Amongst Women is a book which, despite it’s brevity, unfolds slowly. It is a delicate story and one that requires full attention. Ideally it should be read in one sitting so that you absorb every detail in one go ( Unfortunately my workload is increasing by the day so I had to read this book in 20 page or so bursts).
Michael Moran is an ex IRA soldier widower, who has fully accepted his role as the sole leader of his five children family. Although he does remarry a bit later on, McGahern establishes the fact that Moran rules his house with a no-nonsense iron fist. Moran is also prone to temper tantrums , sullen moments and even violence (towards his sons though) However when he shows his good side he can be a wonderful joking person.
As time passes by and his daughters marry and move out of the house, Moran’s situation in the house changes and by the end of the book he is the one who is being taken care of by his children and wife. Furthermore when he passes away he still remains the epicentre of his family.
I’m this sort of story has been told before, after all in essence this is a family saga, but unlike, say, Anne-Marie Macdonald’s Fall on your Knees, this isn’t long-winded. It’s elegantly told with each word resonating with awe. Every character is lifelike, especially, Moran and the descriptions are just breathtaking. This is a book to embrace and savor till the very end.