Part love story, part psychological thriller, this story is about the war in Ireland and the psychological pull of family and conflict. The book was shortlisted for the Dillons First Fiction Award in 1995.
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From the reviews for Involved
'Kate O'Riordan is a very skilled writer whose vivid prose has an elegant subtlety. Her narrative rarely slackens. Both Danny and Kitty are impressively rounded characters and their struggle to keep their faltering relationship alive is delineated with a rare, and almost painfully stark, honesty. An acutely interesting writer.' Eamonn Sweeney, Irish Times
'In the spirit of a thriller, Involved gathers quite a pace; though not overly political, it can hardly escape its own bigger ripples. In the vein of Bernard MacLaverty's Cal, though with a strong female voice, here are those years of violence de-nationalised, made personal.' Tim Teeman, Independent on Sunday
'It's a well-thumbed theme - Belfast boy meets Southern Ireland girl - but O'Riordan makes something magical out of it. She dresses plain narrative bones in subtle clothes. Her real skill is in the gradual exposure of verbal approximations that, even between lovers, stand hopelessly for communication.' Scotland on Sunday
'A striking debut by an original and strong writer.' Dermot Bolger
'A truthfully imagined and gracefully tense first novel from a terrific storyteller.' Joseph O'Connor
'A writer with the capacity to tell it how it is, not how we think it ought to be, and to tell it passionately, yet with humour and a sense of the power of language to move and change us.' Fay Weldon
'Kate O'Riordan has the gift of creating complex characters whose emotions are both real and moving. She is not afraid to shock; her description of violence and sex leaves little room for glamour or sentimentality. A writer of originality and huge promise.' Irish Post
'A witty and movign dissection of young love across internal political borders in Ireland, Involved is packed with subtly inflected violence. A passionate portrait of familial strife, with no sentimental short cuts or half measures.' Vogue
'A contemporary Irish love story and a very compelling first novel, one that tells an old story in a fresh new way. An auspicious debut for a fine artist.' Irish Press
'From the brutal description of a puppy dogs entrails being sliced out, to the erotic depiction of lips playing on the petals of a rose, Kate O'Riordan's writing has a power and authenticity which makes this an unusually assured debut.' The Tribune
'The action moves between Dublin, Belfast, London and rural Cork, all four places lovingly described and convincingly evoked. This is an eminently readable, warmly written novel which should loeave you wanting to hear more from this writer.' Time Out
'For her first novel, Kate O'Riordan ignores the well-trodden areas of tribe and sovereignty. Instead she explores a very different characteristic; that ancient mentality gap which separates Ulster from the rest of the island and keeps Ireland like a bear with a sore head. In a new version of troubles thriller mixed with love story, O'Riordan pours out her exasperation at Northern Irish insularity and poses some interesting questions about just how united Ireland or its inhabitants can be.' TLS
'A strong first novel, with some scenes that are bound to churn weak stomachs. But also one that shows insights and displays a deep compassion for those caught up in affairs not of their own choosing. And there is a coda in the tale that is truly chilling.' Vincent Banville
'Kate O'Riordan's courage in confronting the uncomfortable is stunning and not for a moment sensational. She is merciless in her perception.' Cork Examiner
'Boiling with energy and invention.' Image Magazine
'O'Riordan is a find, one of those very talented writers that turn up maybe once in ten or twenty years in Ireland.' Irish WorldFrom the Back Cover:
A doctor’s daughter from Co. Cork, Kitty has led a charmed life – a blissful childhood followed by carefree student days and a job in her uncle’s Dublin firm. Danny O’Neill is a working class, Catholic Belfast boy, brought up in the shadow of the Troubles. Brooding, intense and secretive, Danny conceals a strange unhappiness which Kitty becomes determined to uncover …
Taken to Belfast to meet Danny’s family, she begins to piece together the O’Neill puzzle. Wary and conspiratorial, the family – Ma, the formidable matriarch, her daughter Monica, and the eldest son Eamon, tense and malevolent – present a united front. Slowly but surely, delving into the life of Belfast and the O’Neills, Kitty begins to realise that Danny is inextricably bound up in their secret war, and that Ireland and the family will never let him go …
Part love story, part psychological thriller, 'Involved' is a powerful first novel about the pull of family and conflict in Northern Ireland. A superb debut from a young, talented Irish writer, firmly in the tradition of Dermot Bolger and Colm Tóibín.
“Kate O’Riordan is a writer with the capacity to tell it how it is, not how we think it ought to be, and to tell it passionately, yet with humour and a sense of the power of language to move and change us.”
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Book Description Flamingo, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6547613
Book Description Flamingo, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006547613