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2011 Romance

The Forgotten Waltz – Anne Enright

The Forgotten Waltz

I loved The Gathering, despite the fact that it has no plot, and so was keen to try Anne Enright’s new book, The Forgotten Waltz. Luckily it lived up to expectations and I’m pleased to report that Anne Enright remains one of the few authors able to engage me without the use of a compelling plot.

The Forgotten Waltz is basically a romance. The book perfectly captures the emotions of a couple as they become involved with one another. The 230 pages describe a scene that would normally only occupy a few pages in any other book, but Enright has a way of observing the tiniest of details and making everything come alive.

He is, for a moment, completely himself. He is about to turn around, but he doesn’t know it yet. He will look around and see me as I see him and, after this, nothing will happen for many years. There is no reason why it should.

This book is packed with emotion and has the benefit of being far more cheerful than The Gathering.

My only criticism is that the story isn’t very original and, although I enjoyed reading it, I don’t think I’ll remember much about it this time next year.

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28 replies on “The Forgotten Waltz – Anne Enright”

This raises an interesting question in my mind: can a book truly be good if it is unoriginal and unmemorable? I’ve always thought that these are obvious requirements for good novels, but I’ve found that there are a few exceptions to the rule – books that may not have punch, but are very good otherwise.

Bibliobio, Great question! It depends on your definition of “truly good”. I enjoyed the time I spent reading this book and so don’t regret reading it. I admire the quality of the writing, but the simplicity of the plot means it isn’t something I’d be rushing to recommend to others. I guess it depends what you are looking for in a book. If you simply want to be entertained for a few hours then this is a good choice, but if you are looking for more than that then this isn’t. This means I put it into my “good”, but not outstanding rating.

Stu, I can see this making the Booker list. It is very similar in quality to The Gathering, so if they liked that then I’m sure this will do well too. I look forward to seeing what you make of it.

Diane, I’m sure this will have equally mixed reviews. If you haven’t read her before then I recommend starting with this one – at least you won’t discover you don’t like her writing by being deeplt depressed!

I really enjoyed The Gathering too. It was slow moving but so powerful. The story stayed with me long after I finished the book. This latest of hers is already on my list to read. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it and that I don’t have to worry about being disappointed.

Sandy, I’d be interested to know what you think of this one as I’d love to know if you can enjoy something with so little plot. I hope you decide to get to it one day. :-)

I just read this and I have never read anything by Enright, so I was totally enchanted by her writing style. I just loved it. I definitely want to read more, but I agree with you, the subject matter of this one was just meh for me.

Lu, I think you’ll find The Gathering slightly better than this. It is darker, but probably has more depth behind the words. Enjoy investigating your new author!

This sounds lovely! I haven’t read anything by Enright, but I think I might have a copy of The Gathering somewhere… I know that you tend to gravitate towards novels with compelling plots, so the fact that this book spoke to you so well says much about Enright’s powers as an author.

I haven’t read The Gathering yet although I own a copy. I’m looking forward to reading it especially since she’s an Irish author and I love most things Irish!

When I saw Anne Enright had a new book out I was hoping the reviews would be positive so I’m happy to read you enjoyed it despite the lack of originality and plot. I expect the author’s writing is very good since I know you like your plots! It seems so strange to consider there are books without plots!

Amy,
“It seems so strange to consider there are books without plots!” I agree – it should be discouraged!!!

This book had a slight Irish feel, but it felt quite universal too. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

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