The Love Object by Edna O’Brien

Cover The Love Object by Edna O'Brien

Not for people newly in love

In a nutshell:

Short synopsis:

A collection of short stories about love in various forms.

Language I read the book in: English

Did I like it? Yes

For people who:

like short stories, love stories without happy end, like glimpses into other people’s lives

My thoughts: 

At the beginning of this book we read a quote by Aristotle that sets the tone of almost all eight stories in this book.

As matter desires form

so woman desires man

I suppose we could discuss those two lines alone for the rest of our lives, but let’s not go into that.

If you are happy-go-lucky and love to read fluffy romance where everybody lives happily ever after, don’t even think about reading The Love Object. I am not easily depressed but after reading those eight stories even I feel melancholic.

Not one of those stories conveys the feeling of  a merry life, happy love or, if nothing else, exhilarating sex. The few times where people are content and satisfied with their situation it is always with an undertone of sadness at the knowledge that it will end eventually.

That being said – and it might be a contradiction in itself – I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Edna O’Brien has people down to a t, and I could relate to the women’s or girls’ behaviour in a lot of the scenes.

I posted about the book beginning earlier, but not only are her first sentences strong, Edna O’Brien also excels at the ending. If you couldn’t be sure about the future of a character while reading the story, she wraps it up nicely with a few well chosen words in the last line. What an impact!

Highly recommended!

A quick overview of the stories:

  • The Love Object
  • An Outing
  • The Rug
  • The Mouth of the Cave
  • How to Grow a Wisteria
  • Irish Revel
  • Cords
  • Paradise

Product info and buy link :

Title The Love Object
Author Edna O’Brien
Publisher Open Road
ISBN 9781453247310
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy The Love Object as an e-book at Open Road Media
More info Video with Edna O’Brien at The Guardian


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. I am not a big fan of short stories except for teaching, but the title Irish Revel caught my eye. Was it set in Ireland? A love story between a Catholic and a Protestant?

    By the way, everyday I am more in love with your captcha 🙂
    Elena’s last post ..Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed


    • Yes, Edna O’Brien is Irish and quite a few stories are set there. No, Irish Revel is not a love story between a Catholic and Protestant, it is about a “party” which is not quite as frolicsome as it sounds.


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