Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Forgotten Waltz
The Forgotten Waltz
Jonathan Cape, 2011
It all started with a child: a girl Evie sees her father kissing Gina, the narrator, while girl’s mother cleans up after the guests. Continuation of the story, however, does not begin with this scene, but several years earlier.
First time Gina saw Evie’s father, Sean, in the garden of her sister. Numerous relatives, friends and children gather in the garden of the new home of Gina's sister Fiona, to celebrate a housewarming. 2002, Gina has recently returned home from Australia to Ireland, she is on a party with her husband, Conor. At that time, Gina is in love with her husband. And at that time Conor seems perfect man for her. The next time when Gina saw Sean in the yard is 2005. Again, the nature and children, Sean and his wife Aileen and their daughter Evie. Gina feels that it is something wrong with the girl. Evie is not like Megan, Gina’s niece, even though the girls are the same age. Maybe it's because of the fact that Evie is unusually fat, Gina thinks. When the two couples, Gina and Conor and Sean and Eileen, swim and sunbathe on the beach, Gina and Sean steal glances at each other's bodies.
The sudden meeting between Gina and Sean happens at a conference on Internet technology in Switzerland. They know each other. So Gene and Sean begin an affair.
Actually, any retelling of the novel does not convey a tenth of his charm. It can not be retold, because the best part of it hid not even between the lines, but between the letters. The book is very lyrical, intentionally repeats some inexplicable tenderness in the language. Enright put into the mouth of his protagonist Gina a truly unique voice.
This seems to be a quiet novel (and in fact it really is, almost no high tones and high-sounding words) and it begins in his own shocking way and ends shockingly, too. We read the same story twice in fact. The first time we do not yet know what happened to Evie. The second time we look at the story of the relationship between Sean and Gina - and Ivy - already knowing the so-called history of the disease and how it has affected. At all - on the girl's father, her mother, Gina herself. The whole story here is how we see through a prism, whose name is Evie. This is key to the whole book, to all relationships. Girl herself remains a mystery, but it becomes the answer for everything else. Evie is an angel in the guise of the devil and the devil in the guise of an angel.
«The Forgotten Waltz» is not a novel about adultery, but nevertheless this is the best novel about adultery since the "The End of the Road" by John Barth. «The Forgotten Waltz» is not a novel about fathers and children, but this theme there is very well served.
Not being a thriller, the book still holds in suspense until the very end. This waltz will never be forgotten.