Conversation Piece

Conversation Piece[Read] ➯ Conversation Piece Author Molly Keane – Heartforum.co.uk When Oliver visits lovely ramshackle Pullinstown, he gets swept up in wild days of fox hunting, fishing, and racing by his fearless young cousins Willow and Dick, whose profound closeness is matched o When Oliver visits lovely ramshackle Pullinstown, he gets swept up in wild days of fox hunting, fishing, and racing by his fearless young cousins Willow and Dick, whose profound closeness is matched only by their passion for horses and trickery Their elegant, crafty father, Sir Richard, jousts with them both and with the redoubtable, sprightly Lady Honour, his old adversary and love In this early novel by Molly Keane, the high romance and disarray of the vanished Anglo Irish world is evoked with humor, nostalgia, and undercurrents of powerful feeling.

Molly Keane July April was an Irish novelist and playwright born Mary Nesta Skrine in Ryston Cottage, Newbridge, County Kildare She grew up at Ballyrankin in County Wexford and was educated at a boarding school in Bray, County Wicklow She married Bobby Keane, one of a Waterford squirearchical family in and had two daughters She used her married name for her later novels, several of which Good Behaviour, Time After Time have been adapted for television Between and , she wrote novels, and some of her earlier plays, under the pseudonym MJ Farrell Molly was a member of Aosd na Her husband died suddenly in , and following the failure of a play she published nothing for twenty years In Good Behaviour came out under her own name the manuscript, which had languished in a drawer for many years, was lent to a visitor, the actress Peggy Ashcroft, who encouraged Keane to publish it The novel was warmly received and was short listed for the Man Booker PrizeAfter the death of her husband, Molly Keane moved to Ard, County Waterford, a place she knew well, and lived there with her two daughters, Sally and Virginia, until she died in She is buried beside the Church of Ireland church, almost in the centre of the village from Wikipedia.

Paperback  ✓ Conversation Piece Epub Ä
    Paperback ✓ Conversation Piece Epub Ä passion for horses and trickery Their elegant, crafty father, Sir Richard, jousts with them both and with the redoubtable, sprightly Lady Honour, his old adversary and love In this early novel by Molly Keane, the high romance and disarray of the vanished Anglo Irish world is evoked with humor, nostalgia, and undercurrents of powerful feeling."/>
  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Conversation Piece
  • Molly Keane
  • English
  • 15 February 2019
  • 1853813478

10 thoughts on “Conversation Piece

  1. Mary Durrant says:

    Another wonderful book that takes you back to a bygone age of fox hunting,horse racing and fishing.Told with humour and lovely descriptions of the countryside

  2. Ali says:

    Then writing as M J Farrell, Conversation Piece was Molly Keane s fourth novel Like many of her novels it s very horsey if you hate all things fox hunting then it is probably not for you Oddly enough and I think I have said this before although I detest the very thought of fox hunting I don t mind reading about it when it s written by Molly Keane I can t help but think that the kind of eccentricity one finds among Keane s characters can t possibly exist any although I really hope Then writing as M J Farrell, Conversation Piece was Molly Keane s fourth novel Like many of her novels it s very horsey if you hate all things fox hunting then it is probably not for you Oddly enough and I think I have said this before although I detest the very thought of fox hunting I don t mind reading about it when it s written by Molly Keane I can t help but think that the kind of eccentricity one finds among Keane s characters can t possibly exist any although I really hope it does It is these eccentric characters that I read Molly Keane novels for it is all a world away from twenty first century Birmingham that s for sure.Conversation Piece is perhaps not a very well known Molly Keane novel, it is also not going to be my favourite although I certainly enjoyed it There isn t a huge amount of plot not something that ever bothers me it is muchan evocation of a time, a way of life and the people who lived it It is the world that Molly Keane herself grew up in the sporting calendar running to the seasons of the year with people s lives completely tied up in it.Set among the impoverished gentry of rural Ireland, Conversation Piece is narrated by Oliver who throughout the unspecified time period of the novel makes regular lengthy visits to his uncle and cousins at Pullinstown His Uncle is Sir Richard Pulleyns, his cousins Dick and Willow, a little younger than Oliver, they are extremely close each of them madly passionate about horses They are also masters of trickery loving nothingthan to completely outsmart their latest adversary Gradually Oliver is accepted by them, and drawn into their world their pranks, their hunts and horse races Sir Richard is getting on but he is no push over quite a match for his difficult children, who generally call him with affectionate mockery Sir Richard or the Sir The house is a shabby riot of confusion, containing almost as many animals as people Oh God help me Sir Richard rose to his feet in a sudden helpless early morning spasm of complete and unavailing fury Put that dog down, sir do you hear me, put it down I ll not have it Do you know where your nasty ass was this morning, Willow In the hot air press Yes in my own bottom shelf lying on my own bath towel What between dogs and donkeys, I can t call my house my own I can t eat my breakfast without being disgusted by you children and your antics The other important member of the Pullinstown household is James, the butler An old family retainer who is very much a part of the family the house is likely to go all to blazes without his competent management So when, James is laid up ill, a highly irritated Sir Richard sends his children upstairs to minister to their butler While James is out of action, the housemaids run amok, and all Sir Richard wants is for things to be back to normal Willow is followed up the stairs by her baby donkey who when not munching on James s discarded poultices is generally found lying by the fire In their absence one day, James has been ministered to by the slightly disreputable Pheelan, whose remedies consist of smouldering rags, and threaten to set James and the whole house alight It is in these scenes of absurd comedy that Molly Keane so excels.Full review

  3. Jane says:

    Although it is in print, as a Virago Modern Classic, Conversation Piece almost seems to be Molly Keane s forgotten novel I can only find aa passing mention in her biographical details, searching online I found only a handful of very brief reviews, and even the author interview that takes the place of an introduction in the copy I have just read only mentions it in passing.I can almost understand the lack of attention This is an early work but not so early as to be interesting on that accou Although it is in print, as a Virago Modern Classic, Conversation Piece almost seems to be Molly Keane s forgotten novel I can only find aa passing mention in her biographical details, searching online I found only a handful of very brief reviews, and even the author interview that takes the place of an introduction in the copy I have just read only mentions it in passing.I can almost understand the lack of attention This is an early work but not so early as to be interesting on that account and it lacks some of the qualities that made many of her thirteen novels so special But it paints a wonderful picture of life in an Irish country house at the start of the twentieth century the world that Molly Keane grew up in and it tells a simple story well.That story is told by Oliver, the son of a younger son, who comes to visit his uncle and his cousins at the family home, a grand if rather shabby country house, known as Pullinstown To be with these Irish cousins, their kindness mine and the quick fire of their interest changes me strangely, I think, so that all safe known values are gone for me and I am theirs He is enchanted by the house, and by the cousins, and he describes them simply and beautifully I really did feel that he was telling his story, speaking or writing, and he brought a house, a family, and a way of living to life on the page.I was as taken as he was with his cousins, Dick and Willow They were close, they were completely caught up with life and their shared interests, but as soon as they realised he was one of them, and not quite one of the grown ups, they warmed to him and drew him into their circle I liked their father, Sir Richard, who knew that he was growing old but wasn t quite ready to be bested by his offspring And I loved James, the unflappable butler who could turn his hand to almost everything.When James fell ill it was Dick and Willow who cared for him, while the housemaids ran riot.Times were changing, and Pullinstown was a country house in decline Conversation Piece isn t so much a story as a telling of how life was, and of particular times that would always be remembered That s where the story almost fall down, because the family s lives were centred around hunting, shooting, fishing and other country pursuits The stories were well told, but there were too many of them, and they didn t hold my interest.There was an underlying story, of young and old, of how they, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly affect each others lives That was engaging, and I wish it had been developed a little , given a littleroom to breathe.When the story ended I wished that I could have spent a littletime with Oliver, Dick and Willow, and know a littleof what their futures held.What I found most interesting about Conversation Piece was that, although the style was recognisably Molly Keane , although there were so many things the country house, the lifestyle, the period that can be found in her other novels, this book was different The style was straightforward, the tone was often elegiac, and it was so clearly written with love.I m inclined to think that it has elements of autobiography, or that maybe it was inspired by friends and family.I think that I need to readof her work, so that I can really put it into context I love her writing, and I am struck by the variation in the stories she has spun around Irish country houses.I can understand now why Conversation Piece is nearly forgotten, but I am glad that is not completely forgotten For its own sake, and for the sake of understanding the writing life of an intriguing author

  4. Whit says:

    Too many descriptions of hunts and races for me All the other parts of the book are marvelous It is much horsier than any of her other books I think.

  5. Jordan says:

    nope nope nope this book is too boring to be able to resist tana french s faithful place any longer i don t care about the hunt, i don t want to hear any about it, i feel the same way about willow, dick, and oliver, and i m making up a hot bath and cup of coffee to celebrate the start of faithful place next.

  6. Katrina says:

    I enjoyed this dip into Anglo Irish life horses, dogs and all.

  7. Elana Crane says:

    Not for me way too horsey An early novel, this one lacks the weirdness and darkness I love in every other novel I ve read by her.

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