Thursday, September 3, 2009
TITLE: THE ADULTERESS
AUTHOR: NOELLE HARRISON
Noelle Harrison has outdone herself with this book. Without a doubt it is her best novel yet. The language she uses is descriptive, beautiful and seductive. The images she creates are alive and real, as are her characters.
Those characters never feel too good or too bad to be true, but nuanced. And I know her descriptions of the landscapes are accurate because a large part of the story is set in Cavan, where I live.
This story never felt like it was trying to be too clever or as if the author was trying to prove something. The feeling it left me with was that of a story written from the heart by someone who felt strongly about her characters.
This is the story of Nicholas, who flees Dublin for Cavan after his wife confesses to having slept with someone else. In Cavan he buys a cottage in need of renovation, but he soon discovers he's not alone there.
He shares the cottage with the ghost of June, who moved into the house during World War II with her husband Robert. June, who proclaims herself an adulteress.
Nicholas and June's stories take turns on the pages of this book in a story of love and loss, of secrets and regrets, and ultimately of forgiveness and hope. A story that holds more secrets and revelations than the reader would necessary suspect. Indeed, a mythical and fascinating story that needs to be read slowly, so that the reader can savour every single word.