Book Review – The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien


Yes, I know. It’s like me not reading Dickens until 2 years ago. Everyone has blindspots in their reading history…

So, briefly (as there are thousands of reviews of this fairly seminal book online) it’s hugely readable, begs for more and deserves its place in both literary esteem and importance.

The only thing that occurred to me as a reader in the 21st century is that for some you would have no idea of how shocking the material must have been when it was published in 1960. These days a young girl moving up to Dublin and getting drunk, having a dalliance with an older married man, not going to mass anymore(!) and the like aren’t worthy of comment.

When it came out, this book must have seemed like a declaration of war.