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  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875510
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

The Green Road

A book about family, selfishness and compassion on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, from the Booker Prize-winner.

A book about family, selfishness and compassion on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, from the Booker Prize-winner.

Hanna, Dan, Constance and Emmet return to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas in the home their mother is about to sell. As the feast turns to near painful comedy, a last, desperate act from Rosaleen – a woman who doesn't quite know how to love her own children – forces them to confront the weight of family ties and the road that brought them home.

See also: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Novel Award
Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize


  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875510
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Anne Enright

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has written two collections of stories, published together as Yesterday’s Weather, one book of non-fiction, Making Babies, and six novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Forgotten Waltz, which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Green Road, which was the Bord Gáis Energy Novel of the Year and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.

Also by Anne Enright

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Praise for The Green Road

Enright won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for The Gathering and this triumphantly accomplished novel puts her in the running to do the double.


Glitteringly good.

Kerry Fowler, Sainsbury’s Magazine

Confirms her as one of the most significant writers of her generation.... A master. She has certainly produced a masterly work.

Sunday Times

The novel’s form beautifully embodies its theme… Enright magics back a vanished time… [A] slow-burning, powerfully erupting novel.

Michele Roberts, Independent

This is a captivating, spellbinding evocation of how your nearest and not-so-dearest can wreak emotional havoc.


An intense and thought-provoking read about family, behaviour and consequences… Will resonate long after the final page.

Jacqueline Kilikita, Stylist

Enright is a writer with a wonderful and enviable lightness of touch… This is a wholly delightful novel, and a wise one.

Allan Massie, Scotsman

This is an insightful family portrait, by turns sensitive and stark, in which the challenges of modern life are tempered by moments of grace.


A memorable novel about family and legacy.

Good Housekeeping

[Enright] is witty, sharp, profound, perceptive and often very funny.

Sue Gaisford, Financial Times

One calls this a novel but it could just as easily be a selection of short stories, each perfect of its kind… This is masterly prose… It’s a feat.

Melanie McDonagh, Evening Standard

As the book snaps shut you almost want to applaud. That’s how good The Green Road…really is.

Cath Turner, Nudge

What truly distinguishes The Green Road from so many other contemporary novels is the manner in which it is written. The pages slip by and nary a wrong note is struck. It is an enviable achievement and one which cannot help but bolster Anne Enright’s well-deserved reputation as one of Ireland’s finest novelists.

Alan Taylor, Herald

This novel should confirm Enright’s status as one of our (their?) greatest living novelists. I hope she can be persuaded to do a sequel.

John Sutherland, The Times

A book of brawny prose sheathed in cool intelligence.

The Economist

A beautifully observed study of motivation and memory, nuanced and funny and sad.

Eithne Farry, 5 stars, Daily Express

Anne Enright is one of Ireland’s most feted writers and The Green Road will only cement her position. Her extraordinary powers of description can crystallise a moment or a whole period of history in the tightest of prose and make this saga of family relationships…a must-read.

Mernie Gilmore, 5 stars, Daily Express

It’s Enright’s ability to capture with such wit and exactitude the multi-faceted, many-textured realities of her character’ lives that keeps the pages turning.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Enright has written yet another wise and sophisticated novel... Simple and brilliant. You can’t even really call this ‘brave’ writing, because what makes Enright so good is the feeling that she was never afraid in the first place

Claire Lowdon, Literary Review

Like her Man Booker winning The Gathering, this new family saga is beautifully executed.

Ruth Scurr, Spectator

‘[Enright] is that rare thing: a very, very good writer… I settled into the book in a way I hadn’t done for weeks; the world of it seemed to me more transfixingly real than anything else, for the time I was reading it. When a writer of Enright’s quality pays such attention to the way that things really are, all we can do is pay rapt attention back.

Emma Townshend, Independent On Sunday

This is a rich, capacious story, buoyed by tender humour.

Ron Charles, Washington Post

A piercingly beautiful collection of set pieces about the unresolved ebb and flow of family relationships.

Claire Allfree, 4 stars, Metro

Never self-important, never self-conscious, [Enright’s] huge, dazzling unnerving ability to observe, catch the telling detail, and dissect what we are like, has produced wonderful and wonderfully enjoyable writing… With each book Enright goes beyond her earlier achievements.

Niall MacMonagle, Sunday Independent

With The Forgotten Waltz in 2011…Anne Enright really found her voice. She returns to it in her new novel, The Green Road.

The Economist

[A] brilliant, devastating, radical novel.

Kate Clanchy, Guardian

[A] wonderful book.

Woman’s Way

The Green Road is true and rueful, as terribly adult in its clarity as its battered Madigans.

James Wood, New Yorker

Enright has delivered a fine work about how you can’t escape the past.

John Dennehy, National

The novel of [Enright’s] already storied career.

Irish Central


Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books

With language so vibrant it practically has a pulse, Enright makes an exquisitely drawn case for the possibility of growth, love and transformation at any age.

People Magazine

No-one quite matches Enright for her quality of writing, her deftness of insight.

Neil Stewart, Civilian

Enright is a shape-shifter who gets into the nerve centres of her creations; the power of her prose lies in its absence of ego. The Green Road is a devastating novel about home and how savage a place it can be.

Frances Wilson, New Statesman

The Green Road has been receiving glowing reviews and it's easy to see why. The story, set over four decades, gives us deep insights into the five main characters, all of whom tell us something about ourselves as Irish people, and all of whom you are sorry to leave as a reader.

Edel Coffey, Irish Independent

Enright is the most extraordinary writer – her style is simple and honest, no gimmicks, just straight to the heart.

Victoria Hislop, Sainsbury’s Magazine

A powerful evocation of leaving and returning home.

Ruth Scurr, Financial Times


Fiona Wilson, The Times

Watch out for it come Man Booker time.

Sunday Times

Enright captures beautifully the tensions of…forced festive gatherings, the sibling rivalry and the maternal melancholy of a woman who does not understand her feelings towards her own children.

Good Book Guide

Richly and sensuously realised, it’s vivid with the particularity of places and people and bruisingly intelligent.

Tessa Hadley, Guardian

Enright shows real insight and perception when it comes to family relationships. It’s a well-structured and well-paced narrative.

Mandy Jenkinson, Nudge

Written with raw and brutal honesty, this is one to savour.

Justine Carbery, Irish Independent

Enright’s writing is sharp and lucid and full of beautiful phrases and descriptions.

Reading Matters

I love Enright’s style and the spidering out of the siblings’ lives.

Claire Skinner, Daily Express

There is beauty and darkness, hypocrisy and humility; it wouldn’t be an Irish novel without them.

Sarah Churchwell, New Statesman

The Green Road, about one Irish family, confronts all that is essential: love, death, mothers and our own flawed selves. It is written with a kind of tenderness, beauty and insight that transmogrifies humdrum experience into the epiphanic and back again.

Arifa Akbar, Independent

Blisteringly funny and keenly perceptive.

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Deeply affecting, crackling with wit, and consistently magnificent.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

A globe-trotting, kaleidoscopic portrait of Irish siblings and their difficult mother.

Justine Jordan, Guardian

A magnificent novel about family and belonging told in stark yet sparkling prose.


A fierce, funny, loosely woven family saga.

Alex Preston, Observer

[A] darkly glinting novel of family life.

Ruth Scurr, The Spectator

A bravura example of shifting voices and perspectives, all of which benefit from Enright’s splendid prose and careful restraint.

Sarah Churchwell, New Statesman

Enright dissects [her character’s] foibles with warmth, wit and a bracing lack of sentimentality.

Simon Kuper, Financial Times

A book you don’t put down until it is finished, dragging you right into the heart of another Irish family as only Anne Enright can.

Keelin Shanley, Irish Times

A family saga, beginning with intense and beautifully detailed character studies.

Mark O'Halloran, Irish Times

I... enjoyed The Green Road for the dialogue, the clever narrative structure, and the gnarled, contemporary sense of family values.

Paul Durcan, Irish Times

I could not put it down. Chapter two is a masterpiece.

Edna O'Brien, Irish Times

Stylish prose that charts the fortunes and misfortunes of this family over a period of 25 years.

Anne O'Neill, Irish Times

In this brilliant, captivating novel, the poised, impossible and always disappointed matriarch Rosaleen Madigan makes life difficult for her children at a Christmas gathering.

Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express

Few Novelists pick apart domestic relationships with the poetry and precision of Anne Enright.

Claire Allfree, Metro

Sharp yet oh so subtle storytelling […] this is an author at the height of her formidable powers.

Stephen Meyler, RTE Guide

An exquisitely written portrait of a family, and a country, on the cusp of enormous change.

Paul Nolan, Hot Press

Exquisitely written and hugely enjoyable.


A brilliant approach to the sadness of a disconnected family, who are like satellites out of sync.

Anthony Cummins, Sunday Telegraph

Enright’s virtuosic tale of an Irish family- the Madigans- across continents and decades withholds closure but doesn’t skimp on pleasure

five stars, Daily Telegraph

A compelling novel, full of astute observations, beautifully written, sometimes stark and other times aching with longing

Collette Sheridan, Irish Examiner

The sweep of the book and Anne Enright's way fo pulling this global migratuon story together with such energy and detail puts her in somewhere beside Toni Morrison

Independent, Ireland

Heart-wrenching novel… The surgical precision of Enright’s writing makes you feel that she can, in Wordsworth’s words, "see into the life of things". There is a singing simplicity to it that tugs at your heart…A masterly work.

Christina Patterson, Sunday Times

Beautifully observed. Enright is a great writer.

William Leith, Evening Standard

Bold and brilliant.

The Week

Incredible… I’m totally captivated.

Annie Mac, The Sunday Times

An evocative story about family ties and belonging.

Western Morning News

A brilliant read.

Western Morning News

A story of fracture and family, selfishness and compassion.


Sharply funny portrait of an Irish family meeting for a final Christmas.


Within pages I was wrapped in the warmth of Enright’s prose… This is a beautiful book… Enright is unquestionably a fantastic writer who, for me with this novel, conjured up the world of a family with all its highs and lows that felt like they might be having this reunion down the end of your road… Enright does two of my favourite things in fiction. She makes the ordinary, and everything we take for granted, seem extra ordinary. She also gives voices to those who have not been able to share their tales… The writing is stunning.

Simon Savidge, Savidge Reads

An evocative story about family ties and belonging. Anne Enright is deservedly a well-respected writer.

Western Morning News

Enright's novels are fantastically well-crafted, eloquent and funny… Each character is beautifully realized… She finds unexpected adjectives, brilliantly exact description, the spot-on emotion. Her writing is lyrical but always unsentimental. There is pleasure in reading every paragraph, and an enormous wisdom throughout the pages.


Truly wonderful… The dialogue is particularly brilliant… It completely envelops you in the story and will leave you wanting more.

Belfast Telegraph Morning

Wonderful… The dialogue is particularly brilliant, capturing all the barbed snappiness of dinner with siblings.


I fell headfirst into the beautifully written prose of this novel, so authentic and charming in its telling of one Irish family over more than two decades. Each vibrant character gets a turn in almost short stories of their own that feel almost like entities in their own right. I adored it.

Cathy Levy, Red Online

A resonant, masterly work.

Sunday Times

[An] exceptional novel.

David Nicholls, Guardian

This is a flawless book, it’s utterly flawless… It has just touched so many other readers. This book is heartbreaking… A beautiful examination of unhappy families… The power of Anne’s writing is you all see a reflection of your own family…it’s tender and it’s beautiful and deserves to be widely read.

Victoria Sadler

Enright is undoubtedly one of our most prominent novelists

Elif Shafak, Week