Bernard MacLaverty: Grace Notes

(953 words)

If the emphasis on political victimhood, religious sacrifice and self-inflicted suffering in Cal can be traced to the intensely violent time in which it was written, it may be equally appropriate to read Grace Notes, at least in part, as a product of its time, prefiguring and reflecting as it does important changes in cultural and political discourses in Northern Ireland during the period of the peace process which began in 1993. The novel depicts a young Northern Irish woman, Catherine McKenna, now living in Scotland, who is seeking to recompose herself through music in the traumatic aftermath of her daughter’s birth and her father’s death. She is a woman in a state of physical and psychic flux, a “prodigal …

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Harte, Liam. "Grace Notes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2001
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]