Thursday, June 21, 2012
BEFORE THE FALL by Orna Ross: some thoughts
This is a five-star novel. Ross has a nice way with words. A couple of examples: “the one he likes best is the one who comes out when we’re home, snuggled up, three quarters of the way down a bottle of wine.” Or, “Dirty dishes accumulate in my sink until furred.” Her description of a plunge into alcoholism is grand, as the Irish might say. There is so much written about “roots.” The protagonist of this novel overcomes her roots, triumphs over the society into which she was born and her family ties to emerge as a startlingly independent, fulfilled woman. She takes the reader to unexpected places: backwater Ireland, to London, to San Francisco, where she is the most interesting. I suffer from an affliction, perhaps, of living in the modern world, but I was halfway through the novel before I realized what the title meant, who was the fallen.