Monday, June 27, 2011
Something Sensational to Read on the Train
The best thing about reading a wonderful short story, such as Men and Women from Claire Keegan's award winning collection Antarctica, on the train, is that you are making two journeys at the same time.
The train leaves Newbridge and you are with the ten year old (girl) narrator in the run up to Christmas, her doubts about Santa Claus and the shadow of her parents' pressurised marriage.
You travel with her through the comforting mundanity of daily farm tasks and the segregation of work by gender - her brother, "the brains in the family, sits in the sitting room and pretends he's studying," while the narrator cooks and serves his meals.
By the time the train pulls into Dublin,
the narrator's mother, whose trapped state and dependence on her husband, illustrated in her thwarted longing to learn to drive the family car, has made the small but groundbreaking victory of jumping into the driver's seat,driving the car home, leaving her husband behind in the falling snow.
Forty five minutes of pure pleasure.
What do you like to read on the train?