Cover image for The marriage bed
Title:
The marriage bed
Author:
McBride, Regina, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
viii, 289 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"A Touchstone book."
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780743254977
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

An exquisitely lush and lyrical story about marriage and motherhood, attachment and letting go set in early twentieth century Dublin.


Author Notes

Regina McBride's poetry book, "Yarrow Field", won an American Book Series Award. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA & the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her poems have appeared in publications including "Boulevard" & "The Antioch Review". Regina McBride teaches creative writing at Hunter College in New York City, where she lives.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

McBride's hypnotic novel centers on Deirdre O'Breen, who, when the novel opens, is a Dublin housewife at the turn of the twentieth century. Her life, ordinary enough on the surface, in fact roils with unexpressed passion that reaches back into her childhood on the remote Blasket Islands. There, her mother, wild with the accumulated sorrows of a life where loved men were taken by the sea, killed herself, her husband following her with a brutal passion made more damaging by Deirdre's discovery of their sea-swept bodies. This submerged vision of love and death haunts Deirdre, to be brought out when her teenage daughters return to the very school to which she was sent as an orphan. McBride has created an eerie, compelling tale of pained love, in which the Irish setting is integral and never exotic. --Patricia Monaghan Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The Celtic and the gothic intertwine in this dark, dreamy hardcover debut by McBride (The Nature of Water and Air) set in turn-of-the-20th-century Ireland. Deirdre O'Breen was raised primitively on the Great Island of Blasket, off the southwest coast of Ireland. After her parents die in mysterious circumstances when she is 14, she is sent to a convent school on the mainland and decides to become a nun. At the convent, she develops a schoolgirl crush on another novice, sharp-tongued Bairbre O'Breen. But her focus shifts when she meets Bairbre's devout, driven mother and handsome younger brother, Manus. Mrs. O'Breen orchestrates Manus and Deirdre's marriage, intending to use Deirde as "a kind of empty vessel like the Virgin Mary, who would carry holiness in her womb." The heavy burden of another's family legacy combined with the unspeakable secret of her own parents' death plunge Deirdre into unhappiness and despair. But when Mrs. O'Breen compels Deirdre to send her two teenaged daughters to the convent school and Deirdre finds herself pregnant, this time with a boy, she discovers the strength to share her family history with her daughters. McBride crafts her tale in rich, saturated language, though her misty-edged storytelling can be frustratingly insubstantial. Agent, Regula Noetzli. (June 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Described in these pages as "a literary Maeve Binchy" (The Nature of Water and Air, LJ 3/1/01), McBride breaks into hardcover with this story of a young bride come to Dublin from Great Blasket Island who must draw on the past in order to secure her present. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Part 1 In Ancestral Sleep
One
Two
Three
Four
Part 2 Mysterium Amoris
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine
Ten
Eleven
Part 3 The Torment of Metals
Twelve
Thirteen
Fourteen
Fifteen
Sixteen
Seventeen
Eighteen
Nineteen
Part 4 Aqua Mirifica
Twenty
Twenty-One
Twenty-Two
Twenty-Three