MORE STORIES FROM AUTHOR Colin's Home for the Damned
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To register for The Reunion Project-D. The Reunion Project was founded in by long-term survivors of HIV Matt Sharp and Jeff Berry, who recognized that there is an entire group of individuals who had survived the epidemic but in many ways have been left behind by the community that they helped to build. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 28, Malia rated it really liked it Shelves: women-s-fiction. I have read almost everything Roisin Meaney has written, and will continue to buy whatever she sells.
She writes chick-lit, yes, but her stories always go deeper and are never merely about romance or silly antics. View 2 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Trigger warning: Rape. I tend to not do spoiler reviews. However, I realized that I wouldn't be able to show what I didn't give this book over two stars without spoiling the book.
Bad news is that I didn't really think I got my money's worth. Ostensibly about two sisters Caroline and Eleanor going to their twenty year reunion in Ireland, the book jump Trigger warning: Rape. Ostensibly about two sisters Caroline and Eleanor going to their twenty year reunion in Ireland, the book jumps back and forth showing Caroline and Eleanor and their lives twenty years ago, and to the present day.
I felt for both women's stories, but ended up liking Caroline's more, I just hated how her story-line got resolved. I also think that Eleanor's story-line just magically poof got better with no real repercussions for what happened to her family after she just opted out of things. Neither of them wants to go for different reasons. Receiving the invitation though has both of them remembering things that they rather not dwell about now in their late 30s.
Meaney goes back and forth to show both women's POV throughout the book. Caroline's story-line was shocking. She is raped by a family friend and falls pregnant. When she goes to her mother, her mother informs her that she will be sent to England for an abortion and even slaps her when Caroline realizes that her mother maybe harbored a secret fantasy about this family friend.
I felt for Caroline and everything she went through. Her finding a real friend in her cousin Florence was welcome. Caroline is shown missing her son after giving him up for adoption. However, Meaney then throws a love interest in Caroline's story that didn't feel realistic at all. I was fine with her being a successful businesswoman. Having her in a romance that felt off to me she meets this man when he is a young teen and they have a relationship about ten years later and honestly it skeeved me out.
Eleanor seemed to have a slightly charmed life. Dating the most handsome boy at her school who is also the son of a rich man, Eleanor sees her life with him going smoothly with them eventually marrying. He has other ideas and breaks up with her. For most of the story-line with Eleanor you know that she doesn't let this relationship go easily, and that she had a child that died. It takes a while for you to figure out who Eleanor marries.
And I have to say, that romance had zero chemistry when Meaney finally shows it to us. I did feel sympathy for Eleanor for her loss, but we find out she refused to be a mother or wife to her family for 14 years after the accidental death of her child. I didn't want her to be left alone and mourning forever. But I thought how Meaney resolved things with no real repercussion to Eleanor was a freaking cop out. It seemed that for a bit there Meaney was going to reveal that Eleanor's husband sought out a relationship elsewhere, but that went nowhere fast.
I think the secondary characters were not developed that well. Eleanor's husband barely feels present, along with Caroline and Eleanor's parents. I thought the only character that was sketched reasonably well was cousin Florence. The writing was good. I was just more invested in Caroline's story. Eleanor's chapters felt bogged down to me while I was reading. Nothing much seems to happen to her until she goes off to work in a restaurant. The flow was up and down going back and forth. When Meaney goes back in time so to speak to show the women's lives twenty years back and then suddenly we are just in the present day it felt weird to me.
Thank goodness for that since a few times I was a bit lost. The ending didn't satisfy me at all. Eleanor's family is bailed out by a rich relation and she and her husband magically make things work. I wish we had them having more conversations with each other. Instead, we just hear how they are now sharing a bedroom again.
The Reunion by Roisin Meaney
I also wish that Caroline's mother had been made to face up to what she had done, but she wasn't. Jun 28, Margaret Madden rated it it was amazing Shelves: kindle , irish-fiction. Opening a school reunion invitation brings feelings of uncertainty for sisters, Caroline and Eleanor Plunkett. Do they want to return to their past? Caroline is now a successful designer, splitting her time between the UK and Italy. Eleanor is stuck in a rut, overweight and struggling to connect with her husband and son.
Both women may have been born to the same parents, but their lives began to split while they were still in their teens. Can facing up to the past help them improve their present Opening a school reunion invitation brings feelings of uncertainty for sisters, Caroline and Eleanor Plunkett. Can facing up to the past help them improve their present, or is going back the wrong thing to do? It's funny how two siblings can end up in completely different situations.
Caroline was the studious one, destined for a career in academia, whilst younger sister Eleanor was the more fun-loving of the two; more interested in her boyfriend and having a laugh with her mates. However, one fateful evening changes their paths in life. Caroline soon finds herself pushed away from the family home and Eleanor's boyfriend dashes all hopes for her own future. In the midst of all this change is the girls mother, who is more concerned with the goings-on of her neighbours than of her own two daughters.
Secrets are kept, lies are told and damage is done. Roisin Meaney has a way of telling a story that makes you feel like you are in a room with the characters, hearing them chat to each other, rather than reading words on a page. From very early on in the novel, there is a feeling of genuine concern as to how these two girls will handle their own stories. Caroline is the victim of the most despicable crime, yet is treated as if she is to blame.
Her mother takes control of the situation and God help anyone who tries to object. A distance cousin, Florence, steps up to the plate and becomes Caroline's saviour. A wonderfully warm and quirky character, she has a delightful presence throughout the novel.
Back in Ireland, Eleanor is weighed down with personal grief and is scared to face up to her past. Her story is addressed further into the book, with memories unfolding which help to explain her distance. The Reunion is a book about families and how they can sometimes be fractured and displaced. The keeping of secrets, the hiding of home-truths and the attempt at showing a united front are not always the right approach to take.
Most families have drama within their folds. Sometimes admitting your flaws is the only way to gain solidarity. By using two sisters, both with hidden traumas, the author has created a novel which is both endearing and astute. The dual time frame is very cleverly used and every single character adds something to the overall narrative. Florence is fantastic and her group of older-generation friends are a breath of fresh air. Her bijoux cottage sounds like a place that we would all love to visit, with its mis-matched decor and charity shop finds.
Added to the narrative are Caroline's trips to Italy, with its stunning surroundings, warm family get-togethers and an air of change. It's easy to see why Roisin Meaney is one of Ireland's best-loved authors. She has a way of bringing her characters to life, making them part of your world as you move from chapter to chapter. Should you spot this on a bookshelf, grab a copy. This is what female fiction is all about. Mar 17, Rachel Gilbey rated it really liked it.
The story was a reasonably quick read and when I first looked up I couldn't believe how much I had already read, and how much I was enjoying the content too. This is the story of two sisters, and it spans around 22 years since they were teenagers to the adults they are today. It is predominately spread around two particular time frames, although there are additional flas 4. It is predominately spread around two particular time frames, although there are additional flashbacks in places. Thanks to all of this by the time you get to the main section about the present day, I felt very connected to both Eleanor and Caroline and was fully engaged with their stories.
Equally I loved the section based in Ireland in the early s, as it really shows how times and attitudes have changed over the years, with regards to certain issues. It was Caroline's early story that I was most interested in, and just why it was she went to England and turned out how she was. And by the present day though it was perhaps Eleanor that attracted more of my interest. In each segment of the book, the story would alternate between the two sisters, and I just had great sympathy for the family as a whole.
The other character I really enjoyed reading about was their older cousin Florence. She isn't the easiest of ladies to get to know but had a wonderful group of friends and was a massive unexpected support to Caroline. The Reunion is all about family, although the title refers to a school reunion which triggers the sisters reminiscing, there are some secrets to come out of the woodwork, and a whole variety of mini reunions going on throughout the book too. It is great to see a title that really does sum up some of the theming of the novel. I'm so glad I finally got around to reading The Reunion, and taking another chance on a Roisin Meaney book.
I will be mentally adding her to my much loved Irish Women's fiction authors list and will try to remember to read more books from her in the future, as I definitely love her writing style and way she tells a story. Thank you to Hachette Books Ireland and Netgalley for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Jun 16, KAS rated it really liked it. I found this book to be a little gem. The storyline is based around two sisters, Caroline and Eleanor, who just received invitations to their 20th year class reunion. Caroline is a year older than Eleanor, but because of circumstances, she graduated a year late with her sister. Neither wants to go to the reunion, but it has each of them reflecting on the past twenty some years of their lives and how the events of the past, some absolutely devastating, and decisions that were made, brought them t I found this book to be a little gem. Neither wants to go to the reunion, but it has each of them reflecting on the past twenty some years of their lives and how the events of the past, some absolutely devastating, and decisions that were made, brought them to their present situations in life.
This book was well written and really kept my interest all the way through. I especially enjoyed the dual POV writing style. Every other chapter was dedicated to Caroline's story and then the other chapter was Eleanor's story, as the years progressed. Jul 01, Emma Crowley rated it really liked it.
She is a gifted storyteller who has the knack of drawing you in from the very first page and doesn't relinquish her grip until you have satisfyingly read the last word. I really enjoy her writing and believe she gets better and better with each new book published. I particularly love her series set on the island of Roone off the Irish coast. Apart from the books set on the island I have fallen in love with each of the books she has written and this new book The Reunion jumped out at me the moment I saw the cover revealed on Twitter.
It was so summery and inviting and demanded you pick it up and indulge in a truly heartfelt story that was beautifully written. The title suggests the sole focus of this book will be on a reunion but more or less straight away we figure out that this is not the case. Normally when a book suggests from the title what the plot will be about I rely on the fact that this will be the case, when it turns out not to be the way I find this very frustrating and misleading.
But here I didn't mind in the slightest as the arrival of an invitation for a twenty year old reunion for sisters Caroline and Eleanor is the spark that leads to the past coming into the present with secrets about to be revealed and feelings and emotions long buried coming to the surface. Tessa was plain-faced, and smelled something of old pipework, but her eyes, kelly-green, had an opiate effect on Brendan. Not because he was ashamed.
If anyone found out, Brendan knew Tessa would be crucified by association. The exhilaration was too much. Realizing the happiness he openly showcased, he would cover back up in case someone noticed. Instead, he began to pay Tessa generous attention, flirting with her with the delicacy refined from years of practice. In less than two weeks since Brendan and Tessa consummated, she was seen walking through the school doors with Shaun, his arm around her ample waist. Brendan left during lunch that day. Brendan might have killed himself then. He might have done a lot of things.
Next Monday Tessa was gone. Almost immediately after, she was terrorized by the popular female clique that was usually seen around Shaun and his group. She had snapped the phone in half on Saturday night, and on Sunday night she hid alone in her house when two cars full of them stopped outside and hurled rocks at the windows.
No one much heard about her after that. The last time Brendan saw Shaun until today was graduation day. He was standing away from the swarm of kids in bright red gowns on the fifty-yard line of the football field. Brendan stood alone, cap in one hand, his other holding his gown in the back. One came up from behind and reached around his throat with an arm, while the second slit his gown down the back with a pair of scissors from the art room.
They caught his belt with it, severing the cheap leather. He threw the belt in the garbage and spent the next two hours holding the back of his pants, looking like he had just shit himself. As he looked across that field, he saw Shaun amidst a sea of the basketball team, all thirty or so pointing a finger to the sky. They had won the state championship only five days prior.
- The Reunion ( film) - Wikipedia.
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- The Reunion (@pewahomaci.tk) • Instagram photos and videos.
He winked and raised his finger to Brendan in a gun. Taking aim, he shot. That summer, he found a job at a telemarketing agency. He had no ambitions other than to get through life without life noticing. After the first year, he received a raise to ten dollars an hour. The stiff casing around his life cracked. The dried emotion he held rehydrated, and he felt a burning sensation he could not describe. He had not heard of Shaun in ten years.
Was there even an iota of possibility in going to that reunion and seeing Shaun there, heaped with misfortune, seeing him robbed of that confident little spark in his eye, seeing a burned out bulb and the most mild surprise in its place? Brendan could watch Shaun cringe when he remembered the prospect he had in that building, trembling as he was bombarded by the memories of laughter and enthusiasm and contentment.
At the reunion, he crackled with anticipation. He had convinced himself he would find Shaun in tatters, looking for charity, and maybe, a friend. Brendan could stamp him out easily. But here he sat. At a royal blue vinyl covered table in a high school cafeteria that he had forgotten except for the occasional nightmare, staring at the perfect physical specimen that was Shaun Kinney. Through a haze, he could see Shaun flash a glittering smile as he related to the audience gathered around him the potential of investing in aircraft carrier technology.
Brendan saw few things. A custom-tailored iron gray suit befitting the broad, well-exercised shoulders. The cheekbones which had become more dazzling with age. The tousled haircut razor-perfect around the edges. His other hand gesticulated luxuriously as he finished, judging by the laughter of the crowd, his story about receiving a personal apology from the president of Southwest Airlines after being stopped briefly in Bolivia with a number of expensive and vaguely acquired traditional native headdresses.
Brendan could taste copper. He had bitten his tongue too hard on the last go. He felt around in his mouth in case the tip came off. Finding nothing, he swallowed the excess blood. No one sat around him. The seats had been pulled toward Shaun like planets to a heavy sun. Brendan had to drag his sleeve across his chin regularly to keep the sweat from collecting there and hanging in fat droplets. He had been lost in thought. When his eyes shifted back into focus, Shaun and the gathering were staring at him. He realized how alone he was on that side of the table.
The cafeteria seemed to descend into silence. Certainly, everyone in the vicinity was quiet, expectant. What industry?
The Reunion Project
Brendan drew in air. Nobody said a word. A few hands reached up to faces to cover smirks.