It’s always an exciting day when Bonny and Carole and I announce the next Read With Us title . . . and today’s the day!
Our next Read With Us selection is . . .
Trespasses by Louise Kennedy.
For this go-round of Read With Us, we limited our list of books-under-consideration to the recently announced Women’s Prize long list. (And talk about an embarrassment of riches! There are so many terrific options on that list — including one recent Read With Us pick, The Marriage Portrait.)
Why did we limit ourselves to that particular long list? Well, the Women’s Prize long list is an excellent source of high-quality, women-authored, contemporary fiction . . . and we decided to tap into that list for our Read With Us spring selection. (Past Read With Us selections Unsettled Ground, Sorrow and Bliss, and The Marriage Portrait have all been nominated for The Women’s Prize.)
After quite a lot of discussion about the various options, we ended up choosing Trespasses. It will be a first-time read for Bonny, Carole, and I (none of us had read it before we chose it), but we have it on good authority that it will be an interesting and highly discussable read.
In his review of the book in Oprah Daily, Hamilton Cain describes the plot of Trespasses like this . . .
Louise Kennedy recreates the Troubles in her restrained, absorbing debut, Trespasses, set in Belfast in the mid-1970s. The fog of war, even a guerrilla war, is still a fog. Meet Cushla Lavery, an occasional Catholic and 24-year-old schoolteacher who moonlights as a bartender in her family’s pub. She’s bored by the contours of her life: a devotion to Gina, her widowed, alcoholic, ball-and-chain mother; quarrels with her older brother, Eamonn, who manages the business; a numbness to reports of bloodshed and violence just beyond the relative safety of her “mixed” suburb. Enter Michael Agnew, a middle-aged, married Protestant (“Prod”) and barrister who’s defended IRA criminals in court. He talks the talk but also walks the walk, or so she believes. She feels a volt of attraction; after a brief flirtation they embark on a relationship
We’ll be talking more about the book and providing additional background information next month. Then . . . mark your calendars for our blog book discussions/Zoom discussion on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 (7:00 pm Eastern time).
Please be sure to visit the new Read With Us resource page for more information about the book and our discussion. (I’ll be updating the page as Bonny, Carole, and I share more details and links, so it really can be a resource for you as you read – or consider reading – with us.)
We hope you’ll be as excited as we are to read Trespasses with us.
Read With Us this spring!
I just watched Belfast this weekend, so I am very eager to read Trespasses and view The Troubles from another perspective! (I loved Belfast, btw… so brilliantly done!)
I’ve just started it and am enjoying the book so far. The Troubles are troubling indeed and Trespasses is providing some interesting perspective.
Like Bonny, I just started it the other night. So far, so good! I’m enjoying it and I did not have a long wait (maybe 2 days) to get the book from my library.
I’m very excited to be starting this soon!
I read this a couple of weeks ago and I think it will be a great book to discuss!
I’m very excited to read this one! I’d already had it recommended to me, and I now have a copy of it from Blackwell’s that I’ll be ready to start in the next few days!
I’m a BIG fan of the Women’s Prize! I’ve been reading books from it for years and the last few years have read everything on the long list. Trespasses is a great book for discussion. Ireland’s Troubles is a subject I have loved exploring. This should be an interesting discussion.
I read and loved Trespasses a few months back; it’s going to be great to discuss! It also pairs brilliantly with Say Nothing (which I read last fall in preparation for Trespasses) to understand what it was like in Northern Ireland in the 70’s. Enjoy!