House of Splendid Isolation | EW.com

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House of Splendid IsolationThe tone of Edna O'Brien's latest novel, House of Splendid Isolation, starts out quietly enough, but it quickly becomes disquieting. In...House of Splendid IsolationFictionThe tone of Edna O'Brien's latest novel, House of Splendid Isolation, starts out quietly enough, but it quickly becomes disquieting. In...1994-07-15

House of Splendid Isolation

Genre: Fiction; Author: Edna O'Brien

The tone of Edna O’Brien’s latest novel, House of Splendid Isolation, starts out quietly enough, but it quickly becomes disquieting. In a large, ghost-filled house, a solitary old lady and an IRA renegade coexist and finally bond — just before it’s too late. As O’Brien moves comfortably between scenes of pastoral calm and menacing tension — all on the same spot of lush Irish countryside — a number of stories unfold. There is the terrorist on the run, the illicit love affair with a priest, the police cracking a case, the country caught in a civil war. As all the elements converge together into the inevitable tragic climax, O’Brien’s haunting lyrical style maintains its dignity. This is a book with little blood, but a lot of violence lurking just beneath the surface. A-