Two Days in Aragon MOBI í Two Days MOBI :Ú

Two Days in Aragon MOBI í Two Days MOBI :Ú


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  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Two Days in Aragon
  • Molly Keane
  • English
  • 20 January 2016
  • 9781844081998

About the Author: Molly Keane

Molly Keane July – April was an Irish novelist and playwright Two Days MOBI :Ú born Mary Nesta Skrine in Ryston Cottage Newbridge County Kildare She grew up at Ballyrankin in County Wexford and was educated at a boarding school in Bray County Wicklow She married Bobby Keane one of a Waterford suirearchical family in and had two daughters She used her married name for her later nove.



5 thoughts on “Two Days in Aragon

  1. TBV TBV says:

    “But this afternoon was April 1920 an afternoon in the time of long memories and uietness and dull ageless stretches of time A time when a bitter little war went untidily on and news of its progresses went from mouth to mouth in whispers Many old and beautiful houses that year had their last hours of life They were stilled for death that summer They waited in beauty and uiet for fire and the end” In her Introduction to this novel Polly Devlin says “Two Days in Aragon is a precise title The novel relates the tragic seuence of events over the last two days of Aragon a great house by a large river in County Westmeath” and “In Two Days in Aragon Molly Keane looks at the rights and wrongs of a series of traumatic events in the course of two days of Irish history in an Irish house” She goes on to say that the fictional Aragon is an amalgam of the grand houses that author Molly Keane knew and lovedAragon is certainly a beautiful house with magnificent gardens and tennis courts all of which are lyrically described The house is inhabited by the widowed Mrs Fox and her two daughters Grania and Sylvia as well as Aunt Pigeon who adds a gothic element to the tale as she is somewhat unhinged and spends some of her time locked in her garret The house is ably run ruled by nurse Dymphnia O’Neill better known as Nan with the help of Frazer the butler The girls seemingly have an idyllic life riding playing tennis and socialising On the surface beauty and happiness prevail but underneath there are petty jealousies cruelty and hatred One day in April 1920 things start going wrong There is one incident after another on that day and throughout the next the 20th when everything goes totally awry and everyone is caught up in events that escalate out of control No character in the novel will be untouched by these catastrophic events There is a need to suspend disbelief in the last few pages where all hell breaks loose As the events unfold hidden aspects of some of the characters are revealed Good old reliable Nan is perhaps not uite as kind as she seems; brave and crafty yes; foolish perhaps Frazer is full of hatred and spite Eighteen year old Grania turns out to be perfectly willing to sacrifice everything for someone she loves and so is Nan Nan’s handsome horsy son Foley reveals himself as cruel selfish and indifferent yet like his mother Nan he is able to be brave and defiant Sylvia is always cool calm detached and perfectly dressed for any occasion but even she has a momentary shift when things get rough There is some excellent characterisation in this novel but there is also a peculiar and irritating tic For reasons beyond my comprehension the reader is repeatedly over twenty times told that Grania is fat that she has fat arms fat hands and a fat face Extracts “Nan again Nan all the time She was the beginning and the end of Aragon”“She sat neatly and prettily because that was the way she would have sat even if she was being electrocuted” Sylvia “Aragon was at the supreme height of its beauty this late April afternoon The house was like an elegant woman sitting uietly in front of her mirror restful and still in her perfection for Aragon was a very female house both within and without and wore the exuisite moments of the year with a wonderful grandeur and uietness”In those extraordinary days there was every chance of bloodshed after tea and tennis with strawberries and cream“What a moment of supreme and blissful triumph for Frazer what an exuisite hour of fulfilment was here on that spring evening as he closed the drawing room door on the ring of pale faces faces paled and shocked by his story faces consternated in the still air of the room when he left them to go before any could forestall him and carry the tale to Nan’s kingdom the nursery”“A man came running heavily down the side of the hill to them the splendid thrill of disaster bore him to them as surely as a land coming wave He was disappointed that disaster’s victim was still alive he had viewed the fall and thought she had no business to be”““Oh I wouldn’t drown a dog” said one “I couldn’t shoot a dog” said another “I wouldn’t harm a little dog for any money” said Denny the Killer” three gunmen

  2. Maggie Maggie says:

    After reading this book I think I can fairly say this book is poorly served by its packaging both physical and cultural I picked it up in a used bookstore unimpressed by the staid cover art but interested in reading something by an Irish novelist particularly an Irish woman In the first few chapters I picked up on what I thought was an Austen like treatment of the last days of the Anglo Irish nobility in Ireland Perhaps that would make for a compelling novel but upon further reading you'll see that's not what this novel isKeane deftly exposes the inner workings of the people who live in and off of the Aragon estate allowing each character to inhabit very human inevitably contradicting sets of traits The 'sluttish' younger daughter of the Fox family is silly caring and self aware all at once Her elder sister for most of the book a tidy pragmatic and annoyingly astute thing in the end has her own moment of impulsiveness As for Nan the bastard daughter of Aragon who has over decades insinuated herself into every aspect of the running of the household her assiduous competence seems to pull all but one skeptic into orbit around her The reader is tempted to fall in line But Keane won't stand for an uncomplicated hero Nan's abuse of one member of the Fox family is all the keenly felt for her apparent obliviousness to itHad 'Two Days of Aragon' spent as the title and opening chapters suggest two days with these characters and their varied interests the comparison to Austen might be appropriate But Keane's sense of plot is much modern With the skill of a suspense novelist she places her characters in a historical period known for its violence and betrayal the Troubles the period of guerrilla warfare that eventually led to Ireland's independence with civil war following closely behind The final third of the book is harrowing Keane makes no secret of the fact that Aragon will not survive the intrigue set in motion by an unlucky meeting of the two Fox daughters' love interests one a British officer and the other the beloved son of our very own Nan The reader is compelled onward wincing at the destruction but in marvel at the skill and humanity with which Keane maneuvers her players

  3. Amy Gentry Amy Gentry says:

    Written in 1941 this was Molly Keane's last original novel before a long dry spell The two that came next were adapted from her plays and show it It's also her most ambitious and as far as I know the only one to directly address the Irish War of Independence which is completely ignored by the polite and oblivious Anglo Irish hunting society in her other novelsIt's definitely odd to see Keane's seriocomic style embracing full on Victorian melodrama characters confessing secret pregnancies and even adventure scenes desperate gunmen hiding in caves The compressed timescale of the novel makes it seem as if it were influenced by Keane's recent success at playwriting but on the whole it feels cinematic than stage y the ending recalls Rebecca and the IRA toughs one nicknamed the Killer Hollywood gangsters These elements were however drawn directly from Keane's own childhood and adolescence Ballyrankin the big old 18th century house where she grew up was burned by the IRA during her last year at boarding school The gunmen supposedly dragged chairs out on the lawn for her family to sit in while they watched an amazing detail that might have made the climax of the novel come alive if she'd included it Instead Keane's lengthy attempt at an action seuence drifts into cliche Similarly the real life incident of two active duty English officers being captured on their way to an Anglo Irish tennis party because in the middle of a war it's still very important to play lawn tennis doesn't feel either as horrifying or as silly as it should Dilating these anecdotes into full scale plots diminishes their impact somehow It's fun but it feels made up which it very much isn't Not until Good Behaviour with its fractured narrative and black humor did Keane really get a handle on the tone she would have needed to make this book work Still as in Keane's other mature works there's plenty of originality and brilliance Perhaps the most harrowing thing in the novel is its depiction of elder abuse a theme that runs through Keane's novels but is explored in shocking detail here

  4. Adelaide Mcginnity Adelaide Mcginnity says:

    A few excellently rendered characters in particular Nan and an exuisite setting cannot save this book from its major damning flaws The prose is way too literary for its own good The plot is very predictable particularly for someone who has read Rebecca whose ending this book rather shamelessly steals But perhaps the most egregious flaw is Foley's timeline By the book's own internal logic Foley cannot be older than 17 which makes him a year younger than Grania and only a year older than Dottie who supposedly looked up to him when she was a child and rode ponies he was trying to sell when she was eight ie when he was nine This makes no sense; his character is clearly rendered as that of an older young man of at least 23 or so and he definitely takes the older role in his love affair with Grania Does time simply move faster at Mountain Brig than Aragon? Or did Molly Keane need to do a couple rounds of revision to make her story internally consistent? I favor the latter

  5. Carrie Carrie says:

    Compelling novel written in 1941 but set in 1920 concerning two intense days at an Anglo Irish estate Think Downton Abbey with gutsy realism including the IRA Excellent read My copy is a 1985 reissue by Virago Modern Classics which were a precursor to Persephone Books I will be looking for of these in used bookstores based on the uality of this novel

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