Category Archives: Book Reviews

THE ALL OF IT by Jeannette Haien

THE ALL OF IT  by Jeannette Haien

(2011 Harper Collins)

An award winning first novel first published in 1986. The edition In read featured a glowing forward by Ann Patchet.

I found this to be a cute tale of the deep love between Kevin & Edna Deenehy. Told as a deathbed confession by Kevin to Father  Declan de Loughry it is a simple tale. Although I wasnot as smitten as Ms Patchet but I found the book  a quick read, elegantly written.

Need a book for a Sunday afternoon, this book is a good companion.

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THE BARRACKS by John McGahern

I like to read. I like to collect things. To cool my bibliomania I decided to review books on this site & then pass them on. This way I can have a cache of written memories of my literary friends and can start to cull the molding masses of books that are about the house. Here is the first.

THE BARRACKS by John McGahern

(Faber Firsts –

I picked up this book as a piece of Irish Literature, a first novel, a slice of life in Ireland in the late 50’s and that is what I found. But it was much more. Family dynamics abound. A young lass working to keep her self whole while raising her husband’s children from a recently dead spouse. A Sargent working hard to get out of the force, who hates his superior. Of course, we have The Church. We have the beauty and anguish of rural Irish Life. We have the daily grind of a family.

What I didn’t expect was the inner beauty of the heroine, Elizabeth.  The beauty of a young women who embraces and enjoys her role in this rough life. What I didn’t expect was the beauty of watching a cherished character die. No Hollywood ending here, just the lush descriptions of a fertile  mind slowing burning out.

I cannot recommend this book enough. The language is so lush. The descriptions so full that I fell in love with the entire family.

Thank You John McGahern for sharing this tale of the Regan’s. I will long miss the Sargent and his beauty, Elisabeth.


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