In the news: English lecturer review “Harvester” in the Irish Times

Humanities

In an article in The Irish Times, WIT English lecturer Margaret O'Brien gives her thoughts on Lisa Harding's novel "Harvesting".

“In those rooms with those men, I’m not real, ever, and playing a part is the only way to get through.”

“I run like the rabbits run when they know they are being hunted. Even though I’m smaller and my sandals are loose around my ankles, I’m still the fastest…” observes 12-year-old Nico as Harvesting opens. The scene is a rural setting, in an as yet unnamed country, where we meet children on the cusp of adolescence, playing freely, away from adult supervision.

The novel is structured as alternate chapters voiced in turn by two narrators. We first meet Nico, climbing a tree, racing with her dog, diving into the watering hole in her cream cotton dress. Through Nico’s eyes we see and hear the difficulties faced by a family, a community, with few resources and the further difficulties faced by the females here who it seems are either a commodity (Nico) or a skivvy (Nico’s mother), neither of whom have a voice, much less a choice. Although we learn that Nico is...

Read the full book review in The Irish Times.

Read more about Margaret O'Brien.

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