Time Present and Time Past by Deirdre Madden

82%

6 Critic Reviews

Time Present and Time Past moves between Fintan, his wife, sister, mother and aunt, showing that for each of them – and by extension, for each of us – the past is as pressing and real as the present.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Fintan Buckley is a pleasant, rather conventional and unimaginative man, who works as a legal adviser in an import/export firm in Dublin. He lives in Howth and is married to Colette. They have two sons who are at university, and a small daughter.

As he goes about his life, working and spending time with his family, Fintan begins to experience states of altered consciousness and auditory hallucinations, which seem to take him out of a linear experience of time. He becomes interested in how we remember or imagine the past, an interest trigged by becoming aware of early photography, particularly early colour photography. He also finds himself thinking more about his own past, including time spent holidaying in the north of Ireland as a child with his father's family. Over the years he has become distanced from them, and in the course of the novel this link is re-established and helps to bring him understanding and peace, although in a most unexpected way.

Time Present and Time Past, Deirdre Madden's eighth novel for adults, is about time: about how not just daily life and one's own, or one's family's past, intersect with each other.

 

About Deirdre Madden

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Deirdre Madden is from Toomebridge, Co. Antrim. Her novels include The Birds of Innocent Wood, Nothing is Black, One by One in the Darkness, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and Authenticity. Her most recent novel Molly Fox's Birthday also was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She teaches at Trinity College, Dublin and is a member of the Irish Arts Academy Aosdana.
 
Published January 1, 2013 by Faber and Faber. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Time Present and Time Past
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 20 2014

Almost poetic in its control and well-chosen details, this novel finds the universal and the unique in a deceptively unassuming look at one family.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by SARAH FERGUSON on Sep 05 2014

Madden’s thoughtful, beautifully written novel is a reminder that we’d do best to acknowledge the fact that everything is always changing, and to savor what we can of those passing moments Eliot called the “still point of the turning world.”

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Hannah Rosefield on Jul 06 2013

Time Present and Time Past moves between Fintan, his wife, sister, mother and aunt, showing that for each of them – and by extension, for each of us – the past is as pressing and real as the present.

Read Full Review of Time Present and Time Past | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Hannah Rosefield on Jul 06 2013

Madden's clear, precise prose allows us to share Fintan's heightened, near-supernatural awareness...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Helen Dunmore on Jun 21 2013

This is a subtle, deeply thoughtful novel, its tone so clear that the writing plays over character and action like water over stones.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by David Evans on Jun 21 2013

Some readers may be put off by the lack of incident; others will relish the novel’s slow, digressive rhythm. I found it exquisitely done.

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Reader Rating for Time Present and Time Past
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 18 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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