Eccentric Musings (jakaEM)

"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë


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Friend of My Youth
Alice Munro
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Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne - Brian Moore Happy St. Patrick's Day. <--insert irony emoticon here-->

Holy moly, faith an' begorrah. This Brian Moore guy ... I think I love him (even) more than [a:Graham Greene|2533|Graham Greene|], which is the most obvious comparison. I devoured this, reading ravenously to 3 a.m. this morning. Judith! Poor Judith. Is there any one of us who doesn't feel for her? Feel *like* her? The loss of faith angle is icing on the top for this non-Catholic.

Seven things for now:

1) Feels like [b:Slaves of Solitude|176964|The Slaves of Solitude|Patrick Hamilton||1195361], but with the added religious layer.
2) What an eviscerating portrait of social class and religious intolerance. The vacuum-packed, claustrophobic, eating-one's-own-young, soul-destroying religious and class prejudice and oppression of Belfast - Ireland - at that time - still - and elsewhere. Every small town in Upper n' Lower Canada, for example, where these roots to this day run so deep. It's not accidental that Moore was writing this as an ex-pat from Montreal.
3) The internal dialogue and shifting POVs are EX-QUI-SITE.
4) Bernie and his Ma - ewwww, ick, and whattup with THAT? Wow.
5) I WANT THIS TO BE A STAGE PRODUCTION! Has it ever been? I can see this on stage so easily (internal dialogue notwithstanding). C'mon goodreaders, if it hasn't been, let's write it!
6) The ending - does she or doesn't she regain her faith? - reminded me of the similar ambiguity for Fr. Emilio in [b:The Sparrow|334176|The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)|Mary Doria Russell||3349153].
7) Almost as - nay, more! - wrist-slashingly sad as [b:The House of Mirth|17728|The House of Mirth|Edith Wharton||1652564]. Very surprised that Judith didn't take that path out. Still not sure that Moore didn't leave the picture of aunt and The Sacred Heart - which I assume are behind glass? - within easy reach for a reason.