A literary novel by an esteemed Booker Prize winner about an adulterous contemporary love affair is a risky venture. For a mildly discontented woman to be swept away by a passion for her sister’s sexy neighbour – it’s a cliché both in literature and in life, you might say. Yet the novel carries an awareness of this, I think, and if the protagonist sees her own falling for Sean as a failure of style, that just makes it all the more excruciating for her.
Here is a link to the full review.
Guardian too has a very positive review:
“I just can’t believe it. That all you have to do is sleep with somebody and get caught and you never have to see your in-laws again. Ever. Pfffft! Gone. It’s the nearest thing to magic I have yet found.” That’s the Anne Enright voice all right – wry, disabused, reckless, candid, funny. The hardened, suffering speakers in her recent fine story collection, Taking Pictures, use this tone; the grim damage of her Booker-winning The Gathering is energised by all that darkly comic unflinchingness.
The Forgotten Waltz, as its romantic title suggests, has more of a soft centre than she usually allows herself.
The Forgotten Waltz does not provide us with the satisfactions of a clear beginning, middle and ending; and this is part of its point. It is an exploration of the ordinariness of adultery in a world that takes it for granted: the way its promise of emancipation simply fades away.
Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina both killed themselves. Gina Moynihan’s fate is less dramatic – but in its quieter way, hardly less tragic. Anne Enright has taken a great risk in writing this book, but she has brought it off superbly.