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.


Send to Kindle


  1. Biblibio says:

    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.

    1. Jackie says:

      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.

  2. stujallen says:

    i ve not read Enright but I may try this if it makes booker ,she seems like a writer I struggle with due to lack of plot ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      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.

  3. Kailana says:

    I didn’t really enjoy The Gathering, so I have not really given a lot of thought to anything else by her… I am glad you enjoyed it, though!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kailana, This is a lot less depressing than The Gathering, but it sounds as though you might be wise to avoid this one. :-)

  4. I haven’t read either, but both are on my list. The Gathering had mixed reviews, but I’d like to decide for myself. Glad u enjoyed her latest.

    1. Jackie says:

      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!

  5. Kathleen says:

    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.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, It sounds as thouogh you’ll love this book. Enjoy! :-)

      1. Tanya says:

        Exactly how I felt about The Gathering too, Kathleen. Just finished The Forgotten Waltz and really enjoyed it.

  6. Sandy says:

    That takes some serious talent to write an entire book revolving around one scene, AND keep you entertained. I’m intrigued.

    1. Jackie says:

      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. :-)

  7. Lu says:

    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.

    1. Jackie says:

      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!

  8. I am eagerly awaiting the U.S. release of this one! I love books about relationships, and hearing a book without a plot can captivate you, I’m even more excited for this one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, I didn’t realise this wasn’t out in the US – I hope you don’t have to wait too long.

  9. Steph says:

    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.

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, Enright is such a talented author – if she’d write a book with a complex plot she’d be perfect. I hope you enjoy your first Enright.

  10. Amy says:

    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!

    1. Jackie says:

      “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.

  11. Claire says:

    I kind of love a good plotless book. Adding this author to my list!

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, If you love plotless books then I’m sure this will be a winner for you – enjoy!


  1. Who will be long listed for the 2011 Booker Prize? – Farm Lane Books Blog

Leave a Reply