The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

Book - 1992
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Brian Moore burst upon the literary scene in 1955 with this moving and brilliantly observed study of a woman imprisoned by the passage of time. He went on to be hailed as one of the best fiction writers of his generation.

Alone in her room in a Belfast boarding house, Judith Hearne is almost overwhelmed by loneliness. Yet she still believes there is a chance for happiness, and she waits patiently for the moment when her life will turn from sorrowful longing to joy. By chance she meets a man - the man - and her dreams take on a brighter hue, only to be dashed once more.

With skill and gentle insight, Moore depicts the disintegration of Judith Hearne's last illusions. Clinging to the bottle for comfort, she becomes a tragic figure who speaks frankly about the human condition. Though we laugh at her foibles, we weep at her plight, and share her primal longing for love and connection.

This touching story was made into a critically acclaimed motion picture in 1987.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, [1992], c1955
ISBN: 9780771099922
Branch Call Number: GEN FIC PB Moo 05ad 01
Characteristics: 245 p. ;,18 cm. --


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Apr 13, 2019

I should have known better. I should have known that reading any book set in Ireland, immersed in the Irish experience, the Irish ethos, the Irish fatalism, the Irish penchant for self-flagellation and gloom would depress me and that it would take me some time to recover from it.
Let me state outright that this is a masterfully written book, a brilliant character study and a starkly realistic, true-to-life story. Judith Hearne was for me a living, breathing, deeply human person. And Brian Moore's ability to disclose the personalities of his minor characters through their soliloquies brought to mind those penned by Shakespeare. I can hardly praise it enough.
And I hated every page of it.
I understand why most readers have awarded at least 4 stars, I really do. But the sad truth is that I get more depressing news than I can tolerate every time I turn on the TV news or open a newspaper. I cannot bring myself to enjoy a book that starts off bleakly and descends further into hopelessness with each chapter. Judith Hearne, you are a victim. Victims do not elicit my sympathy, they enrage me. I understand that is my problem, not yours. But that's just the way it is.
With my apologies, two stars.

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