All posts for the day August 28th, 2011

Review of The South by Colm Toibin

Published 28/08/2011 by damselwithadulcimer

<a href=”; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img alt=”The South” border=”0″ src=”; /></a><a href=””>The South</a> by <a href=””>Colm Tóibín</a><br/>
My rating: <a href=”″>5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I read my first Colm Toibin novel (Brooklyn) a few months ago and am a complete convert.  The South was his first published fictional novel and he shows many of the concerns of his later work in this earlier one.  There is a female protagonist, there are life changes, displacements and moves away from, and back to, home.  Enniscorthy features again and helps Katherine Proctor reach conclusions about her life, as well as being a place where she renews relationships.  Katherine travels, physically and metaphorically, between Spain and Ireland as she travels through her adult years.  She develops and matures, learns insights and suffers loss, but Toibin never judges her.  He deftly paints her and her surroundings, as she too takes up art.  He is more of a water colourist than an oil painter, but he writes deftly and precisely, getting under your skin and leaving lasting imagery with you.
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