- 09 Mar 20
Anne Enright’s Actress tells the story of a glamorous Irish actress named Katherine Odell from the perspective of her daughter, Norah. After years of journalistic speculation and rumour, Norah is pushed to finally publish a novel that details her mother’s secrets and what finally drove her to madness.
Underneath all the glamour and chaos of Katherine’s life, the story centres on a complex mother-daughter relationship. Tales of years past in a romanticised, post-war America or shabby 1970s are all threaded together by Norah’s personal narrative. Sometimes, she writes about memories of her mother with awe and wonder, others with pity and disappointment. Actress sometimes leans too heavily on nostalgia. It shines brightest in Norah’s moments of reflection, as she discusses the men in her life, and reflects on getting older and surpassing her mother in age. It is these powerful, personal moments that make this a worthwhile read.