In the Forest

by Edna O'Brien | Children's Books |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by shelj7k of Blackrock, Co. Dublin Ireland on 9/13/2009
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by shelj7k from Blackrock, Co. Dublin Ireland on Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is a place of mystery...a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.


Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind


Dear Reader

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Journal Entry 2 by shelj7k from Blackrock, Co. Dublin Ireland on Sunday, September 13, 2009
Edna O'Brien's novel In The Forest tells the dark story of a beautiful young woman and her little son who live in a cottage on the edge of a forest in rural Ireland and are murdered by a deranged killer who has become obsessed with her.

The book is based on the true story of Imelda Riney and her son Liam who were murdered by Brendan O'Donnell in Co. Clare in 1994. The crazed O'Donnell went on to kill a local priest Fr Joe Walshe. When the book was first published in 2002 it caused some controversy and O'Brien was accused of exploiting the grief of the families involved. But if the novel makes use of a real life event, it does so for a valid artistic reason.

The book is a brilliant exploration of exactly how such a horror - and other horrors that have happened since then - can come to pass. It takes us deep into the mind of the killer and makes us feel the unspeakable terror of the victims. It is told in a calm and factual way, but in language of such intensity that the reader feels part of what is happening.

The young man in the story, like O'Donnell in real life, has been deeply affected by the death of his mother. He gets into trouble as a teenager and ends up in jail. By the time he returns to his home area he is pathological and extremely dangerous, a petty criminal who lives rough and hears voices. And then he becomes fascinated by the young woman who lives in a cottage at the edge of the forest with her young son...

Journal Entry 3 by shelj7k from Blackrock, Co. Dublin Ireland on Sunday, September 13, 2009
This edition of the book was released by the Irish Independent Newspaper as part of a series on Irish Women Writers.

My book club have recently read and reviewed In the Forest. The real events on which this story are based are still very vivid in our minds. Imelda Riney (pictured above) and her son were beautiful. The were taken by Brendan O'Donnell and murdered just because he was deranged. The good priest Fr Joe Walshe tried to help but he too fell victim to O'Donnell's psychosis. I remember the events unfolding day after day in the newspapers, photos of the victims, the unbelievable madness of O'Donnell.

In the Forest gives a very close account of real events. Chillingly so. For the first time we see the demons that were inside O'Donnell exposed. For the first time we see to what degree he was a victim also.

The book is harrowing but the chapters are short and it is a fast paced and compelling read.

Journal Entry 4 by 1001-library from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanks so much for your donation shelj7k!

This book is now part of the 1001-library. If you want to take this book from the library but don't know how to proceed, please refer to the 1001-library bookshelf.

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