Book Review: The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien

May 6, 2019 Book review, Dust off Your Classics 4 ★★★½

I read The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien years ago, but remembered nothing of it. And as it’s the book for One City One Book in Dublin this month, I thought it was a good chance to reread it. Even better was that I was able to grab the audiobook in the library, which is read by the author.

Book Review: The Country Girls by Edna O’BrienThe Country Girls (The Country Girls Trilogy, #1) by Edna O'Brien
Published by Plume on June 25, 2002
Genres: Classic, Coming of Age, Historical Fiction
Pages: 175
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

Meet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.

AUDIOBOOK From the TBR pile Historical Well Written

7 thoughts on The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien

1. Baba is toxic. And their “friendship” also seems toxic to me. I keep expecting more from her, but she let me (not to mention Cait) down with a bang time after time. Without fail. But she also added humour, so I couldn’t fully hate her.

2. The “romance” gave me shivers. And not in a good way. Also toxic. Not to mention illegal. I do like Cait ( the main character) but I still wanted to beat her over the head at times for being starry eyed over “Mr Gentleman”. 

4. Her Dad is an asshole. The word toxic is on the tip of my tongue, but I think I’ve said it enough already in this review.

5. I loved the quirky characters like Cait’s boss, her landlady, and Hickey, her parents farmhand. They added droll moments that had me smirking, and unexpected tender moments too. 

6. The writing style really appealed to me, it’s descriptive but also simple and straightforward. It made me feel nostalgic, but also glad that Ireland has moved on from the grim place described in the books. 

7. The book ends very abruptly. It felt jarring, and I need to know what happens next. Guess I’ll be finishing the trilogy so.

About Edna O'Brien

Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), an award-winning Irish author of novels, plays, and short stories, has been hailed as one of the greatest chroniclers of the female experience in the twentieth century. She is the 2011 recipient of the Frank O’Connor Prize, awarded for her short story collection Saints and Sinners.

She has also received, among other honors, the Irish PEN Award for Literature, the Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin, and a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Literary Academy.

Her 1960 debut novel, The Country Girl, was banned in her native Ireland for its groundbreaking depictions of female sexuality.


Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien”

  1. Cynthia

    Toxic seems to be a thread throughout this one but I am glad that you liked the quirky characters. Great review (as always 🙂 ) !

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.