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“My usual policy (with a few notable exceptions) is that an audiobook is almost always better when read by the author, who brings, if nothing else, the emotional resonance of speaking words she has written. In no case so far has that paid off as grandly as with this book and this author, a born actress herself, not for her polish but for what feels like its opposite, a swervy, drolly impulsive style of speech that keeps surprising you mid-sentence—mid-word!—with shifts in rhythm and emphasis. its a good match for her tale—a grownup daughter recalling the once-famous Irish actress who was her mother—which follows no pat arc of a life but is deliciously full of sentence-by-sentence observations and odd bits of fully lived life, mostly in 1970s Dublin. A treat.”Tom, Phinney Books
A brilliant and moving novel about celebrity, sexual power, and a daughters search to understand her mothers hidden truths. Katherine ODell is an Irish theater legend. As her daughter, Norah, retraces her mothers celebrated career and bohemian life, she delves into long-kept secrets, both her mothers and her own. Katherine began her career on Irelands bus-and-truck circuit before making it to Londons West End, Broadway, and finally Hollywood. Every moment of her life is a performance, with young Norah standing in the wings. But the mother-daughter romance cannot survive Katherines past or the worlds damage. With age, alcohol, and dimming stardom, Katherines grip on reality grows fitful. Fueled by a proud and long-simmering rage, she commits a bizarre crime. As Norahs role gradually changes to Katherines protector, caregiver, and finally legacy-keeper, she revisits her mothers life of fiercely kept secrets; and Norah reveals in turn the secrets of her own sexual and emotional comingof-age story. Her narrative is shaped by three braided searchesfor her fathers identity; for her mothers motive in donning a Chanel suit one morning and shooting a TV producer in the foot; and her own search for a husband, family, and work she loves. Bringing to life two generations of women with difficult sexual histories, both assaulted and silenced, both finding or failing to findtheir powers of recovery, Actress touches a raw and timely nerve. With virtuosic storytelling and in prose at turns lyrical and knife-sharp, Anne Enright takes readers to the heart of the maddening yet tender love that binds a mother and daughter.
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