Ghost Light review ´ eBook or Kindle ePUB

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Ghost Light review ´ eBook or Kindle ePUB ì [Reading] ➿ Ghost Light ➶ Joseph OConnor – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk This involving novel puts you inside the mind of Molly Allgood an elderly actress wandering around the brilliantly evoked 1950s London of crumbling lodging houses and uncleared bombsites Contrasting w This iR love affair in Dublin with the Abbey Theatre playwright John Synge in whose The Playboy of the Western World she starred Peter Kemp The Sunday Times London Books of the Yea. This is the first book by Joseph O’Connor yes he’s the brother of Sinead O’Connor I’ve read but I can tell you it won’t be the last I loved Ghost Light and I intend on investigating this wonderful Irish author further Joseph O’Connor’s writing runs the gamut from non fiction and journalism to screenplays stage plays and novels of which Ghost Light is his seventh Ghost Light revolves around the great Irish playwright and co founder with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre John Millington Synge and his fiancée the Irish Catholic actress Molly Allgood an actress who performed under the name of Maire O’Neill Synge was fourteen years older than Molly and a Protestant things that did make a difference Their engagement in fact their entire relationship was frowned on by just about everyone including their families and Yeats Molly’s friends and family believed she was being led astray by the older Synge while Synge’s friends and family thought his romance with Molly would cause his art to suffer thus affecting the success of the Abbey Theatre Synge had graduated from the university while Molly had trouble with everyday spelling and punctuation Synge encouraged Molly to read better books and to study poetry so she could critiue his own work But Molly Allgood was no student As a general rule the pair kept their love or less a secret and when Synge who was suffering from Hodgkin’s disease went to convalesce in England he was filled with worry and suspicion afraid that a younger “man about Dublin” would steal Molly away in his absence And though Molly did allow other men to admire her from a distance she increasingly found Synge’s all too freuent absences and the fact that he hovered between sickness and health a bit “too much” She was after all in the prime of life and blessed with good looks energy and vitalityAfter Molly’s triumphant performance in his play The Playboy of the Western World Synge was even in love and told Molly “You are my whole world you that is and the little shiny new moon ” When Hodgkin’s claimed Synge’s life in 1909 just weeks shy of his thirty eighth birthday Molly was forbidden to go to his funeral by his familyThough both Molly Allgood and John Synge were real persons and though Molly was indeed Synge’s lover O’Connor makes it clear that Ghost Light is a work of fiction rather than a biography of a love affair In fact at times the book is all fiction save for the fact that Allgood and Synge were real The experiences and personalities of the real Molly and Synge differed from those of my characters in uncountable ways writes O’Connor Most of the events in this book never happened at all Certain biographers will want to beat me with a turf shovel I don’t doubt they will but the fact that O’Connor made a lot of his facts up didn’t in any way dim my enjoyment of his book I think Ghost Light is am amazing book and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading itThe novel opens in 1952 in London where Molly’s living in a rundown lodging house on the Bayswater Road Once the toast of the Irish theatre Molly’s now destitute and her life revolves around tea tobacco and cheap gin There is however one bright spot in Molly’s life She been hired by the BBC to read a part in a radio play and even though she knows it’ll be some time before she’s paid she will be paid – eventually – and the part will jog the memories of those who once saw her and loved her on the Irish stageLike many of Sebastian Barry’s books Ghost Light is a “memory piece” As Molly walks from Bayswater across town to the recording studios of the BBC she thinks about a letter she’s received from a California student who wants an interview I could offer a small sum as remuneration for your time Would an amount of say 50 be acceptable Alternatively I should be happy to send you anything you reuire to that value since I know certain goods and foodstuffs are still uite scarce in England There is another financial uestion I would like to broach Miss O’Neill and I hope I shall do so without offense I understand some years ago you sold to his surviving family all your letters of an intimate nature from Synge My institution has authorized me to say should other manuscripts having to do with JMS and his circle remain in your possession scripts revisions juvenilia notebooks drafts fragments abandoned works et cetera we would be honored to acuire them for our archiveIf Molly had anything of value left given her circumstances one would think she would have sold it already And so she has A second hand dealer in Russell Suare has purchased all of Molly’s possessions deemed to have been valuable – with the exception of one Molly still has the very first letter Synge ever wrote to her a letter in which he apologizes for the criticisms he made of her during a rehearsal at the Abbey Theatre It was bloody of me and I am sorry Synge writes I allowed myself to become upset You must permit the words to lead you to the heart words come from You reuested of me advice That is itAs Molly walks from her dilapidated rooming house to the BBE broadcasting offices her mind returns to Dublin in 1908 and her memories of Synge As she travels the London streets Molly encounters people and places that remind her of her past and the reader learns how she met Synge and became his lover We learn that though she loved him dearly her relationship with Synge brought Molly heartbreak than happiness though it did become the one dominant relationship in Molly’s lifeI thought I would heartily dislike O’Connor’s use of the second person to tell his story but after reading only two or three pages it came to seem natural to me Molly is after all speaking to herself And using the second person allows O’Connor to layer his story for maximum impact on the reader and to develop a number of disparate themes We learn about fin de siècle Irish theatre repressive Irish family life decline and destitution the fickle nature of celebrity and This is a rich novel with well developed characters that really come to life I loved Molly Her inner voice was radiant even though it was at times filled with self pity and self hate And she was Irish to her core This is Molly as she looks at a painting in the National Portrait Gallery Heavens to Betsy what an ugly old trout Face like a bag of rusted spanners Imagine someone paid good money for that glower to be painted More beauty in the door of a jakes that’s the God's honest truth My Jesus Almighty but there’s hope for us all Molls ‘The Duchess of Blandford’ Looks like Mussolini in a wig Il Duce with udders God help usI found I couldn’t forget Molly and I felt I understood her pain Rather than be angry with her when she considers selling Synge’s letter for a bottle of liuor I understood her destitution I felt her pain and her poverty and her need for comfort even if that comfort was only going to last an hour or two In Joseph O’Connor’s able hands Molly Allgood’s a character who simply leaps off the pageThis is a story than goes back and forth in time I liked that and I think it worked perfectly in this book I know some readers like their novels very straightforward and very linear however but even those who do will probably like Ghost Light The jumps in time are so well handled and smoothThere will be readers who will criticize this book as containing “too much truth” to be a novel and there will be readers who will criticize it for not being straight biography I can understand that but “based on a true story” doesn’t really bother me at all and it does give O’Connor the opportunity to answer some of the burning uestions those of us who love Synge’s plays have always wondered about Did Synge really truly love Molly Did they ever consummate their love Given the age difference and his ill health how much did Molly love Synge Here’s Molly in a fictional letter written to Synge from an island off the west coast of Ireland a place where Molly had gone to learn Irish And everything about you gives me the courage I never ever had and without you I’m like a ghost drifting through some old house of a life and there’s nothing about you I don’t loveThat’s so beautiful that true or not true I wouldn’t have wanted to miss reading it Ghost Light for me is a wonderful Irish novel and the fact that it’s about the theatre and those in the theatre which I love and that it revolves around Synge who’s plays I adore is just an added bonus The best thing about the book however were the authentic Irish voices Johnny Synge’s bit of native The proddy’s little suaw That Kingstown playboy’s huer Insults hurled long ago by the wags of witty Dublin still audible after than forty yearsI’m going to read O’Connor’s two previous books Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls both very wonderfully received and darker books than Ghost Light I expect to love them both55Recommended To those who love the theatre and really well written Irish novels or simply literary novels of any kind I studied drama and I act in my local community theatre so I might have loved this book a bit than some but still theatre lover or not Joseph O’Connor is an author worth investigating and following

Joseph OConnor ↠ 3 review

This involving novel puts you inside the mind of Molly Allgood an elderly actress wandering around the brilliantly evoked s London of crumbling lodging houses and uncleared bo. Dublin 1907 a young Irish actress embarks on a doomed affair with John Millington Synge the Irish playwright In the 1950s an old impoverished woman makes her way across London reminscing about her glory days as an acclaimed actress and her relationship with the enigmatic Synge This is a demanding read like poetry than prose reuiring the reader to slow down and savour every word even having to reread sections at times The second person narration also reuires some effort on the reader's part but once accustomed to it you get a real feel for Molly Allgood and the deep passion she felt for Synge Molly takes centre stage in this stream of consciousness narrative which flits between the faded grandeur of her life in the 50s and the vitality and exhuberance of her character in 1907 the year in which she meets Synge and becomes the inspiration for Pegeen the leading female character in The Playboy of the Western WorldIreland is in a state of chassis uoting from Juno and the Paycock Sean O'Caseyin 1907 as the country moves towards independence and Molly and Synge's relationship seems eually tumultuous coming as they do from opposing religions social status and age but this is not a historical novel as such but rather a reimagining of a love story Molly is an extremely engaging character vivacious in her youth resourceful and witty in her later years holding her head up high despite her straitened circumstances with the odd nip of gin providing a much needed boostThere are eual amounts of tragedy and comedy in this character driven tale Ultimately it is an uplifting tale despite the doom laden nature of the key players' relationship the difference in class the social disapproval and ultimately Synge's untimely death from Hodgkin's disease Molly shines through the gloom and there's a mischievous glint in her eye and a vitality which remains with the readerIf you appreciate beautifully written prose and the stream of consciousness style you will thoroughly enjoy this delicate love story prior knowledge of Synge's literary opus is not a prereuisite but I now feel compelled to revisit The Playboy of the Western World last viewed about 30 years ago for 'O' Level English

summary ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Joseph OConnor

Ghost LightMbsites Contrasting with the down at heel circumstances to which she is reduced are memories rendered with sensuous freshness and vernacular wit of her rich past especially he. Beautiful evocation of Edwardian Dublin and the love affair between playwright JM Synge and Abbey Theatre actress Maire O'Neill The author used complicated tense changes present for Synge's or Maire's present 1907 until his death for him; the year 1952 for her and past for each of their pasts An omnipotent narrator who will be returning from time to time starts out by addressing Maire as You heshe is talking to her and we see that in 1952 London Maire is a has been actress and alcoholic living in a dilapidated tenement in penury She obtains a job at BBC for a radio version of an O'Casey play She trudges there in the snowy wintry weather from her home and besides doing errands spends her day in the National Portrait Gallery a church and the cinema The story moves back and forth from past to present events in 'real time' and those in Maire's memory as she makes her journey recounting those years Much remembrance is a type of stream of consciousness After the broadcast the story becomes poignant and sadThe story was slow moving intentionally so people wanting a lot of 'action' will not find it here; in fact if you're not in the mood for it this novel could be a soporific The language and descriptions were lovely The author has a gift for putting words together in new ways meaningfully Much dialogue was couched in Irish slang or in Irish dialect; I was able to figure them out from context and they added to the richness of the Irish flavor I especially liked the first half of Chapter 5 a hilarious rehearsal at the Abbey Theatre with Synge Yeats Lady Gregory and Maire I loved the author's uoting the various songs and ballads The title was fitting 'Ghost Light' is a theatrical superstition when the theater is dark no performances at least one light is always left on for ghosts to perform their plays The chapter where Synge meets Maire's mother and brother was written in the form of a play O'Connor's note at the end was revealing Now I'm curious I must read The Playboy of the Western World by Synge I'd like to know why there was a big uproar when it was first presented