Monday, June 21, 2010

Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden

Book description:
It is the height of summer, and celebrated actor Molly Fox has loaned her house in Dublin to a friend while she is away performing in New York. Alone among all of Molly's possessions, struggling to finish her latest play, she looks back on the many years and many phases of her friendship with Molly and their college friend Andrew, and comes to wonder whether they really knew each other at all. She revisits the intense closeness of their early days, the transformations they each made in the name of success and security, the lies they told each other, and betrayals they never acknowledged.

This wonderful literary novel may take place in one day, but encompasses 20 years of shared friendship. The narrator, a successful playwright battling a case of writer's block, is vacationing in the Dublin home of her friend, successful actor Molly Fox. What follows is an unexpectedly rich story of their friendship, as the narrator avoids thinking about the play she cannot write by thinking of the moments she and her friends have shared.

The book isn't really about anything at all, and yet I found it impossible to put down. The quiet beauty of the writing combined with the surprisingly complexity of the characters as the story develops made for a powerful novel. Though I haven't read any of Madden's previous work, she is defintitely going on my wishlist now. Highly recommended!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm always a little suspicious of books that take place in one day but incorporate memories from many years - it seems like a very device-y device. But you make Molly Fox's Birthday sound well worth it, so I might have to make an exception. :)