Walled Gardens is a brilliant portrait of the Irish ascendancy, struggling through the post-war depression aided by drink, horse- racing and religion, and their own idiosyncratic adaptations to modern life. Seen from the troubled perspective of the daughter of an aristocratic family in decline, we watch the disintegration of a marriage in elegant but emotionally chilled surroundings, and the struggle to keep up appearances, and a collapsing roof, in front of the neighbours. By turns sad, absurd and funny, the story is ultimately liberating as failure leads to freedom.
‘Vividly entertaining ... written with a quality of mercy added to the acute perceptions of a child.’ - Molly Keane, Spectator
‘Her narrative has the quality of brilliant social anthropology ... she writes with delicacy of touch and beauty of style.’ - Daily Telegraph
Walled Gardens: Scenes from an Irish Childhood
Format: 276pp demi pb