Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests








Friday, March 29, 2019

"The Accidental Wife" - A Short Story by Orla McAlinden - from 2014 Collection









Website of Orla McAlinden


“The Accidental Wife"  is The Title  Story in  Orla McAlinden's  award-winning debut 2014 Collection of set in Ireland short stories.  

I first encountered the work of  Orla McAlinden in September of last year when I read her novel The Flight of the Wren.  Everyone who has read this book loved it, for sure I did.  Here were  my opening thoughts 

"No other, of the numerous  works of fiction and nonfiction I 
have read on the Irish Famine Years (1845 to 1849) comes as close to capturing the lived experience of the Irish people than Orla McAliden’s darkly beautiful debut novel, The Flight of the Wren."

The Flight of the Wren is just an amazing book.  It would make a great movie. 

Of course I wanted to read more of McAlinden's work.  I was happy to discover she previously published a collection of short stories.  The stories in The Accidental Wife are set in Northern Ireland.  They deal with seven decades in the McCann family.  

"The Accidental Wife" in just a few pages covers twenty five years in the life of Marion, a widow, and her daughter Joan.  She lives in a small house in a council     estate, a development that replaced a slum.  Marion now supports the family cleaning houses, doing laundry for the wealthy.  Her daughter after school delivers the launder on her bicycle.  Surprisingly for a charwoman, Marion also gives piano lessons.  This is her way of keeping  a sense of beauty and culture in her house.  Her tone and manners are above her station.  The other women in the neighborhood call her "Lady Muck".  Joan stays in school much longer than the other girls in the area, who drop out to become maids or shop assistants.  

About half way through the story we flash twenty-five ahead.  Joan is now well married, with children and has "more than enough money".  We learn about her marriage, her future in laws, wealthy landowners, who did not want a girl from the councils as a daughter in law.  McAlinden does a marvelous job showing us how Joan became the accidental wife of Dominic over the opposition of both sides of parents.

I look forward to following the work of Orla McAlinden for many years.

I strongly endorse The Flight of the Wren

Kildare, Ireland
Award-winning Irish writer, inspired by Ireland's complex and difficult history.

The Flight of the Wren, Published 2018 winner of the CD Lewis award and the Greenbean Novel Fair. 


The Accidental Wife, winner the Eludia Award, 2014. 

I hope next month to read her story, included in The Accidental Wife, "The Visit", which won the 2016 Irish Short Story Award.

Mel u 














“The Accidental Wife"  is The Title  Story in  Orla McAlindrn's  award-winning debut 2014 Collection of set in Ireland short stories.  

I first encountered the work of  Orla McAlinden in September of last year when I read her novel The Flight of the Wren.  Everyone who has read this book loved it, for sure I did.  Here were  my opening thoughts 

"No other, of the numerous  works of fiction and nonfiction I 
have read on the Irish Famine Years (1845 to 1849) comes as close to capturing the lived experience of the Irish people than Orla McAliden’s darkly beautiful debut novel, The Flight of the Wren."

The Flight of the Wren is just an amazing book.  It would make a great movie. 

Of course I wanted to read more of McAlinden's work.  I was happy to discover she previously published a collection of short stories.  The stories in The Accidental Wife are set in Northern Ireland.  The deal with seven decades in the McCann family.  

"The Accidental Wife" in just a few pages covers twenty five years in the life of Marion, a widow, and her daughter Joan.  She lives in a small house in a council     estate, a development that replaced a slum.  Marion now supports the family cleaning houses, doing laundry for the wealthy.  Her daughter after school delivers the launder on her bicycle.  Surpringly for a charwoman, Marion also gives piano lessons.  This is her way of keeping  a sense of beauty and culture in her house.  Her tone and manners are above her station.  The other women in the neighborhood call her "Lady Muck".  Joan stays in school much longer than the other girls in the area, who drop out to become maids or shop assistants.  

About half way through the story we flash twenty-five ahead.  Joan is now well married, with children and has "more than enough money".  We learn about her marriage, her future in laws, wealthy landowners, who did not want a girl from the councils as a daughter in law.  McAlinden does a marvelous job showing us how Joan became the accidental wife of Dominic over the opposition of both sides of parents.

I look forward to following the work of Orla McAlinden for many years.

I strongly endorse The Flight of the Wren

Kildare, Ireland
Award-winning Irish writer, inspired by Ireland's complex and difficult history.

The Flight of the Wren, Published 2018 winner of the CD Lewis award and the Greenbean Novel Fair. 


The Accidental Wife, winner the Eludia Award, 2014. 

I hope next month to read her story, included in The Accidental Wife, "The Visit", which won the 2016 Irish Short Story Award.

Mel u 









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