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Down By The River

Edna O'Brien

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A controversial novel which challenges the moral standing of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland

DOWN BY THE RIVER begins, deceptively, in an idyllic rural setting somewhere in Ireland. By the end, its consequences have addressed and divided the political and judicial fabric of the nation.

A crime of passion results in an emotional battlefield for one and all, with opposing factions taking militant sides. In the centre, a young girl struggles with the conflicts of mind and body, the teaching of her faith and her mounting bewilderment at what she might do.

This is her rite of passage, a stark progress from the role of child to that of woman; an initiation into terror and beyond it to wisdom.

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Edna O'Brien

Since her debut novel The Country Girls Edna O'Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.