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Evelyn Conlon: Stars in The Daytime

If you like novels about the difficulties of a young woman, trapped in a rural and politically and socially backward area, struggling to break free and become herself, then you will like this novel, as it is one of the better attempts at this genre. Rose grows up in rural Ireland where there is poverty, with nothing to look forward to, where the priests rule and love does not and where girls are definitely less important than boys. The only prospects are a joyless marriage, work and kids, like her mother and her grandmother before her. This novel is how Rose grows up from being a child who seems out of touch with the rest of the world, whose main links to the world are her mother (whose motives she often finds bemusing) and her own worried imagination, to being an independent woman. Of course, on the way, she struggles with her education, fitting in and moving out, men and life in general. She has a failed marriage with an Irishman and a child as a result of a casual affair with a Frenchman but somehow ends up with her feet on the ground and a sense of who she is. Conlon leaves us with an optimistic view that you can get out.

Publishing history

First published 1989 by Attic Press, Dublin