Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Girl with Green Eyes - Edna O'Brien


The 'Girl with Green Eyes' follows the story of childhood friends Kate and Baba, now both twenty-one, as they navigate the rocky, sometimes treacherous pathways of urban life. With hearts as big as Dublin, and hopes as bright as new pennies, they move bravely and eagerly toward the future. Yet the two couldn't be more different. Kate toils in a grocery shop and lives out her romantic fantasies in books. Baba entertains more earthbound dreams. Their principles - and friendship - are tested when Kate meets a dashing married man, and discovers the exhilaration of passion...and the consequences of falling in love.


When this book was first released in Ireland way back in the fifties, it caused quite a scandal. It ended up getting banned by the Catholic Church , so when I began to read it I expected a lot more shenanigans than it actually contained. Caithleen and Baba escaped form the country and scrape a living in Dublin. But when Caithleen meets the older, sophisticated and already married Eugene, she looses a lot of her country innocence.
The main characters of Caithleen, Baba and Eugene all kind of got under my skin. Baba, overtly confident
but quietly insecure party-girl, really got on my nerves, but maybe that's just me. To me she embodied all the false, frivolous and careless people I know, but on the other hand, maybe she was just a girl trying to enjoy her youth. Caithleen came across as a bit of a wimp, but really she was just an unconfident young girl who is way out of her depth and gets swept off her feet by an older experienced man. Caithleen is innocent and malleable, she can't really stand up for herself around Eugene and Baba, and though she tries her best to defy her father, sometimes she fails. But by then end of the novel Caithleen proved that she was not the chicken I had once believed her to be and actually grew quite a bit throughout the novel. Eugene on the other hand failed to impress me. He transformed from this trustworthy, loving, prince charming style character to a sleazy, self-centred cad.
 The plot of  the novel is quiet good, with nothing major happening though. While the events were probably a lot more shocking back when the novel was first released, I couldn't help but feel the plot was a bit dull. While nothing much happens we witness Caithleen wrestle with her feelings, whether or not to do what is expected of her or what her heart tells her to do.
I'm not sure if I'd recommend this book but it's good if you want an easy chick-lit style read.
Two Stars**

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