January 12, 2018
Complex, complicated, and multi layered…
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O’Farrell
Genre: Literary Fiction
This Must Be the Place is a story of a collapsing and reawakening marriage. Daniel, a young American professor, travels to Ireland on holiday and family business and to stabilize his life after a failed marriage and a difficult custody battle. By chance, he meets Claudette, a world-famous actress who dramatically left the public eye for a reclusive life in a rural Irish village. Daniel and Claudette fall in love and create an idyllic life in the country and have two children of their own. A secret from Daniel’s past threatens to destroy their carefully constructed and quiet, happy life. As Daniel leaves to make peace with his past and himself, he also reunites with the American son and daughter he has not seen for several years. His story is told from his own voice and other multiple voices as he wrestles with the complexities of loyalty and devotion, family, and an extraordinary love. Amazon Rating (January): 4.2 Stars
At first I was less than enthusiastic about the book and set it aside on multiple occasions. Although the writing was beautiful, the structure was complicated and jarring as the story jumped perspectives and time periods. If I wanted to continue with the book, I knew I had to focus and invest some hard reading work. Somewhere around 50%, the persistence paid off and I started enjoying my reading experience. After that switch in my attitude, I grew to admire this complex and multi layered literary fiction work.
If you’re looking for a challenging and complex read and appreciate literary fiction, you might consider this book. I think what I enjoyed the most was the fully developed character study of a complex and flawed human being who really is trying to get things right in his life. If you’re in the mood for something light and easy reading, you might want to skip this one.
As always in well-written literature, I appreciate the meaningful themes presented. In this read, you will find substantial themes that include family relationships, choices, love, regret, and courage to make changes. Daniel is certainly a flawed character; however, I appreciate his determination to do the hard work in his life of becoming sober to work toward regaining that which is most important to him.
I read this book as part of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club and this is how she applied one concept in the book to her personal life.
My rating: 4 stars (based on my analysis after the half way point)
Meet the Author, Maggie O’Farrell
MAGGIE O’FARRELL is the author of four previous novels, including the acclaimed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, which was a B&N Recommends Pick, and After You’d Gone. Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, O’Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. She has two children.
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Extras: Links I Love
Are you interested in Christian Fiction? Check out The Caffeinated Bibliophile: If You Loved This, Read This book recommendations.
Are you an educator or work in an environment that promotes children’s literacy? Check out The Loud Library: Best Faculty Meeting Ever post. She is a literacy leader and I know you’ll be inspired!
For all things children’s books, check out Miss MaGee’s Reads: A Literacy Blog. She’s a third grade teacher who provides reviews for all the newest and greatest in children’s literature.
This week I’m reading Left Neglected (an inspiring story of a woman living with a traumatic brain injury) by Lisa Genova (author of Still Alice).
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