By Edna O'Brien
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618045679, 272pp.)
Publication Date: April 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Edna O'Brien's masterly new novel, WILD DECEMBERS, charts the quick and critical demise of relations between Joseph Brennan and Mick Bugler - "the warring sons of warring sons" - in the countryside of Western Ireland. With her inimitable gift for describing the occasions of heartbreak, O'Brien brings Joseph's live for his land to the level of his sister Breege's love for both him and his rival, Bugler. Breege sees "the wrong of years and the recent wrongs" fuel each other as Bugler comes to claim recently inherited acreage on what her brother calls " my mountain." A classic drama ensues, involving the full range of bonds and betrayals and leavened by the human comedy of which Edna O'Brien rarely loses sight. A dinner dance in the village of Cloontha and the seduction of Mick Bugler by an eager pair of uninhibited sisters rival Joyce in their hectic exuberance. But as the narrative unfolds, the reader is drawn into the sense of foreboding in a place where "fields mean more than fields, more than life and more than death too."
EDNA O'BRIEN is the author of eighteen works of fiction, including the New York Times Notable Books and Book Sense picks Wild Decembers and In the Forest, and Lantern Slides, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2002 she won the National Medal for Fiction from the National Arts Club. An honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, O'Brien was born and grew up in Ireland and has lived in London for many years.
"EDNA O'BRIEN writes novels like Irish ballads. Elliptical, rhythmic, with a crooning yet astringent lyricism, they glory in their long, slow gallop toward doom. The dark fate unfurling like a nightmare makes them hard to read, and hard to stop reading. "Wild Decembers," her latest, is typical." Newsday