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Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden
Molly Fox's Birthday is set on June 21, the longest day of the year, and the birthday of famous Irish actress Molly Fox. Molly, as usual, is absent for her birthday, but the narrator, a playwright using Molly's Dublin home while she's away, is fighting writer's block. The playwright muses on her friendship with Molly, and their common friend, Andrew, an art historian. Andrew drops by with a gift for Molly on her birthday. June 21 has traumatic memories for Molly, the playwright worries for her alcoholic brother, and Andrew still grieves for his brother who was killed during The Troubles. Deirdre Madden's novel has received positive reviews with The Independent saying, "What is striking about Molly Fox's Birthday is the faintly ironic decorum of its telling, its almost Aesop-like animal symbolism, and the scope of its implications. Deirdre Madden has written a novel of great astuteness and felicity."