Sebastian Barry is my favourite Irish author and this is my seventh novel by him. Annie Dunne is his second novel and for me his weakest link in the chain of novels. The prose which he is renowned for is not present in this book nor is his characters well developed compared to books like [b:The Secret Scripture|3419808|The Secret Scripture|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1325714117s/3419808.jpg|3460278] or [b:A Long Long Way|379087|A Long Long Way|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388286097s/379087.jpg|368906] and this is just one of those reads where little happens and the plot is wanting in many ways.The book is a short read at under 230 pages and is set in a small farmhouse in Co Wicklow in the late 1950s. Annie Dunne an unmarried woman in her sixties who lives with her similarly solitary cousin Sarah on the farm. In the summer of 1959, they are asked to care for their grand-niece and grand-nephew whose parents are going to England to seek work.
I normally love books set in this time frame in Ireland but this one just didn't work for me as I didn't get a sense of time and place or the characters just seemed felt and the prose not up to Barry's standard. Perhaps he has me spoilt with all his other great novels.
I still highly recommned [b:A Long Long Way|379087|A Long Long Way|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388286097s/379087.jpg|368906] or [b:The Secret Scripture|3419808|The Secret Scripture|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1325714117s/3419808.jpg|3460278] [b:The Temporary Gentleman|18667940|The Temporary Gentleman|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1385967981s/18667940.jpg|26417684] or [b:On Canaan's Side|10266875|On Canaan's Side|Sebastian Barry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1298269786s/10266875.jpg|15167306]