Year 5, Book 23

23. The South by Colm Toibin
Colm Toibin is actually coming to speak at the library where I work in a few weeks so I am trying to make it through some of his works before the event. I read The Master years ago, but am trying to read some of his other works as well. The South takes places during the 1950s and 1960s in Ireland and Spain. The story follows a woman named Katherine who leaves her husband and 10 year old son and moves to Barcelona where she meets a fellow artist named Miguel who she quickly develops a lasting relationship with. He is referred to as her husband many times, but I don’t think they were ever officially married, nor do I think she was ever officially divorced from her first husband. I actually had a really hard time getting into this book. I didn’t really care about any of the characters and didn’t really understand their motivations. The story also seemed to try and throw historical situations such as Franco’s revolution and problems between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland into the book by making them relevant to the characters. But really none of those things took place during the story they were just mentioned peripherally and I was left thinking that those stories sounded infinitely more interesting than the one I was actually reading. I give it a 4 out of 10.

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