Read The Marriage Bed: A Novel by Regina McBride Online


Deirdre O'Breen is fourteen when she flees the primitive Great Blasket Island, leaving a stunning family secret in her wake before she arrives on the mainland. There, she finds a foreign, civilized world -- and Manus, the architect son of a wealthy, devout family. Together Deirdre and Manus build a marriage that, like Dublin itself, is fraught with hope and threatened by lDeirdre O'Breen is fourteen when she flees the primitive Great Blasket Island, leaving a stunning family secret in her wake before she arrives on the mainland. There, she finds a foreign, civilized world -- and Manus, the architect son of a wealthy, devout family. Together Deirdre and Manus build a marriage that, like Dublin itself, is fraught with hope and threatened by legacies. When Deirdre's secret resurfaces, she is forced to confront the questions "How much of our parents do we carry? Do their sins and frailties shape who we become to our own children?"...

Title : The Marriage Bed: A Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743254991
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Marriage Bed: A Novel Reviews

  • L. W.
    2018-10-26 16:27

    Why did I not care for this book? I think it is partly because the motivations behind almost all the characters is never explained. For some reason, the events left a bad taste in my mouth. Interesting, in a way only Celtic can be interesting? A little bit of history? Sure. But I don't think I consider it really worth the time I put into this short novel.

  • Marcia Call
    2018-10-19 14:40

    Lyrically written novel set in Ireland with a lot of pathos, dark secrets, Catholic symbolism, family drama . . . what you might expect. The ending seems too tidy and it appears as if she is planning a sequel.

  • Shelby Reap
    2018-11-03 21:48

    Transporting novelImaginative and well told story of Ireland, family, and finding oneself. Sets me dreaming of the shades of green, the damp, and the sea.

  • Robert Beveridge
    2018-11-14 18:29

    Regina McBride, The Marriage Bed (Simon and Schuster, 2004)Regina McBride's first novel, The Nature of Water and Air, which I read seven or eight years ago, was an immensely satisfying book. The Marriage Bed is her third, and while I didn't get the same thrill from it that I got from Water and Air, it certainly worked for me on a number of levels.The story concerns Deirdre O'Breen, wife of Manus O'Breen, a Dublin architect. As we open, the two have been married for roughly fifteen years, and Deirdre is lamenting that her marriage has faded at the same time she's sending their two daughters to the same boarding school to which she was sent after a family tragedy long before (the nature of this family tragedy is the central mystery of the novel). We then get an extended flashback from Deirdre's time at the school to her marrying Manus before returning to the present day, where Deirdre must face her various problems, including coming to terms with the mysterious (to us, anyway) deaths of her parents.The big thing about this novel, even more so than with Water and Air, is McBride's writing. It's big, bold, almost palpably sensual, as much in a description of a flower as it is in a sex scene. This is a gorgeously-written book, and losing oneself in its pages is a pleasure. Gorgeous writing, however, can only take a book so far, and almost by definition any book so written is going to be slow going; there is a plot to it, to be sure, but it's quite leisurely at spinning itself out. There's not as much substance under the style as one might hope. It's a book that seems to invite browsing over a period of months rather than reading through. I find this sort of thing enchanting; others might not. There's no denying McBride is a powerful, seductive writer, however, and if you haven't yet encountered her, you should. I'd suggest, however, starting with The Nature of Water and Air and coming to this one after. ***

  • Vivian Valvano
    2018-10-16 17:51

    What to say about a book that I enjoyed at the very, very, very beginning / disliked for quite a long, long, long interval (many unlikable characters who were either totally nuts, religious fanatics of the most extreme and wacky sort; ventures by McBride into alchemy and secret writings that commandeer some of her characters' sexual relationships; the bizarre keeping of a secret by the narrator for far, far, far too long ... Suffice it to say that for the longest time, the only characters I could empathize with were the narrator's two daughters, who somehow, developed basically normally. Miraculous that. Eventually, there's a son, and he, too, is a sympathetic character: still a child at novel's end) / and liked in its final portion, approximately the last quarter of the novel, the denouement. Some sanity prevailed there, and I was relieved for the children of the narrator. I was relieved for her and her husband, too, but to a lesser degree, because of so much that had come before. All in all, though, a disappointing novel.

  • Emily
    2018-10-20 16:52

    I sat down and read this book all in one evening. I should confess that I chose it based on the illustration on the cover. It's a lovely, haunting story about Dierdre, a woman in Ireland who was orphaned at a young age, then sent to a convent, but married just before she took her nun's vows. Most of the book takes place in Dierdre's memories of her childhood and adolescence, as she considers what to tell her adolescent daughters about her own life. The most interesting relationship in the book is between Dierdre and her husband, Manus. They move together and apart repeatedly during the course of their marriage. While this made for a compelling read, it also made me feel extremely well-adjusted, because I can't imagine my own marriage ever coming apart as badly as theirs!

  • Barbara
    2018-11-01 14:52

    I don't know if this genre has a name but this book is similar to novels like The Shadow of the Wind and The Night Circus. If this were a Latin American/Mexican American novel, it would be labeled magical realism. This is the story of Deirdre and her marriage to Manus set in the early 20th century in Kerry and Dublin. The struggle in this book centers around the control exerted by her mother-in-law over their lives, and Deirdre's own past, which is not fully revealed until near the end of the book.

  • Megan
    2018-11-04 18:34

    I didn't really like this novel as much as her previous two. While I appreciate that lyrical, Irish mysticism that she injects into her stories - this just wasn't on par with her earlier books. I liked that everyone seems to get more of a happier, less bleak ending in this book vs. her others, but I wanted more of a happy ending for Deirdre and Manus. And I didn't particularly like the title for this book either. It seems that much of the story wasn't really resolved, but maybe that's what marriage and family relationships are all about - they just keep on going, no matter what.

  • Carly Svamvour
    2018-10-27 20:41

    I've been reading this book a couple of pages at a time. Coming near the end now.Delightful, the way the author, Regina McBride, weaves in and out of the story, beguiling with the narrator's memory of her slightly supernatural parents and the strange family she's married into.I am so impressed with the writing I'm going to order in whatever else this author has written. There is some poetry, as well, and I must see that. It's obvious from her storytelling that her poems will be excellent.

  • Ellen Herbert
    2018-10-28 16:52

    Stayed up all night long to read this beautiful, lingering poetry calling itself fiction. The dance between husband and wife, the mysteries of what can never be known, tragedies and sad, sweet love. Everything I have read by McBride stays in my dreams - I can smell the sea,feel the rough wind, hear the rain on the windows and the lyrical Irish language. Prayers and heresy, magic and Eros, longing and death. Have to go seek out another of her books now.

  • Chaitali Sen
    2018-11-09 19:47

    I've rediscovered the public library and stumbled across this book. It was a strange book. I loved the first half which was sort of gothic and lyrical - reminded me of Jane Eyre but more interesting. The sea, a nunnery, a weird and interesting love triangle. Then the book fell apart. The second half felt like the second half of an entirely different book. Still, I read it in one day all the way to the end and a lot of the writing was very evocative and lovely.

  • Tricia
    2018-11-08 14:30

    Reading the blurb, I expected a much different book than I got, but I don't think that detracted from the experience. It was an interesting story set in the past, and of a place foreign enough to be exotic. The sense of loss of identity felt by the main character was poignant, and the story held my interest well.

  • Angela Wade
    2018-10-22 22:57

    I loved the history, especially the descriptions about the nunnery. And the sense of hope at the end left me reeling!

  • Linda
    2018-10-23 20:39

    Lyrical story of passion and motherhood in early 20th century Dublin. Warning - a bit risque.

  • Mary
    2018-10-26 22:57

    I learned that it was an honor for Irish Catholics to sacrifice their children to the Church back in the day.

  • Maggie
    2018-11-14 16:37

    I'm into Irish culture and history these days, so this appealed to me on that level. Interesting characters and plot twists.

  • Tonya
    2018-10-20 14:56

    I had a hard time with this in the beginning, but well worth it by the end. Loved the writing.

  • Elisabeth
    2018-11-03 18:43

    I found this novel very strange. Part 3 was almost like an ending about a completely different group of characters.

  • Merry
    2018-10-21 20:57

    I don't think Regina McBride is very well known, but I like her writing. Irish magical realism, very eloquent about the senses.