I have to ask straight up – who is Norah’s father? Could you work it out? I wasn’t sure. There didn’t seem to be any repercussions or exposition after the reveal. Was it all about the #metoo element? But since you kind of figure that out for yourself very early on, it wasn’t so much a shock revelation, but a quieter ‘I thought so’ moment. I’m confused.
Anyway, let’s put that all that aside for now and talk about the lovely, lovely writing in Anne Enright’s Actress. I loved her descriptions of Norah and her mother, the famous Katherine Odell, her observations of daily life and her empathy for the thinking of a 21 yr old.
- We had the same way of blinking, slow and fond, as though thinking of something beautiful.
- I think I mentioned that my mother was a star. Not just on screen or on the stage, but at the breakfast table also, my mother Katherine O’Dell was a star.
- The boiling eggs chittering against each other and along the metal bottom of the pan.
- My life felt like an imitation, and I was terrified it might become the real thing.
Actress was an fascinating story but there were many times when it felt rather like trying to drive a car and forgetting to put it into gear. The engine was revving sweetly, but we were going nowhere! Which is maybe why I felt the father revelation late in the story was more of a frustration than anything else. I was waiting patiently for a burst of speed that never happened.
I enjoyed my time in Enright’s hands, but it’s not the best example of her work.
- ‘the more I applauded, the better, it seemed to me, did Berma act.’ In Search of Lost Time