Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The wild geese (Boland)

The wild geese in the title of this Virago Modern Classic are not birds as one might imagine, but are the band of young Irish catholic boys, who, forbidden from being Catholic in Ireland in the 18th century are forced to go to Catholic schools abroad. Few return to Ireland since there are little prospects for Irish catholics.

The book tells the story of a family affected in this way, the Kinross family. The story is cleverly told through letters between the various characters. For a Virago Modern Classic, it is an astonishingly *male* book; the author is female but the cast is not. I didn't find it especially absorbing or a book that I would want to recommend; I'm not sure whether this was due to the lack of women (is it just harder to identify with a book that is mainly about members of the opposite sex?)

This is Boland's only VMC, although she wrote two other novels and was more famous as a scriptwriter and writer of plays. It's just been published once, in an original green edition.


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