New York :
- 1st Harper Perennial ed
- Item Description
- Originally published: London : Hamish Hamilton, 1995. With additional material.
- Physical Description
- 309, 16 p. ; 21 cm
- Includes bibliographical references.
- Main Author
"I'm blithering, amn't I?" asks Pen O'Grady, narrator of Donoghue's second novel (after Stir-Fry). Many readers will answer "yes"?and that's a shame, because behind Pen's banal chattiness lies an agreeable and affecting story. Thirty-year-old Dublin schoolteacher Pen has just lost her lover of 13 years, Cara Wall, in a car crash. Though mapping the trajectory of Pen's grief seems Donoghue's primary aim, she also explores issues untouched by death: Will Pen bed Cara's sexy older sister, Kate, who's flown home from America for the funeral? Will Pen find the courage to come out to her mother and to Cara's father? Quotidian tails of housecleaning and coffee-brewing share space, sometimes too much, with tender and troubling flashbacks of life with the flame-haired, faithless Cara, whom Pen first seduced on their convent-school roof. Donoghue's unsentimental examination of the complex relationship between the two women is a pleasure, but the story line, lacking dramatic tension, ultimately sags under the weight of Pen's wordiness. U.K., translation, dramatic rights: Caroline Davidson, London. (Mar.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.
Attending the funeral of her lesbian lover, Pen O'Grady recalls their turbulent fourteen-year relationship, which encompassed shared terms in convent school, Cara's personality oddities, and bittersweet infidelities.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Kate Wall is flying to Dublin for the funeral of her younger sister Cara. Staying with her sedentary father and sister's housemate Pen, Kate comes to realize several things: that Pen and Cara were lovers, that she herself is more Irish than she thought and that the past is ever present.Review by Publisher Summary 3
From the New York Times bestselling author of Room, Hood is a tale of grief and lust, frustration and hilarity, death and family.“Hood is thoroughly contemporary in how richly it depicts a beloved's death to review a couple's bumpy love history...This book's real pleasures lie in its intimate insights, its accurate characters and its sharp, rich observations... the greatest achievement of Hood is how it captures the domesticity of erotic passion” – Boston GlobePenelope O’Grady and Cara Wall are risking disaster when, like teenagers in any intolerant time and place—here, a Dublin convent school in the late 1970s—they fall in love. Yet Cara, the free spirit, and Pen, the stoic, craft a bond so strong it seems as though nothing could sever it: not the bickering, not the secrets, not even Cara’s infidelities.But thirteen years on, a car crash kills Cara and rips the lid off Pen’s world. Pen is still in the closet, teaching at her old school, living under the roof of Cara’s gentle father, who thinks of her as his daughter’s friend. How can she survive widowhood without even daring to claim the word? Over the course of one surreal week of bereavement, she is battered by memories that range from the humiliating, to the exalted, to the erotic, to the funny. It will take Pen all her intelligence and wit to sort through her tumultuous past with Cara, and all the nerve she can muster to start remaking her life.Donoghue’s Hood is a masterfully crafted narrative of relationships and a daring, deft exploration of the love’s imperfection—and how it can nonetheless dominate our lives as we grow and change.