Amongst Women / John McGahern; Faber and faber; 1990; condition: great
Amongst Women, a title derived from the words of the Hail Mary in the Roman Catholic rosary, is McGahern’s masterpiece, uniting all the dominant themes of his work in a single, deeply affecting family drama. Its characteristically limpid opening sentence – “As he weakened, Moran became afraid of his daughters” – encapsulates the main theme. This will be the story of an IRA veteran facing up to approaching death at home in the bosom of his family. His wife, Rose, and their three daughters who love and fear their father, now care for him as his health fails and the shadows draw on. As so often in Irish life, it is the drumbeat of the past that continues to torment his final days.