Amongst Women has ratings and reviews. Paul said: Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? A guy who wasn’t violen. John McGahern was born in Dublin and brought up in the west of Ireland. He is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including Amongst. John McGahern, who died on March 30th, , set the bar for the rest of us.

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

Now that this glory days are gone, he is left in his old house with his second wife and his three daughters visit him occasionally. He had not published a novel for 10 years. He died from cancer in Dublin on March 30, This will be the story of an IRA veteran facing up to approaching death at home in the bosom of his family. The women – including Rose – react differently: My Irish Literature tutor at Trinity College a.

Amongst Women (John McGahern) – book review

Not much amazing or intriguing here. All the rest of the family visit him regularly in spite of the fact that he has been domineering and violent. Published May 18th by Faber first published Exile is a literary theme and, often wlmen, political necessity!

Michael Moran is an ex IRA fighter who is the dictator of his own world. She becomes a strong moral power in the house, and through this strength she manages to control Moran and get him to change his bad temperament subtly.

If she were to go to university she would be come different and “better” than the family, it would keep all of the family from being on equal, “humble” terms, though Moran is far from humble and what he really means to do is control his daughters’ every move. As has been said already, Amongst Women offers a penetrating critique of patriarchy. He in turn charms and terrorizes his family and as harsh as that sounds I found myself admiring him in some ways.


It’s a deceptively gentle book and the writing has an incisive spareness to it that I thought was just brilliant. Moran was a once prominent Republican who fought for Irish independence in the s. It is either that, or he has to leave them all behind.

A large part of the fascination the handsome Moran holds for Rose and for his daughters is sexual. Oh, and then he dies. This once powerful man was so implanted in their lives that they had never really left Great Meadow, in spite of jobs and marriages and children and houses of their own in Dublin and London.

Then, like a shoal of fish moving within a net, Rose and the girls started to clear the table. This particular relationships is set up I think to show how the political is personal, the historical is personal, and it is also to a certain degree allegorical. It is also worthwhile to consider here the links between Catholicism and patriarchy.

Nevertheless, in a subtle way the story draws you into the life of this traditional catholic family. Such evasion is a tactical manoeuvre, a recognition of their own defencelessness. Moran dominates his daughter’s lives and they regularly return to the family home despite their own busy lives. He also repeatedly stresses that all his children are equal, further emphasising his own unique superiority. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! In Amongst Women we see the powerful bond of the family and how it can withstand so many difficulties.

That unexamined notion of superiority was often badly shaken and in need of restoration each time they came home. It’s so true to life. An ode to family.

They were already conspirators. I hate it when the synopsis on the The book is well written but a little boring.

Amongst Women by John McGahern – Reading Guide – : Books

He showed me his saws, hammers, screwdrivers, one by one. His targets may have diminished, but he is still prepared kcgahern resort to violence to assert his limited power. On the tides of Dublin mmcgahern London they were hardly more than specks of froth but together they were the aristocratic Morans of Great Meadow, a completed world, Moran’s daughters. They did not hurry. It was unlikely to be either of his sons.


A widower, Moran confuses his identity with the communal identity of his family in a gesture that mcgahsrn and conquers. He also takes pride in the amontst he owns. Want to Read saving…. Moran has been a guerrilla fighter in the War of Independence. Set in rural Ireland over a lengthy period in the mid 20th century, it tells the story of the family of Moran, a man who fought in the War of Independence as the head of a flying column, but was left behind by the bureaucrats once the struggle was won, and who now farms in the west of Ireland.

At first sight, not the type of book where the reader easily identifies with one of the characters.

Lawrence did in many of his classic works some seventy years before. The story opens with his imminent demise. The writing is beautiful- humane, poised, distant, appraising, tender, complexly simple, Chekovian, minutely realized, lucid, almost translucent in its knowingness, and the characters are drawn as near to life as you can qomen.

Everyone except Luke turns up at his funeral and acclaim him as a truly great and heroic man. With the years they had drawn closer. Many significant Irish novels published during the 80s and 90s I think, in particular, of Wo,en Toibin’s wonderful The Heather Blazing seem to feature characters and plots that struggle to reconcile the revolutionary ideals of the early twentieth century with the soullessness and disenchantments of some aspects of the new state that finally came into being.

From the earliest point in the narrative, we see that Moran’s relationship with his family is a complex one.