The House in Clewe Street

Mary Lavin
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ISBN 9780571256198 Format Paperback
Published 10/12/2009 Length 460 pages

About Book

This absorbing family saga, first published in 1945, reveals the poignancies of an Irish Catholic upbringing, and is a testimony to Mary Lavin's considerable power as a storyteller.

Theodore Coniffe, austere property owner in Castlerampart, looks forward to the birth of an heir when his third and youngest daughter, Lily, marries. A son is born, but the father, Cornelius Galloway, is a spendthrift who dies young, leaving the child to the care of Lily and her sisters, Theresa and Sara. Their love for Gabriel is limited by religious propriety and his youth is both protected and restrained. At the age of twenty-one Gabriel runs away to Dublin with Onny, a kitchen maid. Here they tumble into bohemian life. But Gabriel is ill-suited to this makeshift freedom and finds the values of Clewe Street impossible to evade.

  • About Mary Lavin

    Mary Lavin was born in Massachusetts in 1912, but moved to Ireland as a child. Her first collection of short stories, Tales from Bective Bridge, published in 1942, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and launched her acclaimed career in this genre. Her stories appeared in the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly, among other magazines. Her novels, including The House in Clewe Street, were also widely celebrated. She won several awards, including the Guggenheim fellowship and the Katherine Mansfield Prize, and she was President of the Irish PEN and Aosdána, the Irish Academy of Letters. She died in 1996.

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