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Hood (Paperback)

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Absorbing and intense, this novel goes far beyond typical "coming-out" literature. Set in Dublin in the 80's, Hood follows the main character Pen (thirties, a teacher) through the week following her lover's death. Jealousy, intimacy, passion, shame and even humor: it's all here as we experience the grieving process with an invisible widow. Grief is not a quick phase and so the book may at times feel weighty and a little slow-moving. But stick with it -- and you won't have to make yourself do that for long -- for Emma Donoghue's delicate and deft prose will pull you back in. You may even find yourself as I did: coming back to read Hood again and again. In the end, this is a book about indentity and finding hope -- not in spite of, but through, one's pain.

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   I initially picked up this book because I had enjoyed another of Emma Donoghue's novels, Room. This is different from Room, but in the best way imaginable.Donoghue displays a style of writing that is intriguing, her sentences becoming as much a part of the plot and story as the story itself. How Pen thinks is exactly what makes her such an interesting character. I'm blown away by how methodically Donoghue shows us this woman in what is potentially the worst week of her life.The story is about a closeted teacher, Pen, who loses her lover unexpectedly. It is about moving on, about finding yourself, and also about their relationship, how it could be stifling and stimulating at the same time. I tend to enjoy books of this nature, that place us in a moment of tragedy and allow us time to stew in it--in this case the whole novel.I read a lot, and this book has stuck with me. I still think about Hood when I'm reading other things, and I have a...Read more
5
Absorbing and intense, this novel goes far beyond typical "coming-out" literature. Set in Dublin in the 80's, Hood follows the main character Pen (thirties, a teacher) through the week following her lover's death. Jealousy, intimacy, passion, shame and even humor: it's all here as we experience the grieving process with an invisible widow. Grief is not a quick phase and so the book may at times feel weighty and a little slow-moving. But stick with it -- and you won't have to make yourself do that for long -- for Emma Donoghue's delicate and deft prose will pull you back in. You may even find yourself as I did: coming back to read Hood again and again. In the end, this is a book about indentity and finding hope -- not in spite of, but through, one's pain.
3

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