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Molly Fox's Birthday Paperback – April 27, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"Molly Fox's Birthday" is a first person narrative which takes place over the course of a single day. The narrator is a close friend of Molly's who is using her house in Dublin for a couple of weeks while Molly is in New York and London. The story opens in the morning, closes with the evening, and the 220 pages in between interweave the narrator's story with that of Molly (a very famous stage actress who possesses an incredible voice) and Andrew who is another friend of theirs. The stories are told via reminisces and conversations with three different people who stop by during the day, not realizing that Molly is away. All kinds of relationship complications, career progressions and even the political hostilities taking place in Northern Ireland are addressed.
The book is well-written and incredibly insightful regarding family/personal relationships. There were several times when I dog-eared a page since there was that beautiful moment of truth that leapt off the page. While not overly heavy, by any means, it does take patience to read since the narrative slips back and forth between past and present without warning so the reader needs to pay attention or risk getting lost. The fact that there are such beautiful, insightful passages also means it will be most appreciated by a reader who is not in a rush to get through it but willing to take the time to savor it.
I enjoyed the novel immensely and would recommend it to people who like a more meandering read - not terribly linear or fast-paced, but very, very good. If you are fan of Irish writers, this would be one to try.
How many of us think that friendships have rules? How many friendships develop, though, based on the rules unilaterally determined by only one of the two? And, once realized, does that thought, and hurt, occur only to the one who didn't set the rules?
And, how many friends do we introduce, only for them to be closer friends to one another than either is to us? And which of our three main characters; Molly, Andrew, and our nameless narrator, fills which types of friends' role?
I don't know if this is best described as a-day-in-the-life-of or a-life-in-the-day-of story. Either way we get to spend three lifetimes in less than three hundred pages.
Madden's writing is so good that it doesn't get in the way of the story. If you like character studies, grab this and read it slowly. This goes well with chocolates and a cuppa.
Molly and said narrator have been best friends for twenty years. As the narrator struggles with writer's block during her visit, she traces Molly's steps through the house, fingers her treasures, sits in her garden, and recounts their friendship. Her memories includes their mutual friend Andrew, a successful TV art historian, specializing in memorials; Fergus, Molly's troubled brother; and Tom, the narrator's devoted brother--a Catholic priest who is also a dear friend to Molly. The day in question is June 21st, Molly's birthday, a date of penetrating significance that unfolds gradually through the narrative.
Molly, Andrew, and the narrator have built firm and lucrative careers. Each has shed their native skin and taken on new identities that, paradoxically, manifest a more palpable singularity and congruity of self. Whether it is escaping traditional familial bonds or facilitating a triumph in artistic pursuits, the three friends have remained a touchstone for each other.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just finished reading 'Molly Fox's Birthday' and greatly enjoyed the experience. Deirdre Madden is a gifted writer, lyrical and descriptive and in touch with the human spirit. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joseph Galagan
Whenever I read a book, the first thing I notice is the quality of the writing. And here, Ms. Madden impressed me. Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by P. Mann
cup of tea...
A bit on the too deep for me. I really felt as if I didn't know any of the characters at all.. I mean who was Molly really? ...Or maybe they were? Read more
This wonderful literary novel may take place in one day, but encompasses 20 years of shared friendship. Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by C. Quinn
"Molly Fox's Birthday" is one of the most unsatisfying books I've ever read. I enjoyed it as I read it, for the most part, but when I came to the end, I wasn't left pondering the... Read morePublished on June 8, 2010 by Pat Shand
Written by someone else, I may have had trouble with this book. But Deirdre Madden's writing is so engrossing I really enjoyed reading it. Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by Vicki
We join the novels' nameless narrator, a playwright and friend of "actor" Molly Fox on a hot June day while she house-sits for the absent Molly. Read morePublished on May 24, 2010 by Red Rock Bookworm
I started reading this novel yesterday and finished it today. The narrator's voice is so engaging and I found myself completely enchanted by the characters and the lack of... Read morePublished on May 24, 2010 by Gabriel Oak
The degree of boredom in Molly Fox's Birthday is maddening. Superficially, this is a beautiful book. Read morePublished on May 20, 2010 by JM