May 2015 Indie Next List
“Steeped in the moist earth of Ireland, this is the story of the Madigan family and the life that forces them apart, only to return again to a home filled with memories. Rosaleen suffers greatly at the loss of her four children - not to death, but to lives of their own: her eldest to New York, another to Mali, one daughter to a hospital career, and another to the 'big city' of Dublin. The concept of 'family' still holds them together despite years and circumstances, and as Rosaleen announces plans to sell the family home, a last Christmas gathering proves profound.”
— Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
One of the Guardian's 100 Best Books of the 21st Century
"With language so vibrant it practically has a pulse, Enright makes an exquisitely drawn case for the possibility of growth, love and transformation at any age." —People
From internationally acclaimed author Anne Enright comes a shattering novel set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast. The Green Road is a tale of family and fracture, compassion and selfishness—a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we strive to fill them.
Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart. As they grow up, Rosaleen's four children leave the west of Ireland for lives they could have never imagined in Dublin, New York, and Mali, West Africa. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.
A profoundly moving work about a family's desperate attempt to recover the relationships they've lost and forge the ones they never had, The Green Road is Enright's most mature, accomplished, and unforgettable novel to date.
About the Author
Anne Enright is author of five novels, most recently Actress. Among the awards she has received are the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz. She lives in Dublin.
Enright possesses an unusual combination of talents. She is a rich, lyrical prose writer, who cascades among novelties—again and again, she finds the unexpected adjective, the just noun.
— James Wood
Impressive…Enright writes with authority and confidence…Though stories end, The Green Road seems to say, the lives of the people who inhabit them go on.
— David Leavitt
Enright…is a master of emotional excavation. …Through her wise and majestic book, [she] shows us the beauty even in life’s harsh terrain.
— Karen E. Bender
A rich, capacious story, buoyed by tender humor…. The Green Road…offers a survey of Enright’s magnificent dexterity…. There’s nothing she can’t do with perspective, tone and time.
— Ron Charles
The story of an Irish family, [The Green Road] is the kind of book that refuses quick characterization: it is sprawling and intimate, anguished and hopeful, elliptical and intensely observed.
— Louisa Thomas
This looping story of four siblings coping differently with the smothering embrace of their amusingly melodramatic mother…may be even better than its close cousin, The Gathering, which won the 2007 Booker prize. As locales shift from a stubby Irish village to AIDS-ravaged gay Manhattan and famine-torn Mali, so do the tone and point of view, over which Enright exercises perfect control.
— Boris Kachka
Hugely readable…. The Green Road should confirm Enright’s status as one of our greatest living novelists.
— John Sutherland