The Little Red Chairs
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A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal, from one of the greatest storytellers of our time
One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.
Then, one morning, the illusion is abruptly shattered. While en route to pay tribute at Yeats's grave, Dr. Vlad is arrested and revealed to be a notorious war criminal and mass murderer. The Cloonoila community is devastated by this revelation, and no one more than Fidelma, who is made to pay for her deviance and desire. In disgrace and utterly alone, she embarks on a journey that will bring both profound hardship and, ultimately, the prospect of redemption.
Moving from Ireland to London and then to The Hague, THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is Edna O'Brien's first novel in ten years -- a vivid and unflinching exploration of humanity's capacity for evil and artifice as well as the bravest kind of love.
used to travel around, barefoot, doing good. He mentioned the plum brandy, rajika, that was mandatory at baptisms, weddings and the graves of warriors and how the Balkans and Ireland had shared ancestors in times gone by. Was the newcomer one of those sharks, speculating for gas or oil, to bleed their green and verdant land? ‘No way… he’s a doctor, a philosopher, a poet and a healer.’ ‘Jaysus, that’s a mouthful,’ Plodder policeman said, coming to his own conclusions. Close to retiring and a
being taken off the bus. ‘I know very little about him… he rented rooms above our shop,’ she said all too quickly. They shook their heads, let out a series of snorting laughs and said the party was in full swing and she was the guest of honour. She walked back to get her coat and said to Jack that they needed to get belongings of Vlad’s in the clinic, as they were cousins of his, but she knew that he knew she was lying, because of the look of disgust that he threw at her. ‘Let’s go to TJ’s,’
responsible for the morals of the entire community. With pride, he hauls out a tiny cell phone and rings a garage in Sligo, where he has a contact. He listens, smiles, ends his call and recites in lofty incantation, ‘He will send his angels and they will gather.’ Sister Bonaventure No fanfare, not even a reporter from the local newspaper and certainly no photographs, as the doctor believed that a person’s soul was stolen by the influence of a camera. So it was just a tasteful sign in black
whiskey and wonders if he might have a brandy instead, which he swirls round and round in the big snifter, drinks and says not a word. A blatherer by nature, Dara unfolds his personal history, just to keep the ball rolling–‘My mother a pure saint, my father big into youth clubs but very against drugs and alcohol… my little niece my pride and joy, just started school, has a new friend called Jennifer… I work two bars, here at TJ’s and the Castle at weekends… footballers come to the Castle,
infectious smiles. She also made jams, which she sold at a car boot sale on Sundays. At first she was a bit of an oddity, with her nun’s veiling, standing behind a fit-up counter, but once people tasted the jams, which she put for them to sample, on tiny squares of water biscuit, business flourished. The ‘apogee’, as it was described in the local paper, was her marrow jam with chunks of crystallised ginger. Her appointment was for eleven o’clock and all that morning she prayed that she was doing