I believe that it was Thomas Wolfe who said that ‘you can never go home again’. Áine Greaney turns that idea sideways as she brings us the story of Dolores. Years ago, Dolores fled the small midland village of her childhood to seek her happiness in upstate New York. Perhaps thinking that her Irish troubles would fade with a change of venue, she has built a life in the States and left her roots behind.
When her father takes ill, it is she who steps up and returns to care for him, and the family business. Only four characters truly are introduced in this story: all play a background role to Dolores’ narration and memories of the present and the past. Dolores is still running from all things that would stir memories: her mother’s death, her father’s disappointment and infirmity, grasping at a moment, any moment of escape that comes in the form of the man down from Dublin who has purchased the old hotel across the street.
This short feels very Irish, even as you read you find yourself channeling an accent as the words form in your head. A constant juxtaposition between then and now, Ireland and America, the story is a snapshot of that curious ability we all have to measure now and then, reinforcing or disproving our memories.
I’m not 100% sure if Dolores found any of the answers she was seeking: it’s apparent that part of her desire to go far from her childhood home were in the disregard and near disdainful attitude of her father. It’s interesting to see her grasp for some of the control and strength that she exhibits in her life in New York, and just how quickly that feeling of power can be undermined. And perhaps that is the point: her strength is only evident in a place where the years of history and family relationships aren’t solidly set and established. Greaney has used every word, every nuance in action and interaction to bring this point home, to the reader and to Dolores.
Author: Áine Greaney
Published by: Pixel Hall Press
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Set in a one-street small town in the Irish midlands, Snow is a stylish portrait of Dolores, a young expatriate Irish woman who is suddenly summoned home from America to take care of her estranged and sick father. In her childhood home, Dolores wrestles with the push and pull between her new American life and her past life in Ireland. As she nurses her father back to health, she is beset by memories and caught between family loyalties and her own desires.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.