A Ghost in the Throat, by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

I got this book as a recommendation from the @FictionMatter’s Instagram, one of my favorite readers to follow, and I was really glad I picked it up. From the very first pages of A Ghost in the Throat, I felt like I could identify with Ghríofa and the “female text” that she builds from two woven narratives.

It’s was the first of these narratives that really drew me in from page one – and it happens to be Ghríofa’s own story, a memoir of motherhood, scholarship, obsession, and womanhood. Her compelling voice pulled me in and had me raving about the book to others before I was through with the first chapter.

The second key narrative of the book is actually that of another female writer: Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, poet and composer of

Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, a famed traditional Irish lament that captivates Ghríofa to the point of obsession. Admittedly, I was somewhat less taken with this thread in the book, but was intrigued to watch Ghríofa’s fascination with another female writer.

Overall, it was really the themes of womanhood and motherhood that pulled me into this one and will make it memorable for me and I’d really love to see what Ghríofa does next, because her voice is irresistible.

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