June Considine

Life
Author children's fiction and When The Bough Breaks (2002), concerning the birth and abandonment of Eva Frawley, her adoption, and her search at 27 for her family origins, ending with the discovery of her mother and the man who corrupted her; issued Deception (2004), which was the RTE “Rattlebag” novel of the year in 2004.

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Works
When The Bough Breaks (Dublin: New Island 2002), 502pp. [pb. 2003]; Deception (Dublin: New Island 2004, rep. 2005), 362pp.

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Commentary
Shirley Kelly, ‘I could feel a novel coming on - that was 1998’, interview with June Considine, describes When the Bough Breaks (2002) as a novel about Beth, the daughter of an ineffectual father abused by her politician uncle who goes on to abuse her yngr. sister Sara, who bears a stillborn child with Beth’s help in dramatic circumstances, and the exposure of the malefactor. (Books Ireland, Summer 2002, p.149-50; see also “First Flush”, Books Ireland, May 2003.)

Kathy Cremin, ‘Families and How to Survive Them’, review of When the Bough Breaks, in The Irish Times, Weekend (13 July 2002): recouonts polot in wihch two young girls, Beth and Sara, watched the enraged flare of their parents’ spite; divided loyalties exacerbated by abuse of a political uncle Tom Oliver; Beth runs away; involves Oedipal conflict of seeing and blindness in which the sisters share knowledge of an abandoned baby and their mutual inability to acknowledge or alleviate each other’s violent emotions. Cremin further writes: ‘On the surface, this is an oldfashioned “family saga”, told through the damaged female characters, with the next generation of women strangely compelled to repeat their mother's past mistakes, a repetition that serves to illustrate the changed nature of guilt and responsibility in Irish society. In replaying Sara’s story, Considine shows a mastery of gothic conventions, but because the central drama is irresolvable, characters like Tom Oliver are more visible as “villains” who lack psychological complexity. The sweep of this novel has appeal, but Considine’s début is also a kind of high-anxiety fiction that offers a utopian resolution of unmendable lives.’ (p.8.)

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