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The Obsession of Henry Enright Hardcover – July 25, 2011
2016 Book Awards
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Henry and his family have moved from a fairly homogenous Boston community to the outskirts, a little fictional town called Union, past the suburbs and the end of the line for the bus to the city. Mixing past reminiscence with a present-day revisiting of the old town, the story has a melancholic thread that runs through it. Not only had Henry had some difficulty in his past trying to make a name for himself, his father always seemed to be just slightly out of reach: disappointed, feared and ultimately the man that Henry defines his own successes and failures against.
The story feels completely and utterly of the moment: the sense of the insular Catholic parishes in Boston and the often hypocritical feel of the ultra-religious sentiments often parroted against the behaviors are clearly defined and delineated with a sense of ‘being there’ that is rare to find.
Henry isn’t happy, and he isn’t wholly unhappy: haunted by some of the things he had seen, and the opportunities squandered he is any other middle-aged man in the midst of a serious reflection on his life. Something is missing, and yet through all of his reflections he isn’t able to find just where the pieces are not fitting. This book details this reflection using road trips, memories and discussions with his wife about the places he’d seen and some of the people that fell by the wayside. The prose is beautiful, and each memory and moment feeds into the story to show how Henry has arrived at this point: detailing his journey by watching the scenery pass in the rear-view mirror.
I received a paperback copy of the title from Harpe’s Head Literary Agency for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.