The Woman of the House by Alice Taylor

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Synopsis

Alice Taylor's memoirs of life in mid-century Ireland have made her one of that nation's best-selling, and best-loved, writers. In the words of the Los Angeles Times, "Taylor's telling makes the world of her village universal, and sets her firmly in that mysteriously potent Irish storytelling tradition." Now, with her first novel, this extraordinarily gifted storyteller brings her talents to bear on the tale of a rural Irish family caught between its love of the old ways and the encroachments of contemporary life. The story is that of the Phelan family, who have occupied the same home in the village of Kilmeen for generations, tending their land and livestock, surviving a feud with unscrupulous neighbors, forming part of the social backbone of their community. But as the older Phelans pass and their farm is handed on the younger generation in the early 1950s, their longtime home is suddenly threatened from within. The threat comes in the person of an outsider, Martha, who marries Ned Phelan and proceeds to undermine their very way of life. And the solution comes in the form of Ned's younger sister Kate, an aspiring schoolteacher, who is forced to draw upon every ounce of patience and determination in order to keep their homestead in their own hands--and her own dreams alive.

Replete with the warmth, humor, and humanity for which she has been so justly celebrated, The Woman of the House is a landmark that will be welcome to all her readers: an embraceable fiction debut, and perhaps her richest evocation of life lived close to the earth.

 

About Alice Taylor

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Taylor lives in Innishannon, County Cork, Ireland, where her family tends the local market and post office.
 
Published December 31, 1997 by Brandon Books. 315 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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After that, Martha falls apart, sliding into depression, and Ned’s sister Kate Phelan steps in and tries to put Martha back on her feet.

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Publishers Weekly

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good woman plot, telling readers innumerable times how impossible it will be for Kate to stop Martha from ruthlessly selling Mossgrove following the death of Kate's brother.

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