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Old 12-31-2013, 06:42 PM   #46
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I had The Best of from the library and had to give it back a couple of days ago when I finished it. It was quite a wrench, so I'm going to have to get a copy of as many of O'Connor's stories as I can. I need him in my life and my own library!

I think I am most haunted by the story called "Michael's Wife" - I can't stop thinking about it. Well, and also "Guests of the Nation".

Thank you all for your good wishes for the New Year (which we are already into down here) and of course my best wishes to you all too. I'm looking forward to another great year in your company.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:53 PM   #47
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I found Michael's Wife to be haunting, too. I had that 'huh?' feeling at the end as I did in many (most?) of the Dubliners stories and was grateful for the explanation that followed.

What did you make of the stomach injury?
Spoiler:
Why do you think that she never told Michael's family that he was dead?
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:32 PM   #48
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Spoiler:
Well, as there was a reference by the father to there being time for her to have children, I took it to be that she may have had a Caesarian and lost the baby, probably at the time of her husband's death.

I think she came to Ireland to tell them of his death, and then just couldn't bear to do so because it would cause them so much grief.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:37 PM   #49
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Michael's Wife
Spoiler:
Yes, a caesarean is likely. I even imagined a car wreck where she was injured and he was killed. How hard it would be to ruin their lives with the terrible news! Haunting, indeed.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:43 PM   #50
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Just want to mention that, although all the stories in The Best of Frank O'Connor are really wonderful, I was especially touched by the stories in the last section: Last Things. The last scene in The Mass Island was so poignant that I ended the book with a good cry.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:50 AM   #51
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Yes, it was a very touching story. Indeed, not a disappointing story or essay in the whole book.

PS Yes, that was another possibility in "Michael's Wife".
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:51 PM   #52
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Finally I have finished the "Best of" collection! Took me awhile with too many business trips the last few months. I also wanted to stretch them out for enjoyment. I am glad that I read Dubliners at the same time because it was interesting to compare the styles of these two authors. It is too difficult to chose a favorite story! I especially liked the childhood stories. First Confession was great at capturing the big sister / little brother dynamic even though he was an only child.

Thank you, fantasyfan, for introducing me to this author & the other nominations as well!
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