Where Have You Been? by Joseph O’Connor

Paperback review

Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 01:00


Book Title:
Where Have You Been?


Joseph O'Connor


Guideline Price:

Joseph O’Connor is a gifted storyteller. Orchard Street, Dawn, a heartbreaking story of the death of a five-month-old baby, is set in New York in 1869, but the rest of these stories have a contemporary setting, with mostly fragile characters tenderly portrayed. Eddie in Two Little Clouds, set in Dublin at the height of the Celtc Tiger madness, seems nothing but a braggart, but he’s a self-deceiving one. There are stories here about broken marriages and the tender love of sons for fathers (familiar themes in O’Connor’s writings). That love is most movingly and impressively expressed in The Wexford Girl (probably the finest story in the collection) but dissipated somewhat in the final, overlong part of the novella that gives the book its title. O’Connor has a wonderful ear for dialogue and is a master of the telling phrase (one female character has a smile that “includes stoicism displayed against the ghost of old hurts”) and the colourful comparison (a male character has “a face like Michelangelo . . . and a neck like a jockey’s bollocks”).

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.