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Small Things Like These af Claire Keegan
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Small Things Like These (udgave 2021)

af Claire Keegan (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,0721358,001 (4.23)361
Irland, 1985. Kortroman om en god mands moralske samvittighed i et fattigt lokalsamfund, hvor et af de berygtede magdalenevaskerier ligger nær ved. For læsere med historisk interesse samt læsere af filosofiske historier.
Medlem:Margaret09
Titel:Small Things Like These
Forfattere:Claire Keegan (Forfatter)
Info:Black Cat (2021), 128 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Small Things Like These af Claire Keegan

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» Se også 361 omtaler

Engelsk (128)  Hollandsk (2)  Finsk (1)  Tysk (1)  Italiensk (1)  Catalansk (1)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (135)
Viser 1-5 af 135 (næste | vis alle)
A gentle, powerful Christmas-set novella about an Irish man struggling to meet his family’s needs...amid the reality of men’s power over women and authorities’ power over men. It's short but beautifully layered and re-readable. ( )
  DetailMuse | Jul 19, 2024 |
Furlong…the irish coal vendor in a small town with Kathleen his daighter at Christmas time; great writing ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Jul 15, 2024 |
I enjoy Claire’s quiet understated writing. However, with this book skirting such a heavy topic, I felt like it wasn’t satisfying. I understand that everyone in that town was also “skirting” the issue and pretending not to see what was happening, but in a book, I’d like a bit more. I also felt like it could have cut down the extraneous “regular life” bits in favour of shining more of a light on the insidious goings on. ( )
  spiritedstardust | Jun 1, 2024 |
A year after Cathy posted her enticing review of Claire Keegan's novella Small Things Like These for Novellas in November 2021, I read it for Novellas in November 2022. The book was shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize, and won the 2022 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

Since Cathy's review covers everything you need to know about the the Magdalene laundries which are the background to the novella, I'm going to focus on unpacking the title, and why I think the book won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

All countries have shameful periods in their history. Some are more egregious than others, it is true, but what matters is how the history is acknowledged, how redress is managed, and how steps are taken to prevent any recurrence. Germany's shameful period under the Nazis is an obvious example, but their postwar transformation is salutary. Australia is currently embarking on coming to terms with its treatment of its First Nations with the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Small Things Like These tackles a shameful period in Ireland's internal history, its treatment of unmarried mothers, and Keegan's powerful novella shows the importance of individuals stepping up and making a difference. Her central character Bill Furlong — whose unmarried mother was the recipient of unusual kindness and acceptance — has by 1985 made a good life for himself despite being illegitimate in conservative Ireland. Content with his family life, he's a coal merchant who becomes aware of appalling cruelty to girls sequestered at the local convent.

To drive home the hypocrisy, Keegan makes subtle allusions to the spiritual signifiance of Christmas which is meant to be a time of hope. Making a delivery during the Christmas rush, Furlong hears voices singing the carol 'Adeste Fideles'. He sees a falling star. And a baby has been born.
When he let down the tail board and went to open the coal house door, the bolt was stiff with frost, and he had to ask himself if he had not turned into a man consigned to doorways, for did he not spend the best part of his life standing outside one or another, waiting for them to be opened. As soon as he forced this bolt, he sensed something within but many a dog he'd found in a coal shed with no decent place to lie. He couldn't properly see and was obliged to go back to the lorry, for the torch. When he shone it on what was there, he judged by what was on the floor, that the girl within had been there for longer than the night.

'Christ,' he said.

The only thing he thought to do was to take his coat off. When he did, and went to put it round her, she cowered. (p.61)


To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2022/11/03/small-things-like-these-2021-by-claire-keega... ( )
  anzlitlovers | May 30, 2024 |
I didn't initially compose a review for this book but since I liked it so much, I thought I should try.

On the surface, Small Things Like These comes across as a straightforward story about a coal merchant and his family, set during the month of December. The hardback version is only 128 pages but the story is anything but simplistic. If the reader is paying attention, there are a lot of layers, including what or who should guide our conscience during a moral dilemma. The book doesn't really answer the question, though the main character makes a clear choice.

On a personal note, I was glad to find a well developed holiday novella that wasn't a romance or a cozy mystery. I recommend this book to everyone. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I think you'll get something worthwhile out of the story. ( )
  Ann_R | May 25, 2024 |
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Keegan, Claireprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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'The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally.'

Excerpt from 'The Proclamation of the Irish Republic', 1916
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This story is dedicated to the women and children who suffered time in Ireland's mother and baby homes and Magdalen laundries.

And for Mary McCay, teacher.
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In October there were yellow trees.
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As they carried on along and met more people Furlong did and did not know, he found himself asking was there any point in being alive without helping one another? Was it possible to carry on along through all the years, the decades, through an entire life, without once being brave enough to go up against what was there and yet call yourself a Christian, and face yourself in the mirror?
Always it was the same, Furlong thought; always they carried mechanically on without pauses, to the next job at hand.What would life be like, he wondered, if they were given time to think and reflect on things? (18%)
What most tormented him was not so much how she'd been left in the coal shed or the stance of the Mother Superior; the worst was how the girl had been handled while he was present and how he'd allowed that and had not asked about her baby -- the one thing she had asked him to do -- and how he had taken the money and left her there at the table with nothing before her and the breast milk leaking under the little cardigan and staining her blouse, and how he'd gone on, like a hypocrite, to Mass. (77%)
Why were the things that were closest so often the hardest to see? (87%)
Already he could feel a world of trouble waiting for him behind the next door, but the worst that could have happened was also already behind him; the thing not done, which could have been -- which he would have had to live with for the rest of his life. (95%)
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Irland, 1985. Kortroman om en god mands moralske samvittighed i et fattigt lokalsamfund, hvor et af de berygtede magdalenevaskerier ligger nær ved. For læsere med historisk interesse samt læsere af filosofiske historier.

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