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Bookseller Recommendation

If you enjoyed The Gathering, then you’ll love Actress.

“Anne Enright is one of our most masterful writers working today. Every sentence is an absolute treat. Her jam is family secrets and the silence surrounding them (remember The Gathering?) and this story is no different. You will love Katherine ODell, the larger than life actress at the heart of the story, and her daughter, the narrator, who is devoted to her. It's a beautiful story, with such keen wisdom and thoughtfulness. *insert like 10 heart emojis*”

Water Street Bookstore image Stefanie, Water Street Bookstore


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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Celebrate Juneteenth with Black-owned bookstores! Learn more