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Wild Decembers

About the Book

Wild Decembers

With the arrival of Michael Bugler's newfangled tractor, and of Mick Bugler himself, fresh from Australia to claim his family heritage, life on the mountain of Slieve Clochan and in the village of Cloontha is changed forever. And Joseph Brennan's relationship with the fields, bogs, and woods of the mountain he calls his own is also transformed–as is the conventional, home- and church-bound life of Joseph's younger sister, Breege.

Edna O'Brien's masterly novel recounts the tragically rapid and life-altering demise of relations between Joe Brennan and Mick Bugler, "the warring sons of warring sons," on a tradition-bound mountain in tradition-bound western Ireland. With her inimitable gift for illuminating individual and social conflict and heartbreak, O'Brien raises Joseph's love for his land to the level of his sister Breege's love for both him and his new rival, Bugler. Aware for the first time in her life of love's possibilities, Breege also sees "the wrong of years and the recent wrongs" fuel each other, as Bugler's actions clash with her brother's long-unquestioned claims.

A classic drama ensues, involving all the "treasons, stratagems, and spoils" of which the human heart is capable. And all is leavened by the comedy of which Edna O'Brien never loses sight. A village dinner dance and Mick Bugler's seduction by a pair of land-hungry sisters rival Joyce in their comic exuberance. As the story unfolds, however, we are drawn into a destined discord of love, envy, possessiveness, and revenge, in a place both near and far away. Wild Decembers is a triumphant work from a writer who breaks new ground with each new novel.

Wild Decembers
by Edna O'Brien

  • Publication Date: May 14, 2001
  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0618126910
  • ISBN-13: 9780618126910