarrived @Suet624 well put 👍 2w
LeahBergen Definitely more. I found her to be very much a comic character at the beginning and then she became so fleshed-out and tragic to me. 2w
Liz_M I'm not sure. I strongly sympathize with the loneliness and the difficulty in being alone in the world -- no family, no close friends, social awkwardness with the few remaining people in her life. But the religious crisis didn't move me the way it should have. 2w
LeahBergen And this 👆🏻 is a great cover! What do you think of the NYRB cover? It almost portrays Judith as just a piece of the upholstery, unimportant and ignored. 2w
merelybookish @LeahBergen That is a great cover! 2w
merelybookish I felt bad for Judith from the get-go! I understood her as a product of a world and a victim of its rules. If you didn't marry the only man who loved you because he "wasn't good enough" for you, you have to cling to such ideas. Otherwise you're faced with the stark realities she is forced to see later on. But even facing those don't help her much. 2w
merelybookish @Suet624 Yes, ditto! 2w
Suet624 @merelybookish And even sadder, wasn‘t it the aunt who said the man wasn‘t good enough for Judith? And only because the aunt didn‘t want to be alone? 2w
Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen @merelybookish I think that is the original British edition cover.When I saw it I knew I had to get it in there! 2w
Leftcoastzen I was more sympathetic.It was a tough time to be in her situation.The drinking doesn‘t help but she was clearly stressed by her circumstances.We know a lot more about binge drinking and alcoholism than in those days.You just wish circumstances were different & she had stability somewhere.I thought about her earlier secretarial stint had that worked out people would keep you on longer than they should out of loyalty,yet...drinking.. (edited) 2w
Leftcoastzen I have really enjoyed all the NYRBbookclub books, but I really love this one.A lot to unpack from a writer who was only 27 at the time. 2w
Billypar @LeahBergen It wasn't until the other day that I realized what the nyrb cover was (I read a different edition). From the Litsy pics, I thought it was a black cat on a pillow or blanket or something 😅 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Wow, good observation on Moore's age: it doesn't seem like a novel written by a 27-year-old! 2w
Liz_M @Leftcoastzen Reading this has made me very grateful for societal changes that allow women to be educated and support themselves! 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M @Leftcoastzen I can't tell you how many times I thought that while reading this book. 2w
saresmoore I also grew more sympathetic toward Judith as the story progressed. @Suet624 This was heartbreaking for me, too. Really good observations. @merelybookish I felt bad for her from the start, too. Her world was so small and she was just trapped in it. 2w
Aimeesue Definitely more sympathetic. She was just so stuck, mostly because "it was the right thing to do" at that time. I probably would've self destructed too. How sad and infuriating. The "sainted Aunt" was just awful. Ironic that Judy ends up in the place where she wouldn't send the aunt. 2w
Aimeesue @Liz_M Re: religious crisis-I grew up in a really Catholic area.From what I've seen, It's a very overarching religion. As in, kids I went to school with were constantly concerned about the religious implications of things, as in. That's good/that's bad about everything, and they were always threatening to "tell the nuns" on each other, mostly jokingly, but the sense was that everybody's watching and judging. And by implication,that God was, too. 2w
Aimeesue If that was how Judith felt, at the same time the priest is telling her that she needs to pray to God about her doubt in God, AND Father Quigley not really listening to her and being obvious about it, well, sheesh! Left on her own again. 2w
BarbaraBB Like @saresmoore I felt for her from the beginning. The first chapter was tragic already. The alcoholism didn‘t add much for me. And wow @Leftcoastzen what an observation about Moore being 27 at the time. Hard to believe! 2w
Reviewsbylola I‘d say more sympathetic. I felt that a lot of Judith‘s issues stemmed from her not being able to see the truth of the world around her. Maybe she really was oblivious, maybe it was just a defense mechanism. How can you not feel bad for such a lonely person? And I felt that her aunt had really put her in a tough spot by demanding so much of her and sucking the joy from what should have been the best years of her life. 2w
Leftcoastzen @Reviewsbylola I like to imagine an alternate reality where the aunt paid for her own care and told Judith to come visit but go live her life. Mostly we know a woman with no family of her own , is going to be called on. 2w
batsy Definitely more sympathetic, despite her own flaws & prejudices. Which is really a feat that Moore pulled off. I'm basically nodding along to what @merelybookish and @Suet624 said :) 2w
batsy This is a great cover. @LeahBergen Great point about the NYRB cover art... A woman who has camouflaged herself so well 2w
40 likes30 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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vivastory I think that deep down she knew how they felt about her. The final section of the book is just so raw in its honesty, but I think she also appreciates that they still make an effort. 2w
merelybookish I think she knew but as with most things, she opted to ignore things that upset or countered her beliefs. Better to keep up the happy front. 2w
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vivastory @merelybookish I now have Monty Python's "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" in my mind ? 2w
Liz_M Judith definitely knew the O'Neill children ridiculed her (remember her admonishments to herself to not repeat the same phrases?) and suspected that she bored the adults (hence he inner monologue on he necessity to prepare set pieces, to be entertaining). At the same time, she hopes and half-deludes herself into feeling like one of the family, by sheer force of habit she is part of their lives. 2w
vivastory @Liz_M Good point! Also, she did drink sherry when around them. Definitely self-medicating... 2w
Billypar Agreed @Liz_M : she knows about the kids' view from what she overheard, but might consider the adults true friends, even if she has a nagging worry about being a bore. 2w
Leftcoastzen @vivastory to your earlier point of her trying,I am not quoting her exactly but she said something about her obligation to know about interesting things to make her relevant as a guest,saying moms can talk about household and kids , she needs to bring more to the conversation. 2w
Suet624 Well it‘s got to be clear to her that the majority of the family flees when she arrives and the children are mocking her. This also was a section that was so difficult to read. She needed the routine of going to see them but it seemed she got so little from the visits. She was judgmental of herself and the family members! It seemed the only comfort she received there came from drinking. 2w
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Oh, man!!! I felt that on so many levels! I'm definitely the odd one out at family gatherings & my acquaintances in terms of not having kids. It can be a struggle 😂😂 2w
youneverarrived Exactly @Liz_M. It made me sad though that she‘s so lonely but she puts on this front even to herself. 2w
Theaelizabet The O'Neills were interesting to me. The scenes with them were cringy, and yet they were the only ones who were in touch with reality and came to her rescue when no one else did. Everyone else around her was almost as delusional as she was.
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LeahBergen I found the scenes with the O‘Neills so damned heartbreaking for poor “old” Judith! 🙁 2w
vivastory @Theaelizabet That's a great point. I was dismayed by how many people stood by & either observed or enabled Judith's self-destruction, while the O'Neills were really the only ones offering to help in a meaningful way. 2w
merelybookish @Theaelizabet @vivastory Agreed. Moira (is that her name?) proved to be "the good woman" Judith kind of snidely praised her for being. And even the older daughter proved to care once they crisis became evident. They were cruel to Judith but they also saw through her act. Once that was gone, they showed that they cared. 2w
youneverarrived @Theaelizabet yes that‘s true! I think this happens with families in real life, like some people in the family are clearly just tolerated but then if anything happened to them they‘d be there in a flash. 2w
merelybookish @vivastory 😁 Somehow I don't think Judith would be a Month Python fan. 🤔 2w
Suet624 @merelybookish honestly, Moira‘s response to Judith was the only bright spot in the book for me. 2w
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I don‘t have kids , I like kids , but like to talk about other things too.”Always look on the bright side of life.”👍 2w
Theaelizabet @Suet624 Mine, too! 2w
Leftcoastzen @Theaelizabet I agree, at least they stepped up.It was impressive. 2w
Liz_M And it was fascinating how Moore contrasted the help offered by the O'Neills and by Father Quigley. He did step up, but the portrayal of his “assistance“ is a rather blistering criticism of religion. (edited) 2w
merelybookish @Liz_M Agreed! In a book filled with loathsome characters, Father Quigley stands out as particularly awful! The only other book I've read by Moore is Black Robe which is about a young priest coming to New France..now that I think of it, it might also include a spiritual crisis. 2w
Aimeesue @Liz_M Yes, exactly. Father Quigley was not exactly a comfort. The "unsuitable" Moira, on the other hand… 2w
BarbaraBB This discussion is so good. As a reader you think worse about the O‘Neills because of the heartbreaking passages when Judith is with them. It is a smart move from Moore because I believed the pov he wrote. In the end however they turn out to be human indeed and the only ones to take care of the situation. For me this was the best part of the book. 2w
sisilia I think the family is a glimpse to a normal life that she‘d never had 😭 2w
Reviewsbylola Judith was desperate for any type of human connection. Moira was so sweet and understanding, even at the end when Judith admitted you her face how she really “felt” about her. I say “felt” because I think Judith truly cherished Moira but couldn‘t or wouldn‘t admit it to herself because she was so wrapped up in the expectations she had of herself and society. 2w
Leftcoastzen @Reviewsbylola I agree with you. She needed /wanted the connection.Sometimes , I think she was angry because she needed it. 2w
batsy @Reviewsbylola @Leftcoastzen Great point about Moira being the type of friend she needed but couldn't admit to needing because of Judy's own snobbery (there's a lot of class-based assumptions in this book... Racist ones... Moore really goes in!) 2w
batsy These sections broke my heart. I think Judith is well aware of how she's seen by the family but has to lie to herself to maintain the charade. She needs & craves that family intimacy, but she also needs to show to the world that she has such friends and acquaintances in the world. I feel that Judith, probably because of how she was raised & the society she moves about in, has a lot of pride. 2w
mklong @batsy I feel the same way. There is no way she didn't know that the O'Neill's only invited her out of pity. Not only did she hear the way the kids mocked her, Moira seemingly regularly falls asleep while Judith is talking. She convinces herself that she truly is wanted and part of the family, only because if she admitted that she wasn't, then she would be admitting that she was wanted by no one. God, this book is sad. 2w
mklong @vivastory I agree that her sherry drinking at their house is probably self-medicating, but I think it also brings up another dynamic in her relationship with them, and that is her relative poverty. She enjoys drinking their nice sherry, but she also fills up on cakes and snacks so that she doesn't have to pay for dinner. It's yet another way that she needs them, that she would be loathe to acknowledge. 2w
batsy @mklong Excellent point about the material aspects of it, filling up on the good food & sherry. I think Judy hates herself somewhat for what she has to do; she can't bear to even admit it to herself. The drinking is a nice cushion against the harshness of reality. 2w
39 likes34 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
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#NYRBBookClub Question 2/5
@vivastory forgot to tag everyone, question 1 is up too!😁

merelybookish That's a complicated question! Initially she seemed quite devout but then,.as she starts to spiral, her faith seems quite superficial. She loses her faith, quite drastically. I think she feels duped. But then at the end, it seems perhaps she has decided it is easier to believe than face the alternative. Moore is clearly critical of the Catholic Church. His depiction of the priest is not flattering. 2w
youneverarrived At first she‘s very devout but then as the story goes on and things happen she starts to question if God is even real and if not then has she wasted her life in some way. There‘s such a powerful passage when she‘s in church and wondering why she prays etc. I can‘t remember the exact thing that‘s said but you could feel what she was going through. I think the ending has her going back towards religion; that‘s how I read it anyway. 2w
Billypar It seems like a stable comfort in her life - no matter how difficult things got, she could count on things working out because of her faith. And the Sacred Heart picture was a visual reminder of that safety, always watching over her regardless of where she was staying. 2w
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vivastory I'm honestly hard-pressed to think of a better portrait of a spiritual crisis that I've recently read. I think it says a lot about an author's abilities that as an atheist reader I felt pained for Judith. The ending though was oddly upbeat, in a perfect way. 2w
vivastory @Billypar Yes, the visual reminders were important... the sacred heart on one hand & her aunt on the other 2w
Theaelizabet Initially, her religious adherence seemed more cultural. The oleograph seemed to function for her as a totem and a shield. As she began her slide, she reached out to her faith in earnest, seeming to expect her church to make good on its promises. When, in her estimation, it doesn't, she seems to vacillate between believing it (or God) has failed her or that she has failed it (God). 2w
Liz_M It's complicated! Religion was woven into the fabric of her whole life. Being faithful was just a part of existence and it never occurred to her to question it. Bu once doubt was introduced, it corrupted all her beliefs and undermined the foundation of her world. In he end she accepted that even though she didn't believe, the habit of religion was a part of her. 2w
youneverarrived @Billypar does she take the Sacred Heart down when she‘s drinking/losing her faith? I know she faces her aunts picture away from her but can‘t remember.. I agree with you she always had her faith to keep her going when she was looking after her aunt but then I think with what happens with Madden it really tests her faith as she feels it‘s her last chance to make the life she wanted. 2w
Billypar Her faith still seemed on shaky ground by the end, but I think she recognized that even though God may not answer her prayers or even be listening, that her faith was still a part of her she would need to carry with her, especially if she keeps having to move from place to place 2w
Billypar @youneverarrived I think she turns it to the wall, just like with her aunt's picture (not 100% though). I think you're right: her faith survives in some form, but by the end she's no longer holding out hope that she will get the normal life she expected. 2w
youneverarrived @merelybookish @Liz_M @Billypar I think yous are right that she just kind of accepts that it is a part of her life, at the end. Maybe being a bit looked after brought some of that faith back too. 2w
Suet624 I agree with @vivastory that it was the best description of a spiritual crisis that I‘ve encountered. Her faith was the only thing she could find comfort in and to have that revealed as possibly a hoax caused an unraveling. It was very hard for me to see her in such despair. 2w
merelybookish Maybe we will discuss the ending later, but I did not feel happy for her in the end. She turned back to religion because what alternative did she have? @Suet624 @youneverarrived @Billypar @Liz_M 2w
LeahBergen @vivastory Yes! I, too, found it to be such a powerful portrait of a spiritual crisis. Once she lost her faith it was truly the catalyst to her emotional collapse, wasn‘t it? 2w
vivastory @merelybookish Strangely enough I was reminded of the ending of Cassandra at the Wedding... I thought it was a very well written ending, but both books don't offer a whole lot for their respective characters.. 2w
merelybookish @vivastory Interesting! I guess Cassandra still felt like she had more like! She was complicated but not plagued by financial problems or no family. Judith's situation just seems so much bleaker in comparison. 2w
LeahBergen @merelybookish I thought she turned back to it but in an almost apathetic way? 2w
vivastory @LeahBergen It really was! I was really caught off guard by this one, I was completely unaware of it before it was selected for our group 2w
vivastory @merelybookish That's true, I think Cassandra will definitely fare better... but just something about the vibe about the ending made me think of it for some reason 🤔 2w
Theaelizabet @merelybookish I sort of agree with your take on the ending. I felt like she was gearing up to start the whole thing over again. 2w
merelybookish @LeahBergen Yes, like what not put the Sacred Heart back up? Might as well... 2w
Billypar @merelybookish Yeah, I didn't feel happy for her either by the end. It seemed like she got a temporary reprieve from all the recent terrible events, but still ended with her in a state of depression. Unpacking the picture may have been a small sign that she might start coping, but you're right, doesn't feel like she has many options. 2w
Leftcoastzen I love all the comments, spiritual crisis indeed.I love that her photo of her aunt & the sacred heart gave her comfort.It is only human to hope you would find some solace or reward for sacrificing a good deal of your life to care for someone.The universe doesn‘t care and her encounters with clergy when clearly in crisis were awful. 2w
Liz_M I am not entirely sure the whole thing is starting up again and, if she is turning back to religion, that it will be the same. Her faith (if it is still faith) has changed: “I am no atheist. I do no believe, O Lord help my unbelief.“ 2w
Theaelizabet At the end of the first chapter: “She said good night to them both,... They make all the difference, Miss Hearne thought,... When they're with me, watching over me, a new place becomes home.“

The end: “She closed her eyes. Funny about those two. When they're with me, watching over me, a new place becomes home.“
2w
Suet624 @Theaelizabet ooohhhh, good catch. 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Very true about the very human expectation that if you do good, it will come back to you. I think Judith was seeing her sacrifice for her aunt in a new light when she was questioning her faith. 2w
Billypar @Theaelizabet I didn't realize the two passages were the same! I wondered whether the final sentence was alluding to the fact that now she was incorporating an institution into her idea of home, resigning herself to that fate almost. 2w
Liz_M @Theaelizabet But just before that is “More real now than Aunt herself. For she is gone. It is here.“ and “And You. Were You ever?.... It is here and You are gone.“

I read this as the pictures no longer represent society and religion. That they are just familiar objects and the objects are watching over her, not what they used to symbolize.
2w
Liz_M @Theaelizabet But just before that is “More real now than Aunt herself. For she is gone. It is here.“ and “And You. Were You ever?.... It is here and You are gone.“

I read this as the pictures no longer represent society and religion. That they are just familiar objects and the objects are watching over her, not what they used to symbolize.
2w
Liz_M It‘s like when someone passes away and you recognize that they will always be a part of you even if they will no longer share our future life. 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M Good point and could be the meaning. I still think she‘s gearing up for another cycle, but now I have to think! 2w
Leftcoastzen @Liz_M @Theaelizabet I have an item that belonged to my grandparents ,a walnut buffet some would call it a sideboard. I‘ve lived in small and medium sized places, and there has always been a perfect spot for it. When it is set, a place feels like home to me. 2w
BarbaraBB I agree with @Liz_M that they became something to hold on to, the last straw maybe. And @vivastory you‘re right about this existential crisis so well described. The book gets better everything I think about it. 2w
sisilia For someone like Judith, religion is definitely an anchor she needed in her life. She‘d curse and question everything, but the end she‘d fall back to God... coz what else did she have? 2w
Reviewsbylola I felt initially like religion was an obligation to Judith. Something she had grown up with and took seriously because it was expected. But as she grew more introspective, the religious aspect of her life made her desperate. She was spiraling out of control and nothing made sense to her anymore. 2w
batsy @youneverarrived That "wasted her life in some way" really rings true, I think. It might have been a social convention or way of life but then it becomes part of you, especially for someone like her, living an insular life. She feels cheated. That's why the ending seemed bleak to me, as well. It feels like she's going to repeat the whole process again. There seems to be no escape of that cycle she's in. 2w
batsy I agree with @merelybookish that Moore goes in hard on the Catholic church as well as Irish society, in general. 2w
youneverarrived @batsy Yeah, I could see her starting the same cycle again. What you said there about her feeling cheated is spot on. She questions why she has lived such a dutiful life if there is no God and it makes her think she could have lived her life differently. 2w
mklong @reviewsbylola I agree that religion felt like an obligation not just for Judith, but for most of the characters. Judith says at one point that Mass felt like a great equalizer because no matter where you fit on the social scale, everyone goes to Mass. It was such a foundation for her life, and she assumed everyone else's, that it was devastating when it lacked the answers and solace that she needed. 2w
mklong @merelybookish and @batsy Moore certainly is hard on the Catholic church. It's interesting that I don't recall Moira's Catholic devotion being discussed much at all (I think at one point she talks about Christian charity), if anything they seem to lead a more academic, secular life, yet she is the only one who shows Judith the compassion that she does not get from the church. 2w
37 likes41 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
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Here we go! #NYRBBookClub November discussion
Question 1/5 @vivastory

Aimeesue Not at first, because people do move, but as the story goes on it becomes clear there's more to it than simply wanting a change. 2w
Suet624 I assumed she was at a new boardinghouse because she had overindulged and made a scene but now I remember some mention that she hadn‘t had a drink in some time. So...not sure! 2w
merelybookish Initially I assumed Judith's problems were financial and that was why she needed to relocate. Then there was the mention of losing the piano job because of gossip, so that piqued my curiosity. But I was still surprised when it was revealed that she had a problem with alcohol. 2w
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vivastory From what I can remember she was forced to more out of a financial situation due to losing several students for smelling of alcohol 2w
Theaelizabet I felt something amiss from the beginning. The author sent some cues and that seemed to be where the story was going to come from.
2w
vivastory @merelybookish Same here! I thought it was a very well executed twist! 2w
Leftcoastzen I had forgotten @vivastory already need to read it again.👍 2w
Liz_M Like @Aimeesue, it didn't occur to me to wonder (in NYC half the people I know move every 2-3 years). 2w
Suet624 Now I can‘t remember why she left her aunt‘s house after her death. Did it have to be sold to pay bills? (edited) 2w
Aimeesue @Vivastory Yeah, but you really have to piece that together as you read. Like @MerelyBookish said, it seems more financial than anything : she initially complains about the devolution of the street - the house used to be single family houses, “and now look at it.“ And she's “the one who has to put up with it.“ As if it's none of her doing. 2w
youneverarrived I didn‘t think anything of it other than financial difficulties and her not getting on with the previous landlady (I think this was mentioned early on?) I was surprised too @merelybookish 2w
merelybookish @vivastory @youneverarrived Yes, a well executed twist! (Which normally annoy me...) But Moore does a good job of depicting Judith's thinking and she obviously wanted to avoid thinking about that. 2w
Liz_M @Suet624 Interesting question! I would assume so -- there was a line about the drastically reduced fortune and Judith's annuity. I assumed what was left of he estate was converted into the annuity, but I could be wrong. 2w
LeahBergen And then we hear how she always finds fault with each landlady after initially approving of them. I was really intrigued by that cryptic early mention of her locked trunks. I never suspected it was alcohol she was hiding! 2w
Liz_M @Theaelizabet Oh, do you remember the cues? I clearly missed them and now am curious as to what you caught. 😁 2w
Liz_M @LeahBergen I just assumed she was worried about busy-body landladies and over-curious cleaning ladies! 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M Ugh. Do I remember specifics from the beginning? Probably not! Wish my memory was still that good. 😏 I'll thumb through and see what, if anything I can I can recover! 2w
Leftcoastzen Her diminished station in life is probably why she can be very judgmental at times.If you are on the decline you still often hold on to the “higher standards “ you were used to as long as you can. 2w
Theaelizabet @Liz_M A quick, but incomplete look back: her mentions of the shabbiness of her new surroundings, the odd way she “undressed,“ her initial response to the brother and her assurance to her self that he had noticed her, her meager first dinner in her new home. I didn't pick up on the alcoholism, but did feel that she was tightly-wound, with a telling backstory. 2w
Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen It made me chuckle too.At first , she finds the landladies acceptable, then starts picking them apart. While true you can‘t really tell from first impressions, but also, there‘s a little bit of the “mean girl “ in all of us.😂 2w
BarbaraBB I didn‘t think anything of it in the beginning, presuming that‘s how spinsters lived back the but later on I started thinking that this is a vicious circle repeating itself in Judith‘s life. 2w
sisilia @BarbaraBB My exact thought. Poor Judith had to restart with a new boardinghouse etc when things went wrong 2w
Reviewsbylola Yup @barbarabb I felt the same way. It wasn‘t odd initially but the more we got to know Judith, the more obvious it became that she was the issue. I just wish we found out wtf had happened at her last boarding house. 😆🤦🏼‍♀️ 2w
Leftcoastzen @Reviewsbylola I wish I knew too! 2w
batsy I feel the same—at first I just thought she wanted different/better lodgings, then I assumed financial, but I was completely taken aback by the alcoholism. And not at all in a bad way; there was always that sense she was tightly-wound, as @Theaelizabet puts it, so I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak (turns out it's a bottle!) 2w
34 likes27 comments
review
Leftcoastzen
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Pickpick

We are about an hour away from the #NYRBBookClub
November discussion! Today 1 PM MST hosted by
@vivastory and @Leftcoastzen

GatheringBooks enjoy the discussion, everyone!! 2w
vivastory Fantastic picture!! 2w
48 likes3 comments
review
Theaelizabet
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Pickpick

Delusions are easy to sustain when they‘re your only refuge. What happens when delusions fall away? Will you rise up? Or double down? And when your society and faith tradition offer little but judgement, do you even have a choice? A bleak, well-told tale. #NYRBbookclub

Leftcoastzen Love your review!❤️ 2w
Theaelizabet @Leftcoastzen Thanks! You ran a great group today. Thanks for that, too! 2w
vivastory Wonderful review!! 2w
Theaelizabet @vivastory Thanks so much! And thanks for overseeing/creating such a great book group! 2w
30 likes4 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

#nyrbbookclub
It's difficult to watch Judith's hopes for a traditional family life dissolve in such a short period of time. Her subsequent crisis of faith is developed in heartbreaking detail and serves as the soul of a novel with few sympathetic characters to soften its stark realism. The way everyone talks about Judith in her absence disturbed me most, casual cruelty no less common today than in 1955. Looking forward to tomorrow's discussion!

vivastory Very perceptive review. I was also struck by how many people stood by & just watched her self-destruct. 2w
youneverarrived It made me feel bad for her when she got excited to see the family but then knowing they were all taking the mick out of her. Brilliant review 🙌 2w
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Billypar @vivastory Yeah, it made me dislike many of the people in her life, even though they all seemed to have reactions that were sadly believable. 2w
vivastory Unfortunately I have seen people behave similarly. I think that is one of the reasons it felt very contemporary, for me anyways. 2w
Billypar @youneverarrived Ugh, I know! She was aware of some of it from overhearing the kids, but they all seemed to share the same opinion of her. 2w
Billypar @vivastory Agreed: gossip and schadenfreude seem to thrive in any society, no matter the culture or time period. 2w
batsy @youneverarrived That bit broke my heart. Perhaps the reader can see it coming because of how deftly Moore depicts character & like @Billypar points out, you know that people have it in for the likes of Judy, but it still made me so sad 💔 2w
Leftcoastzen Casual cruelty, I‘m sure I will witness some today. 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Yeah, all too common unfortunately. Nice job with this month's pick: very good choice and discussion! 2w
39 likes10 comments
blurb
Aimeesue
This post contains spoilers
show me
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Every day, when I walk the dogs, I bring a big bag with me to pick up litter. Very often, I find liquor bottles along the road - and for a while there, it was those cans from hard seltzer that were such a big thing recently. Yesterday, it was wine and whiskey bottles.
Someone apparently had a Judy Hearne holiday. Makes me a bit sad for whichever neighbor is leaving these bottles carefully along the road. I never find them broken.

Suet624 😂😂 a Judy Hearne holiday. 2w
7 likes1 comment
review
batsy
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Pickpick

This is #spinsterlit that rains on my one-woman spinster parade: bleak, dismal, & very affecting. Moore is a writer of many gifts & his characters practically leap off the page. Judith is a single, genteel Belfast woman now descending into less-than-genteel poverty. There's a cast of memorable characters, but this is about her abject descent & there appears to be no salvation in sight. Devastating, yet shot through with black humour. #nyrbbookclub

batsy I appreciate Moore's unflinching lack of sentimentality. He captures a slice of a hard & isolated life in Belfast, the underbelly of the middle-class ideal, that reminds me of what Joyce did for Dublin of a certain era. Most painful to read were Judy's fantasies combined with her snobbery, informed by her upbringing within a certain class—& her fantasy bourgeois life built like a house of cards. Look fwd to discussion @vivastory @Leftcoastzen ! 2w
Chrissyreadit I love how solid your review is. I have a good sense of the book and what you think of it. 2w
erzascarletbookgasm What a wonderful review. Like @Chrissyreadit said, I get a good sense of what to expect if I pick up the book. Now I must read it! 2w
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Suet624 Your sentence about her fantasies and snobbery is spot on. That was what hurt me the most. 2w
Leftcoastzen Great review! 2w
batsy @Chrissyreadit @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! It's such a wonderfully written book despite its sadness, would love to know what you think if you decide to read it. 2w
batsy @Suet624 Isn't it? It was almost painful and I had to put the book down. Actually I had to do that several times—it's a slim book but a lot to take. 2w
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thank you :) 2w
Suet624 Yes, I had to put it down a number of times as well. Such a tough read for me. 2w
marleed Stacked. I borrow a lot of new-author easy reads from the library so a tough read in between helps me appreciate all genres I read. 2w
batsy @marleed It's a very full book, if that makes sense. A lot of sadness, but a lot of life too. I definitely recommend it :) 2w
vivastory Stellar review, as always!! Judith was definitely a flawed character, not easy to sympathize with. 2w
Centique Gosh you write a great review! I‘m feeling sad for Judith already. Definitely on my TBR 😍 2w
youneverarrived You always write the best reviews 🙌 it‘s going to be a good discussion this one. 2w
LeeRHarry This is one of my faves of all time and I keep meaning to read more by this author. Also, fab review 😊 (edited) 2w
batsy @vivastory @Centique @youneverarrived @LeeRHarry Thank you! ❤️ Judith & the small glimpse of Belfast we see in this book will stay with me for awhile... I feel that way about practically all of the books we've read so far for #NYRBbookclub 2w
Reggie Your review reminds me of the song They Other Woman sung by Nina Simone.....and it‘s last line....😥. Nice review. 2w
batsy @Reggie Thanks! Gorgeous song... The mood of it very much jibes with the mood of the book. (I also think the Lana Del Rey cover is pretty good 🙂) 2w
Leftcoastzen It has that Joyce like feel! Especially the gossip chapter! 2w
batsy @Leftcoastzen Yes! Some cadences in Judith's prose when she's drunk that have a Molly Bloom feel to it, too 2w
90 likes3 stack adds20 comments
blurb
Billypar
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#nyrbbookclub

My library hold came in just in time - a Thanksgiving miracle! My fiancee who had a half day today was awesome enough to pick it up from the library so I could have it for the holiday.

Now to see if I can finish by Saturday for the discussion..🤞

vivastory Do it! Grab a turkey leg, a bottle of wine & ignore the world for a few hours for Judith's company. It's 💯 worth it! 2w
merelybookish Nice old school copy! I hope you can get it done on time! 2w
Billypar @vivastory Sounds like a perfect plan. I cracked it open tonight and I'm enjoying it already. I'll have Judith in my head while I'm attempting awkward conversation with friends and family- I should start gathering interesting topics to talk about now 😁 2w
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Billypar @merelybookish I'm liking the shade of green. I hope so too- I like it so far! 2w
Aimeesue Enjoy! Moore is so good! 2w
BarbaraBB She is sad but wonderful company. I‘m sure you‘ll manage before Saturday! 2w
batsy Love that vintage-y cover! And I hope you enjoy. I just finished and I'm kind of devastated by this book. That comment about gathering interesting stuff to talk about...I feel the same 😆 2w
Billypar @Aimeesue @BarbaraBB I'm not great with reading books quickly, but so far it's really good so I'm going to go for it. 2w
Billypar @batsy I'm only 40 pages in, and I can already see it being devastating. And on the conversational end, I don't know why 'So what's going on with you?' manages to surprise me every time 😕❓ 2w
batsy @Billypar Me too, always! I feel you. And I really felt for Judy when she endures moments with horrible manbaby sons just to have topics to talk about with others 😣 2w
youneverarrived I really like this edition 😍 looking forward to seeing what you think. 2w
Billypar @youneverarrived I made good progress today so should be able finish it tomorrow. Interested to see how it wraps up - definitely not holding out hope for a happy ending! 2w
Suet624 @Billypar @Batsy what‘s going on with you? Always makes me feel like there‘s a spotlight shining in me and I have to start taking all my clothes off. Excruciating. (edited) 2w
Billypar @Suet624 Ha! So true. 'Oh you know, working hard, living my life..' 😁 2w
batsy @Suet624 Ha, so true! Excruciating is exactly it. 2w
44 likes15 comments
review
Leftcoastzen
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Pickpick

Poor Judith! All the characters are well drawn in this book about a mid 20th century spinster in crisis. She sacrificed her youth taking care of her aging aunt.Judith still imagines she has one more chance at romance,or at least , she can be a woman of faith with some dignity intact.Well....a very good read for the #NYRBbookclub

merelybookish Nice review! And aptly paired! 🥃 2w
Leftcoastzen @merelybookish A little embarrassed about my Costco size bottle of Jameson! (edited) 2w
merelybookish Ha! Just would not judge....(or she might to seem proper but secretly she'd admire it! 😉) 2w
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merelybookish *Judy not Just 2w
Alfoster Costco rocks! Never be embarrassed! It‘s a bargain! 2w
Aimeesue @merelybookish Judy would be trying to slip that under her coat! 😋 2w
Coleen_Nieto @Leftcoastzen I was at Costco and had a bottle of jameson's in my hand and didn't get it. Now I'm just a little envious :) have a great night! 2w
vivastory Judy would definitely be trying to nab that! Great review! 2w
LeahBergen Great pic! 😂😂 2w
BarbaraBB Judith‘s brand 🤣 2w
batsy Such a good photo and review! 🥃 Here's to Judy ❤️ 2w
youneverarrived This picture is perfect 👌 2w
56 likes1 stack add12 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
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My #holiday week so far
#movember

Cinfhen Lots of mixed reviews on Litsy about this book/ cant wait to hear what you think❣️ 2w
BarbaraBB Almost perfect, I miss the wine 🍷 😉 2w
emilyhaldi SO GOOD!!! @Cinfhen Poor Judith gave off some major Eleanor Oliphant vibes... I think you would like it! 2w
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emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB the wine is there, don't you worry! Some bourbon too 😜🥃 2w
Reviewsbylola I agree, totally Eleanor. I enjoyed this one! 2w
Mdargusch Winks! ❤️ 2w
86 likes6 comments
review
youneverarrived
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Pickpick

I don‘t even know how to review this novel, really, except to say I absolutely loved it. The writing is amazing and the characters truly come to life. I can‘t wait to discuss it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #nyrbbookclub

LeahBergen Yep! I loved it, too! 2w
vivastory Yet another gem I probably wouldn't have read if not for our group! 🙌 2w
erzascarletbookgasm So many loved this book! I am most curious to read it! 2w
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batsy He is so deft at characterisation! ❤️ 2w
youneverarrived @vivastory I know I love our group ❤️ 2w
youneverarrived @erzascarletbookgasm you‘ll have to let me know what you think if you read it! 2w
youneverarrived @batsy yes, so good! 👌 2w
65 likes8 comments
blurb
Theaelizabet
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LeahBergen I like how many of the #NYRBBookClub picks are shown with wine! 😆😆 2w
BarbaraBB You‘re back! I hope you‘re enjoying your evening! 😘 2w
Theaelizabet @LeahBergen Great minds think alike!😉 2w
Theaelizabet @BarbaraBB Thanks! I did! ☺️ 2w
33 likes4 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
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Does Bernard remind anyone else of Ignatius C. Reilly?! His demeanor is so similar, right down to his relationship with his poor doting mother.
The contrast between him and Judith is cracking me up!
Loving this book so far 🤗
#NYRBbookclub

Leftcoastzen He gives off that vibe I think.I‘m about 80% done. 2w
Reviewsbylola How did I not see that?! 2w
Reviewsbylola It‘s so obvious! 2w
See All 11 Comments
batsy Oh my god!!! I was just going to make a post asking the same thing! 😂❤️ 2w
batsy (However, I'm nearing to the end and I will say in defence of Ignatius that he has more principles 🙃) 2w
LeahBergen That hair washing scene. 😳🤢 2w
BarbaraBB Lol, there is Ignatius again 😀. Bernard is great, as long as he is fiction. That hair washing scene indeed @LeahBergen 😨 2w
batsy @LeahBergen Love Mary Gordon's afterword where she describes it as a kind of domestic horror! 2w
emilyhaldi How funny!!! @batsy I love that I'm not alone in this. It didn't quite strike me until the hair washing scene @Reviewsbylola and then I was like omg, this is absolutely something Irene would have done for Ignatius 😂 LOL so nasty @LeahBergen (edited) 2w
Mdargusch I might actually like this one then. 🤔 2w
emilyhaldi I definitely think you should give this a try! @Mdargusch it‘s more your speed for sure. 1w
80 likes11 comments
blurb
vivastory
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One of the most powerful portraits of a spiritual crisis that I've read in recent memory.
#thepowerofgoodbye #MOvember @Cinfhen

youneverarrived It‘s so good. There‘s a few passages in this where I just thought ‘wow‘. I‘m almost finished but scared how it‘s going to end. 2w
emilyhaldi I‘m loving this!!! 2w
batsy Perfect book for this prompt. 2w
See All 6 Comments
vivastory @youneverarrived I think that the ending is 👌 2w
vivastory @emilyhaldi I was really surprised by it! I knew almost nothing about it. 2w
vivastory @batsy Thanks! I thought so. 2w
89 likes5 stack adds6 comments
blurb
saresmoore
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Oh, dear Judy. 💔 Halfway through and I‘m feeling so many complicated feelings with these characters!

#NYRBBookClub

emilyhaldi Same... that Judy!!! I don‘t know if I want to shake her or hug her 😕 2w
LeahBergen Right? Oh my... 2w
merelybookish I also struggled! 2w
Suet624 This was a tough one for me. 2w
90 likes4 comments
review
vivastory
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Pickpick

The third person narrator & the diagnosis of characters' motives frequently brought Henry James to mind, but I find Moore's lyrical prose adds an emotional depth often missing in James. All of the characters in Moore's novel are flawed, some significantly more so, & this makes for complicated characters that aren't always easy to sympathize with, even Judith. Ultimately though I was won over by Judith. One of my favorite #NYRBBookClub reads yet!

Cinfhen Wow!!! Interesting 2w
batsy Nice review! I'm in the middle and this story feels like something out of Joyce's Dubliners, which I loved. 2w
Aimeesue I loved this one. 2w
See All 14 Comments
BarbaraBB Fab review again! 2w
youneverarrived Have to agree it‘s one of my favourites. Great review 👌 2w
LeahBergen Yep, I thought it was fantastic, too! 2w
merelybookish Great review! 2w
vivastory @Cinfhen It's pretty bleak, but there's just enough eccentricity to temper the gloom 2w
vivastory @batsy Good comparison! I read Dubliners eons ago & am definitely due for a reread 2w
vivastory @Aimeesue I'm looking forward to the discussion! 2w
vivastory @BarbaraBB Thanks! I just couldn't stop reading it 😄 2w
vivastory @youneverarrived Thanks! It was a nice surprise. 2w
vivastory @LeahBergen There will be a lot for discussion with this one I think 2w
vivastory @merelybookish I'm looking forward to the group's thoughts on this one 2w
91 likes1 stack add14 comments
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merelybookish
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Keep hoping for a some kind of #rayoflight for Judy 🕯️🕯️🕯️, but feeling it's unlikely. This book, while I do like it, is el depresso. 😞 #Spinsterlit is more enjoyable when the spinsters are flouting convention not being crushed by it. 😬 You warned me @Suet624
@cinfhen #MOvember
@vivastory @Leftcoastzen #nyrbbookclub

AlaMich Yeah, that‘s kind of why I‘ve held off reading it. It just sounds so bleak. 3w
vivastory I was thinking of starting it tonight, but might wait until tomorrow. Feeling the Sunday night blues, not sure this would be the best thing to read right now 3w
merelybookish @vivastory Not a bad decision, although you could probably read the first 50 pages or so before the bleakness really settles in. 3w
See All 18 Comments
merelybookish @AlaMich Maybe things look up near the end! 🤞 3w
AlaMich @merelybookish ok, you report back if it does! 😊 3w
Suet624 You‘re exactly right. Spinster lit is a lot more enjoyable when they are quirky and flouting convention. 3w
merelybookish @Suet624 I finished. I guess she tried to rebel? As usual, looking forward to our discussion. 3w
BarbaraBB Great thoughts already! 3w
Cinfhen Beautiful photo but man, even the cover is DEPRESSING!!!!!! 3w
batsy I started off thinking it was charming and perhaps Pym-ish but it is rather bleak. I'm hoping it gets better for her but it sounds like it doesn't. You're right, #spinsterlit is so much better when it's a Lolly Willowes style f-you to society 🙃 3w
Suet624 Not sure that was a rebellion. But your take on it was certainly more optimistic than how I saw it. 3w
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Thanks! Another good book with a complicated character for us to discuss! 3w
merelybookish @Cinfhen You're not wrong. 3w
merelybookish @batsy As always, will look forward to your thoughts! But yeah, this is no quirky FU to the man. But also written by a man. So maybe that's important to keep in mind. 🤔 My guess is most good #spinsterlit is written by women. 3w
merelybookish @Suet624 Yes maybe an optimistic take. It will be interesting to see what others make of it. Do we feel any hope for Judith at the end? 3w
Suet624 @merelybookish I felt a sort of relief. Someone was finally (kind of) taking care of her. (edited) 3w
LeahBergen Poor “old” Judith. And she‘s only in her early 40s, FFS! 😮 3w
merelybookish @LeahBergen I know. ? And "plain as a board" ? not only is she 'old' but she's unattractive too! 3w
80 likes1 stack add18 comments
blurb
Reviewsbylola
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Desperately needed #bathandbook 🐫 🛀 📖

Nute Yes! 3w
BarbaraBB Hope you like the book! 3w
See All 9 Comments
Reviewsbylola I really do! @BarbaraBB Definitely one of my favorite NYRB titles so far. Spinster lit is my jam apparently. 3w
BarbaraBB Nothing beats a bath and spinster lit, I agree 😀 3w
Megabooks I live vicariously through your bath bombs! I can‘t use them in the tub here. ☹️ 3w
Kalalalatja @Megabooks I‘m with you, I don‘t even have a tub, but every time I see a bath bomb pic I relax a little bit more 😄 3w
Mdargusch Looks very festive! 3w
Suet624 I wish Judith had some bath bombs in her life. 3w
77 likes9 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
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I was getting annoyed thinking this was taking weeks to arrive but turns out I hadn‘t even ordered it 🙈 #babybrain

It‘s here now though so can finally start reading it! Seems like a good one for everyone so far 🧡 #nyrbbookclub

Leftcoastzen 😂A life happens moment! 3w
lele1432 I just got mine Tuesday and can't wait to read it! 3w
LeahBergen 😆😆 3w
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB Haha! Hope you‘ll like it too! 3w
BiblioLitten The cover! 😍 3w
Cathythoughts Thinking of you & your bump .... hope all is going well & easy 👍🏻❤️ Happy Days Katie X 3w
youneverarrived @Cathythoughts thanks Cathy 😘 all is good I keep feeling it move now which is lovely 💕 love your photo xx 3w
69 likes8 comments
review
Suet624
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Pickpick

I can see why they put such a bright cover on this book: it‘s depressing! The agony and ecstasy of an older single woman just about did me in. Her flights of romantic fancy and her vulnerability got to me. The writing was terrific and had me riveted to her story. While Judith and I have almost no similarities, the author put me squarely in her situation and it wasn‘t a pleasant feeling. #nyrbbookclub
@vivastory @Leftcoastzen

Reggie What a great review!! 3w
BarbaraBB Fab review, thanks! 3w
Suet624 @Reggie @BarbaraBB Thank you! I've jumped from this book to Fleishman is in Trouble. The beginning of the book is all about a newly divorced man who has more offers for sex from random women than he knows what to do with. It's quite the contrast. 3w
65 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Reviewsbylola
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This is my issue with buying used books. I typically don‘t minder underlining or notes, but the random circling is already driving me nuts and it‘s only the first page. 🤦🏼‍♀️

vivastory I don't even understand why they circled those parts..🤔 3w
LeahBergen What the fu? ⭕️ 3w
LeslieO It‘s so distracting. I get sidetracked wondering why these parts were underlined. 3w
See All 16 Comments
IamIamIam Ugh, that's awful! Totally random!! 3w
ljuliel I can‘t read books that have writing in them. Too distracting. I‘m always stopping to see why they underlined stuff. (edited) 3w
Ruthiella I find it usually falls off after a few pages. I always wonder if they gave up on the books or just the underlining . But it is distracting I agree. 3w
Suet624 Oh, jeez. So annoying. 3w
MicheleinPhilly What a freak. The previous owner, not you. 3w
Billypar But such an interesting observation - I mean 'aunt', 'tissue', 'Sacred Heart' - gives you a whole new perspective on the novel 😁 3w
Reviewsbylola It‘s so distracting. And I can‘t read the person‘s handwriting either, which is even more infuriating. If you‘re going to notate a book, at least make sure I can read it! 🙄😆 @vivastory @LeahBergen @LeslieO @IamIamIam @ljuliel @Ruthiella @Suet624 @MicheleinPhilly @Billypar 3w
IamIamIam Where did you get it from? I had an issue with a book from Thriftbooks & they sent a new book. Granted, it was a cookbook and someone had ripped out the recipes they wanted... lol 3w
MicheleinPhilly @IamIamIam 🤦🏻‍♀️ 3w
Reviewsbylola I don‘t remember but I‘m guessing AbeBooks. @IamIamIam 3w
Mdargusch So interesting because the markings seem so random. 3w
Reviewsbylola I thought maybe they would start to make sense to me as the story progressed, but no. 🤦🏼‍♀️ @mdargusch 3w
emilyhaldi Oh man I ran into that with my used edition of Stoner and it was so distracting!!! 2w
77 likes1 stack add16 comments
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Aimeesue
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#Stella is not entirely sure I should be reading instead of letting her lick me, but I think I've had enough Pibble kisses for today, thankyouverymuch.

#pibble
#pitbullsoflitsy
#nyrb
#nyrbbookclub

vivastory Cute dog! 4w
Aimeesue @vivastory She thinks so too! 😂 She's my daughter's dog, but since she's at college, I've been appointed Next Best Person. Which really just means I get sat on and licked to death every night as soon as I sit down to read. 4w
vivastory 😂Next Best Person sounds okay to me... although after awhile I would want to read 4w
See All 15 Comments
Leftcoastzen What a cutie! 4w
Tamra What a face! 4w
batsy 😂 What a sweetie 3w
Aimeesue @vivastory She does let me prop my book on her back, as long as it's not too heavy, so I guess that's something, anyway. 😋 3w
Aimeesue @Leftcoastzen @Tamra @batsy Stella says thank you, and wants to know if you have any dog cookies for a poor starving girl? 3w
Tamra @Aimeesue I am certain we do and I‘m also certain she probably isn‘t starving. 😜 3w
LeahBergen I‘m actually stunned by that blue and white afghan. It looks identical in colour and pattern to one I made about 25 years ago when I was teaching myself how to crochet! And I just made up the pattern myself. 😮😮 3w
Aimeesue @LeahBergen My mom made it for us 10 or 15 years ago? It has scallopy edging around the blocks. 3w
Aimeesue @Tamra She would convince you, if only you could hear her cry under the table as soon as she thinks we're done eating. 😂😂😂 3w
LeahBergen No scallopy edges on mine (that would‘ve taxed my skills too much 😆). 3w
jillrhudy How did I miss this photo of Stella? 3w
Aimeesue @jillrhudy I dunno, but Stella is deeply sad now, and says you must bring her a dog cookie. 3w
39 likes1 stack add15 comments
blurb
vivastory
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vivastory Also tagging @Aimeesue & @Billypar Discussion open to everyone 4w
BarbaraBB Thank you Scott and @Leftcoastzen got another amazing read! Looking forward to discussing it! @JenniferP if you have read this book you‘re very welcome to join the discussion! 4w
mklong Got it on my calendar. Looking forward to it! 4w
See All 11 Comments
Sace The book sounds interesting. 4w
JenniferP @BarbaraBB thanks for tagging me. I don‘t have that one but maybe I‘ll get it! 4w
vivastory @Sace feel free to join us for the discussion! 4w
Reviewsbylola I‘ve got to start this! 4w
Sace @vivastory it's a shame that there's a two week hold wait 😔 4w
emilyhaldi Can't wait! I'll be reading this next week during my luxurious week off of work 🤓 4w
LeahBergen I‘m about halfway through and LOVING it. 3w
64 likes1 stack add11 comments
blurb
merelybookish
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Enjoying a lazy Monday morning with the cat and this month's #nyrbbookclub pick. Only a chapter in and already hooked. @Leftcoastzen @vivastory

Suet624 I‘m halfway through and feeling so sorry for Miss Hearne that it‘s hard to keep going. I will, of course, but I‘m finding it‘s hurting my heart. 4w
Reviewsbylola I love the NYRB cover but this one is nice too! 4w
vivastory Sounds like a perfect day 4w
See All 12 Comments
Liz_M I want a lazy Monday. I'm on the third cup of coffee and I still don't feel awake. 😌 😴 4w
merelybookish @Suet624 Oh dear! 🙁 Thanks for the heads up! 4w
merelybookish @Reviewsbylola Yeah, not as pretty as the NYRB but still interesting! It the New Canadian Library version. 4w
merelybookish @vivastory Yes, not bad! 4w
merelybookish @Liz_M I'm sorry! The past week was like that for me so I'm not feeling too bad about a lazy day. I hope you get one soon! 🙂 4w
BarbaraBB @Suet624 We have a way of choosing our main characters don‘t you think? All of them feel like real life persons! 4w
BarbaraBB Enjoy your day Margot, the book is hard to put it down! (edited) 4w
Suet624 @BarbaraBB so true about the characters in these novels we‘re reading. Also true that while my heart aches for Judy, I can‘t stop reading. 4w
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Thank you! It was lovely! 3w
68 likes12 comments
review
BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

With a picture of her aunt and the Sacred Heart watching over her from opposite sides of the room, Judith Hearne tries to keep in control of life and her inner demons. She‘s a spinster, living in a furnished room in a Catholic boarding house. When she meets Mr Madden, she feels he is her last chance to ‘get off the shelf‘, as she describes it herself at the end of the book.
It‘s a bittersweet read and another great #NYRBBookclub choice.

batsy Lovely photo! And now I'm even more excited to read it. 4w
TheLudicReader That‘s a beautiful cover. 4w
vivastory Fantastic review! I can't wait to read it. 4w
See All 10 Comments
emilyhaldi Yay! Another great #NYRBbookclub pick 🤗 I‘m hoping to start this week.. 4w
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review and what gorgeous cover! Stacked. 4w
Tamra Picture perfect! 4w
Jee_HookedOnBookz Love this pic! 4w
lele1432 Beautiful! 4w
LeeRHarry Glad you enjoyed it - lovely photo 😊 4w
youneverarrived I‘m looking forward to reading this, just waiting on it being delivered. Glad you enjoyed it 👍 4w
95 likes2 stack adds10 comments
quote
BarbaraBB
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I love it when a first sentence pulls me right in! #NYRBBookclub

LeeRHarry This is in my top ten books - hope you enjoy it 😊 4w
Simona I can‘t remember if you had read North Water, but this book have unforgettable first paragraph. 4w
batsy I can't wait to start! 4w
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB @Simona I still need to, I have a copy and have been wanting to read it for years. I really don‘t know why I don‘t! 4w
BarbaraBB @LeeRHarry That‘s quite a recommendation! I am 50 pages in and really enjoying it a lot! @batsy Hope you‘ll have your copy soon! 4w
batsy My copy is here! I just need the time 🤣 Stretched myself a bit thin with a few buddy reads 😳 4w
BarbaraBB @batsy I know what you mean. The stress of reading, such a lovely problem 😀😍 4w
71 likes7 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
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#NYRBBookclub Another wild Friday night.I would be a bad co-host if I don‘t make some progress on our club pick .I liked the first chapter.

emilyhaldi Can't wait to start this soon! 4w
emilyhaldi And hopefully with a glass of 🍷 4w
Leftcoastzen @emilyhaldi cheers!🍷There is some drinking in the book . 😀 4w
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB I read the first chapter too last night. Promising, don‘t you think? 4w
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB This IS a very similar picture to mine! 😆😆 I‘m right here partying with you, @Leftcoastzen ! 🍷 4w
BarbaraBB By the way, is that a framed picture of your aunt??! 😉 4w
Leftcoastzen @BarbaraBB it is a photo of my great aunt!On my moms side of the family I spent a lot of time with my grandparents so I was pretty close to my two great or grand aunts.But no Judith situation here.😀 4w
Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen Great minds think alike !🙃😉 4w
54 likes8 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
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Friday night. I‘m hiding from the puppy to get some reading done. 😆😆

#NYRBBookClub

Bookzombie 😆 4w
rubyslippersreads ❤️❤️❤️ that cover! 4w
erzascarletbookgasm The wine matches the cover. 👍 And we miss the 🐶 already! 4w
See All 15 Comments
BarbaraBB Your picture and evening are similar to @Leftcoastzen 🍷❤️. I‘ve started too. 4w
batsy 😂 4w
LeahBergen @Bookzombie It needed to be done. 😆 4w
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Isn‘t it fantastic? 4w
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm He‘s an absolute terror! 😆 4w
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I‘m really enjoying it so far! 4w
LeahBergen @batsy Thank God my little home library has doors! 😆 4w
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen I need to get a copy and catch up. Also, one of these days you‘re going to find out if puppies enjoy knocking glasses off tables the way kitties do. 😹 4w
emilyhaldi Lol 🐶 4w
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Yeah, well ... he definitely isn‘t shy about cramming his face into a glass and taking a drink. 😆😆 4w
Reviewsbylola I just started this but I‘m loving it! 3w
Suet624 When do we get to see the puppy again? 2w
99 likes15 comments
blurb
vivastory
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#NYRBBookClub we typically have the monthly discussion the final weekend of the month, with the holidays this month would it be easier to have it the weekend prior (11/23-11/24)?
@BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi @sprainedbrain @mklong @youneverarrived @LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen @Liz_M @merelybookish @MicheleinPhilly @GatheringBooks @saresmoore @sisilia @Reviewsbylola @batsy @Suet624 @Theaelizabet

sisilia I am ready! 😆 I read it months ago but I still remember Judith vividly. Looking forward to the discussion! 1mo
BarbaraBB For me it‘s equal, no holidays here. I do have to hurry to read it in time. But I will 💪🏼😉 1mo
batsy Like @BarbaraBB no holidays here either, sadly 😆 I haven't started it yet so if it's this weekend I probably won't join in the discussion, but look forward to reading! 1mo
See All 21 Comments
sprainedbrain I can do it either weekend—whatever works for the group. I actually managed to get the book in time! 1mo
GatheringBooks have fun everyone! and enjoy the holidays!!! 1mo
mklong I haven‘t started either, but I could probably squeeze it in next week if that works better for the group 1mo
saresmoore Either one works for me! I‘ll need a break from my family... 1mo
BarbaraBB @batsy It wouldn‘t be this weekend but the weekend of 23 November. Maybe that helps? 1mo
merelybookish I can do either. 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Oof! The dates are right there and I missed it 🤦🏽‍♀️ 😂 Thank you Barbara! Yup, that helps 😁 1mo
Liz_M I can probably make the weekend after Thanksgiving work. 1mo
youneverarrived I haven‘t received my book yet although I ordered it over a week ago 😒 I‘m ok with either weekend just hoping it arrives soon! 1mo
Leftcoastzen I can do either weekend. We wanted to see what everybody thought. 1mo
Reviewsbylola I am fine with either. 1mo
LeahBergen No holiday here for me either @BarbaraBB @batsy so whatever works better for you “Yanks”. 😉 1mo
Theaelizabet Either works for me. 1mo
Suet624 Either is fine! 1mo
mklong So, did we decide on a weekend? 4w
vivastory @mklong We're going with the final weekend 4w
mklong Thanks! I‘ve got something else that I am itching to read first, so I‘m glad I‘ll have time 😊 4w
vivastory @mklong no prob, we'll make a post about the date in the next day or two 4w
63 likes21 comments
blurb
saresmoore
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If you need me, go away.

This #NYRBBookClub pick is cracking me up! I was thrown at first by the abrupt switches from third to first person narration, but I‘m invested now.

Tamra I wish!! 1mo
Lindy What an inviting reading corner. 😊 1mo
merelybookish Good to hear! Looking forward to this one. 1mo
See All 15 Comments
youneverarrived 😂 I‘m still waiting on mine to be delivered but glad to hear you‘re liking it. 1mo
saresmoore @merelybookish It‘s funny in a sad way, but very engaging. I think you‘ll like it. 1mo
saresmoore @youneverarrived I decided to start this one early because my procrastination in past months has not worked out so much... 🙃 1mo
rubyslippersreads What a lovely reading nook! And your book matches! 😊 1mo
LeeRHarry One of my faves 😊 (edited) 1mo
Kalalalatja Perfect space 👌 1mo
BarbaraBB Good to hear you‘re enjoying it. I hope to start next week! 1mo
LauraBeth Look at this lovely reading nook! 😍 1mo
emilyhaldi 😍 1mo
LeahBergen I‘m just about to crack open the cover. 👍🏻 1mo
Reviewsbylola I have that chair too, in blueish Gray. Mine has seen much better days tho. 😆 I love the pop of color! 3w
saresmoore @Reviewsbylola It is definitely a pop! Really the only redeeming quality of this ORANGE (what was I thinking?!) is that it doesn‘t show stains. 😅 3w
96 likes4 stack adds15 comments
blurb
vivastory
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I want to thank @LeahBergen again for co-hosting in October. I also want to thank everyone for another great discussion.

November selection is Brian Moore's "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne." I'm looking forward to co-hosting with @Leftcoastzen

Voting for December selections should begin in the next few days. I can't wait to see your nominations @Liz_M

#NYRBBookClub

BarbaraBB Yay it‘s voting day again! @Liz_M has such a huge collection, my expectations are high 😀 Thanks for hosting October Scott and @LeahBergen ! (edited) 1mo
batsy Yay! This is another one that's been TBR for ages 1mo
See All 20 Comments
veritysalter Hi. How do I get involved with #NYRBBookClub? Your choices always look fantastic. 1mo
emilyhaldi I bought this one forever ago just for the cover 😍 now excited to actually give it a read!! 1mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I love voting day! 1mo
vivastory @batsy I'm really looking forward to it 1mo
vivastory @veritysalter The nominations & voting are for the members tagged at the top of the thread. The readalong & end of the month discussion is open to anyone on Litsy who wishes to join in. Once the group has finished I will be opening it for new members. I hope you'll join in with the readalong & discussion! 1mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi This is one of my favorite NYRB covers so far, which says A LOT 1mo
MicheleinPhilly This one is really good! I‘m still salty that the friend I loaned it to never returned it. 🤬 1mo
veritysalter @vivastory Thank you, I‘ll get the book next time I‘m shopping. 1mo
vivastory @MicheleinPhilly And you're still friends with this person?! You're a better person than I 😄 1mo
MicheleinPhilly We don‘t talk often. 😂 1mo
Liz_M @vivastory Ooops! I hadn't realized I was up for December. goodreads message sent to (I hope the correct) Scott. 😁 1mo
vivastory @Liz_M I just responded 1mo
LeahBergen @vivastory @barbarabb It was a fun pick! 👍🏼 1mo
LeahBergen Woohoo! @Liz_M , you‘ll probably be overwhelmed by all you have to choose from. I can‘t wait! 👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
LeahBergen @veritysalter Yes! Join in and read with us! 😘 1mo
saresmoore Really looking forward to this! And to having reading time and actually being able to contribute to the discussion this month... 😬🤞 1mo
vivastory @saresmoore I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad to hear you'll have more time. Your presence has been missed on here. 1mo
75 likes20 comments
blurb
vivastory
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Two people have yet to vote, but with 4 more votes than second place, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne has been voted as the November selection for #NYRBBookClub I'm looking forward to reading this one with my co-host @Leftcoastzen & discussing!

sisilia Yay! I‘m looking forward to the discussion ❤️ 2mo
Suet624 Yippee! By the way, i didn‘t want to read a scary story, especially one that involved twins (seeing as I have twins!) so I‘ll be skipping October‘s read. Looking forward to hearing all about it though. 2mo
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batsy Whooo! 🎉 2mo
sprainedbrain Oh awesome! 2mo
Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🥳🥳 2mo
GatheringBooks enjoy the discussion! will be skipping this one again, my deepest apologies. will be more constant by next year as i can read books by male authors by then. 2mo
merelybookish Nice! Turns out I already have a copy of this (the New Canadian Library edition) so I'm set! 👍 And @Suet624 I may also skip the October read...because horror freaks me out. 😬 2mo
LeahBergen Yayyyy! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 And @Suet624 and @merelybookish - no worries! I think we‘ll all be skipping a few as our wonderful little club carries on. I won‘t be offended! 😆😆 2mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Thank you! Its a perfect October pick. I'm just a big scardy cat. 2mo
youneverarrived Looking forward to it 😁 2mo
Cathythoughts I‘d like to read this too. The movie was great. Stacked 2mo
sisilia @Cathythoughts I want to see the movie! Maggie Smith as Judith 😍 2mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for organizing! Looking forward to it! 2mo
saresmoore 🙌 I‘m excited! 2mo
emilyhaldi Sorry I‘ve been MIA for a few days 😅 but my vote would have been for this book 😉 can‘t wait!! 2mo
68 likes1 stack add16 comments
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Suet624
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sisilia You are in for a treat! 😍 3mo
MicheleinPhilly I really enjoyed this one! 3mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚😊🌸 3mo
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Macnjen Very cool cover art! (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB Another NYRB 😍 3mo
LeeRHarry One of my all time faves - hope you enjoy! 😊 that is a fab cover! 3mo
55 likes6 comments
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sisilia
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I didn‘t know there‘s a Judith Hearne movie 😱🤦🏻‍♀️ I MUST watch this! And Maggie Smith as Judith... omg, I‘m in for a treat! #NYRB

batsy Ohh ❤️ Sounds great. But I have to read it before watching 😁 7mo
sisilia @batsy Yes 😃 Brilliant writing by Brian Moore 👍🏻 7mo
53 likes2 comments
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sisilia
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Pickpick

My heart hurts for Judith Hearne. She is lonely and desperate. Single in her 40s, she‘s been longing for a man‘s love; she often toys with the imagination of what life would be with a darling by her side. Alas, there‘s no prince willing to salvage her. She doesn‘t have true friends, so she turns to alcohols for comforts. When things get worse, there‘s no explicit guidance from her God, either. Argh!! Poor Judy 😢😭

Suet624 So pretty. And so sad. 😟 8mo
Zelma Gorgeous photo though! 8mo
sisilia @Suet624 Crushed me with beautifully written prose 😶 8mo
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sisilia Thank you @zelma 😺 8mo
Suet624 I guess I‘ll be hunting this one down. 💕 8mo
Suet624 And....I just ordered it. 😂😂😂 8mo
sisilia @Suet624 Hurrah! 😸😹 8mo
batsy Oh no, it sounds like the kind of devastating #spinsterlit I don't need more of in my life 😭😂 *opens Book Depository tab and adds to wishlist* 8mo
sisilia @batsy Hahahaha yes! A wonderful #spinsterlit ... I really wanted to jump into the book to save Judith Hearn. I‘m genuinely worried for her 😹 8mo
erzascarletbookgasm So sad 😞 for such a pretty cover! 8mo
LeeRHarry This was heartbreaking but a top pick for me ✔️ 8mo
sisilia @LeeRHarry I gave this 5⭐️ Superb writing! I really felt the pain and the sorrows 😭 8mo
Reggie I love your journey in this chat @Suet624 Lololol. 8mo
Suet624 @Reggie 😀😀🤪🤪 Can you believe my enthusiasm to acquire a very sad novel about a spinster? (edited) 8mo
89 likes4 stack adds15 comments
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sisilia
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Bali with Judith Hearne & mango + lychee + coconut water mix

Centique They both look beautiful 😍 8mo
Jerdencon Jealous - so nice! 😀 8mo
Mtroiano 😍 8mo
Soubhiville Mmmmmm! Enjoy! 8mo
84 likes1 stack add4 comments
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sisilia
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Currently reading 😍 #spinsterlit

erzascarletbookgasm Pretty cover 🙂 8mo
Suet624 Oh gosh, there you are with yet another beautiful NYRB! 8mo
sisilia @erzascarletbookgasm @Suet624 I should work for NYRB 😆 ... totally fangirling over this wonderful publisher 8mo
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LeahBergen I think I need this one, too! 😆 8mo
arubabookwoman And a great book too. It was the first book I read by Brian Moore. 8mo
sisilia Time to shop for books @LeahBergen 😄 8mo
sisilia @arubabookwoman I‘m loving it so far ❤️ 8mo
77 likes7 comments
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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
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Bailedbailed

Oh man I bailed on this one 😟 Disturbing scenes and disturbing language - words I couldn't dismiss because thats how they talked before. The more I read the less I was enjoying. So I called it quits.

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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
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Naomi at Consumed by Ink gave this one high marks and it sounds like something I definitely need to read.

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Jeg
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Pickpick

This book recommended by a friend. Written n the 50s, it continues to be republished. Not an uplifting book but well written and insightful. Times might have changed but loneliness has not for some people. @MrsMalaprop .
I‘m now looking for the movie which starred one of my favourites Maggie Smith.