A colleague has lent her kindle to a mutual friend who is in hospital. As a result she is buying REAL books and lending out ones she loves. So, on a recent trip to London and Brighton she bought The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright, and by the time she’d returned to Edinburgh she had finished it and was desperate for me to read it so we could talk about it.
And I’m SO pleased she lent it to me to read; it’s a great book. I’m not giving anything away by telling you it’s about an Irish woman who is having an affair with a married man. And yes, it absolutely is about that. It’s about the course of the relationship, from the moment she first sees him at the bottom of her sister’s garden at a barbecue…. I won’t say where it goes, as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Except that in many ways, the story isn’t what I found so remarkable about this book. Gina, who is having the affair, is the narrator. She is an IT professional in her mid 30s. Her husband is a like-able bear of a man. Her lover has ‘too beautiful’ eyes and a daughter who is captivating and strange. The writer captures the detail of the emotional roller-coaster the adulterer goes through. But more than that she captures the minutiae of daily life, down to the noise made by the rubber strip as you pull open the fridge door.
By the end of the novel the economic boom has bust. But has the same happened to the relationship? Read it and find out.
The Forgotten Waltz has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction; it’s the second of this year’s shorltist that I’ve read, so watch this space for the remaining books. They are on my wishlist.
- Anne Enright meets the Guardian book club – podcast (guardian.co.uk)