The Country Girls (The Country Girls Trilogy, #1) by Edna OBrienMeet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.
The Country Girls
I wakened quickly and sat up in bed abruptly. It is only when I am anxious that I waken easily and for a minute I did not know why my heart was beating faster than usual. Then I remembered. The old reason. He had not come home. So begins The Country Girls , one of the most famous, infamous, beloved and influential Irish novels of the 20th century.
It depicts the young author, cigarette clasped between her middle fingers, glancing to her left at some unseen provocation. The photograph is suggestive of both innocence and experience. It seems to promise: This girl is trouble. Her early novels were frequently banned, and burned, in her native Ireland when they appeared in the early s. They were about young women who wished to flee their stultifying families and small towns, and they were frank about sexual longing.
The options are telling; they imply a less-than-even division of territory. Imagine a small saintly island, surrounded by a raging, pagan sea of non-goodness, mortal sin and diabolical decadence. The miniature haven is, of course, Ireland. They are yet more so when they surprise you from beyond the grave. Much that she loves is lost, stolen or strayed. She comes of age in a claustrophobic County Clare town with no library, three grocers and 27 pubs.
Topics: Literature , History. Her awards are numerous and accolades esteemed, but when Edna O'Brien broke onto the international literary stage in with the publication of her novel The Country Girls, she was a struggling devotee of James Joyce working as a reader for a London-based publishing house. Kate and Baba encounter all kinds of misadventures during their travels, including explicit depictions of sex, alcohol use, and other debaucherous behavior.
Narrated in the first person, it is the story of Caithleen, who at the beginning of the novel is a year-old girl living in an Irish village, and at the end an year-old in Dublin, abandoned by her first lover. The consciousness of a girl as she becomes a woman is not, however, just the subject of the book, it is also the effect of its style. Caithleen's half-childish, half-adult consciousness of things is enacted by the narrative. The novel's very title implies an uncertainty about how adult she is. This is picked out when her "best friend" Baba proposes that they run away from their convent boarding school together and join a travelling show company.