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Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry
In 1959, the outside world is changing, but life stays the same on the isolated Irish farm that spinsters Annie Dunne and her cousin Sarah are trying to hold on to. Annie and Sarah are similar souls, sharing the work and rhythms of the farm together. Her grand-niece and grand-nephew come to visit for the summer while their parents look for work in London. The addition of the children energizes Annie and a potential suitor for Sarah makes her fear for her place on the farm. Sebastian Barry has captured the essence of rural Ireland and the mindset of an aging rural woman looking back on her life. The New York Times says of Annie Dunne, "Barry is also a playwright, and his dialogue is clear and musical. But it's Annie's passionate observations and shifting moods -- rendered in dense prose that's close to poetry -- that fuel this fine novel."