Good Behaviour

Good Behaviour

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Author / Contributor(s): Molly Keane ; Amy Gentry
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Date: 2021
Binding:

Trade paperback (US). 320p.
5.00 in. x 7.90 in.

Condition: NEW

This Booker Prize-short listed dark satire of 20th-century Irish society is back in print.

Is it possible to kill with kindness? As Molly Keane's Booker Prize-short-listed dark comedy suggests, not only can kindness be deadly, it just may be the best form of revenge. The novel opens as Aroon St. Charles prepares to serve her invalid mother a splendid luncheon--the silver gleams, the linens glow--of rabbit mousse, a dish her mother despises. In fact, a single whiff of the stuff is enough to knock the old lady dead. "All my life so far I have done everything for the best reasons and the most unselfish motives," says Aroon soon after. In the pages that follow she will make her case, reminiscing about her youth among the hunting-and-fishing classes of Ireland, a faded aristocracy dedicated to distraction even as their fortunes dwindle.

Keane's brilliant sleight of hand is to allow her blinkered heroine to narrate her own development from neglected child, to ungainly debutante, to bitter spinster: Aroon understands nothing, yet she reveals all.