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The Green Road

A Novel

Anne Enright (Author)

Overview | Formats

“With language so vibrant it practically has a pulse, Enright makes an exquisitely drawn case for the possibility of growth, love and transformation at any age.” —People

From internationally acclaimed author Anne Enright comes a shattering novel set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast. The Green Road is a tale of family and fracture, compassion and selfishness—a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we strive to fill them.

Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart. As they grow up, Rosaleen's four children leave the west of Ireland for lives they could have never imagined in Dublin, New York, and Mali, West Africa. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

A profoundly moving work about a family's desperate attempt to recover the relationships they've lost and forge the ones they never had, The Green Road is Enright's most mature, accomplished, and unforgettable novel to date.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35280-1
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide, excluding Canada, the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Green Road: A Novel


Endorsements & Reviews

“Enright possesses an unusual combination of talents. She is a rich, lyrical prose writer, who cascades among novelties--again and again, she finds the unexpected adjective, the just noun.” — James Wood, The New Yorker

“With language so vibrant it practically has a pulse, Enright makes an exquisitely drawn case for the possibility of growth, love and transformation at any age.” — People

“Impressive…Enright writes with authority and confidence…Though stories end, The Green Road seems to say, the lives of the people who inhabit them go on.” — David Leavitt, The New York Times Book Review

“Enright…is a master of emotional excavation. …Through her wise and majestic book, [she] shows us the beauty even in life’s harsh terrain.” — Karen E. Bender, O Magazine

“A rich, capacious story, buoyed by tender humor…. The Green Road…offers a survey of Enright’s magnificent dexterity…. There’s nothing she can’t do with perspective, tone and time.” — Ron Charles, Washington Post

“The story of an Irish family, [The Green Road] is the kind of book that refuses quick characterization: it is sprawling and intimate, anguished and hopeful, elliptical and intensely observed.” — Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker

“This looping story of four siblings coping differently with the smothering embrace of their amusingly melodramatic mother…may be even better than its close cousin, The Gathering, which won the 2007 Booker prize. As locales shift from a stubby Irish village to AIDS-ravaged gay Manhattan and famine-torn Mali, so do the tone and point of view, over which Enright exercises perfect control.” — Boris Kachka, New York Magazine

“Gripping.” — Vanity Fair

“Hugely readable…. The Green Road should confirm Enright’s status as one of our greatest living novelists.” — John Sutherland, The Times (UK)

Also by Anne Enright All

  1. Book CoverThe Forgotten Waltz: A Novel


  2. Book CoverMaking Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood


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