The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

Roddy Doyle, Author Viking Books $22.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-670-86775-2
In Ireland, the euphemism ""she walked into a door"" is so loaded with grim implications of domestic abuse that it is usually whispered, not spoken. In this astonishing new work from Doyle (whose most recent novel, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, won the 1993 Booker Prize), Dublin housewife and mother Paula Spencer narrates her life as a spouse who walks into doors. Hopelessly in love with heavy drinker and relentless sadist Charlo, Paula is gradually engulfed in psychic darkness, every last particle of self-esteem literally beaten out of her. The devastation of her world is made even more wrenching by her chatty, captivating storytelling, flush with Doyle's knack for Dublin humor, vernacular and local color. With this book, Doyle attains a new level of excellence. He writes about a woman's experience with a perception that is rare, a compassion that is scorching and an uncompromising frankness that splinters his heroine's suffering directly into the reader's heart. Doyle triumphs here, with a tough-minded but deeply moving exploration of a wretched marriage, a microcosm of a pervasive situation in Ireland that few will acknowledge. Simultaneous audio edition from Penguin Audiobooks. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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