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Description - The Invisible Worm by Jennifer Johnston

It starts with a funeral. The great and the good have assembled: the President has sent a representative, and dignitaries are there in force. And Laura remembers those two terrible events. But was the tragedy out at sea an accident? Was the experience in the summerhouse cause rather than effect? With wonderful delicacy and economy, Jennifer Johnston has stripped bare the lives of a family overwhelmed by more than one of the deadly sins. The Invisible Worm contains greater power and passion than most novels three times its length.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780747262596
ISBN-10: 0747262594
Format: Paperback
(193mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Headline Review
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publish Date: 7-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Invisible Worm by Jennifer Johnston

Book Reviews - The Invisible Worm by Jennifer Johnston

US Kirkus Review » In luminous prose, with dialogue as exact as Henry Green's, acclaimed Irish author Johnston (Fool's Sanctuary, 1988, etc.) strips away the perfect outer layers to reveal "the invisible worm" that destroyed an apparently golden family that's rotten at the center. When Laura Quinlan's famous father dies, his funeral is attended by the Irish President, and the distinguished congregation seems to Laura to "dance in celebration of her father's life." But Laura, always stirred by "the tremors of memory," recalls her longdead mother, "who didn't succumb to his enormous charm. [Or]...perhaps she had indeed succumbed, and thereafter had to protect herself from it." Increasingly reclusive now after her father's death, Laura has also suffered periodic breakdowns in the past. In the present, over the period of a year, Laura lives in her beautiful inherited estate with her husband Maurice, a splendidly realized character - part bluff businessman, part perceptive admirer; and, during this time, Laura finally comes to understand what had really happened to her family over 20 years ago. Childless and 37, she spends her days gardening, which leads to her decision to clear away the growth about an old summerhouse. As she proceeds to do this, interrupted by another breakdown, she's helped by admiring Dominic O'Hara, a former priest teaching at a local school. After a cathartic bonfire, she tells him about the fact that she'd fled to France for two years after her father raped her as a teenager - an act responsible for her mother's death (a suicide, not an accident); for her marriage of escape to Maurice; and for "the emptiness of living" that had followed. She had forgiven her dying father, but only now can she tell the story "right to the end." From a writer with great gifts: a story told with riveting intensity and a wise sympathy for the quirky workings of the human heart. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston is one of the foremost Irish writers of her, or any, generation. She has won the Whitbread Prize (THE OLD JEST), the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award (for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS), the Yorkshire Post Award, Best Book of the Year (twice, for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS and HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?). She was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize with SHADOWS ON OUR SKIN.

Books By Jennifer Johnston

Francis Ledwidge by Jennifer Johnston
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How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston
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Sixpenny Song by Jennifer Johnston
Hardback, October 2013