Tender A searing novel about longing intimacy and obsession from the award winning author of Solace When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties Catherine and James become close as two friends can be She

  • Title: Tender
  • Author: Belinda McKeon
  • ISBN: 9780316344326
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A searing novel about longing, intimacy and obsession from the award winning author of Solace.When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close as two friends can be She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto But as CatherineA searing novel about longing, intimacy and obsession from the award winning author of Solace.When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close as two friends can be She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto But as Catherine opens herself to new experiences, James s life becomes a prison as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to truly be himself Catherine, grateful to James and worried for him, desperately wants to help but as time moves on, and as life begins to take the friends in different directions, she discovers that there is a perilously fine line between helping someone and hurting them further When crisis hits, Catherine finds herself at the mercy of feelings she cannot control, leading her to jeopardize all she holds dear.By turns exhilarating and devastating, Tender is a dazzling exploration of human relationships, of the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we are taught to tell It is the story of first love and lost innocence, of discovery and betrayal A tense high wire act with keen psychological insights, this daring novel confirms McKeon as a major voice in contemporary fiction, belonging alongside the masterful Edna O Brien and Anne Enright.

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      Posted by:Belinda McKeon
      Published :2018-04-23T08:04:38+00:00

    One thought on “Tender”

    1. I'm not sure how exactly this book came to my attention: I hate the cover; I hate the title, which sounds like a YA book about a serial killer or something. But I'm glad it did come to my attention, as it was quite gripping and not really like a YA book about a serial killer, although come to think of it, it DID end up being a bit more like that than expected, so I guess the cover/title weren't entirely false advertising.So you know those books like Flowers For Algernon, or Dept. of Speculation, [...]

    2. Catherine meets James in the late 1990’s as she’s wrapping up her first year at Dublin’s Trinity College. From the moment James stumbles into her room, returning home from a year away in Berlin, the pair share an instant, irreplaceable bond. He is outgoing and playful, confident and funny in ways that perfectly balance her self-conscious reserve. Just a few years after Ireland’s decriminalization of same-sex sexual activity, Catherine is surprised when James reveals he is gay, but finds [...]

    3. On June 26, when the White House glowed rainbow colors after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, it was easy to be optimistic about the progress of gay rights. There are still deep potholes of bigotry across the landscape, of course, but the direction of history seems clear.While writing her new novel, “Tender,” about a young Irishman in 1998 wrestling with his sexuality, Belinda McKeon was acutely aware of this welcome shift in attitudes. “I was worried that it would seem like [...]

    4. I nearly gave up on this book several times out of pure irritation before it made a feeble comeback in the last 150 pages. I don’t say this easily but I disliked this book. I even had arguments with myself over it, telling myself that I must be missing something. Surely it’s not that bad! But I lost those arguments.Half of the time I was not sure what I was reading. Was it a very close and intense study of Catherine’s feelings for James and how it began as wholesome friendship but twisted [...]

    5. Headline:Tender made me feel all the emotions…and pulled me out of one of the more epic reading slumps I’ve had in awhile.What I Loved:- Tender is one of those books that just has all the intangibles. Rather than loving it for concrete reasons (i.e. the plot, the characters, etc), I love it because of the way it made me feel. These are the types of books I get most excited about because they’re hard to pre-select accurately, yet they are generally the ones that end up on my Best Books of t [...]

    6. 4.5 tho, DAMN.This is perhaps the least outlandish book that I could ever review on Outlandish Lit. But it was so amazing, that I can't go on not saying anything about it. It's one of those books that's relatively long, and it's not super plot driven, and it sounds simple up front. But it's a novel that you want to stay in for as long as possible. Tender uses stunning writing and a keen sense of what it is like to be college-aged to create a riveting, close look at a relationship between two peo [...]

    7. Mild Spoilers, kinda.Oh man, I really enjoyed this book. McKeon has a lovely writing style which could easily be mistaken for simple, but I think it's apparent simplicity masks the true skill of her craft. Her ability to revisit that complex time when a person is on the verge adulthood but is still a child. The strength and selfishness of the emotions of the main character, Catherine. How unable she is to decipher them and to work her way through them. How unequipped we all were at that age. Wha [...]

    8. While writing her new novel, “Tender,” about a young Irishman in 1998 wrestling with his sexuality, Belinda McKeon was acutely aware of this welcome shift in attitudes towards same-sex marriage. The novel provides a poignant look at one such conflict of desires in this progressive era. McKeon could have easily slipped into parody or riddled her narrative with dramatic irony, but instead she fills these early pages with cascading phrases that flex with the enthusiasm of young love.Read more a [...]

    9. In Tender, Catherine leaves her sheltered life in small town Ireland for her first year of college. She studies, she drinks, she experiments but still is waiting for more. Then she meets James. Extraordinary. That was what they were. That was a James word; that was one of the words she had got, over the summer, from James.Catherine feels her friendship with James is the extraordinary thing she’s been waiting for her whole life. James is funny and witty; he’s loud and attention drawing. Cathe [...]

    10. Brilliantly heart-rending. Catherine is a terrible woman -girl, really- in a very small, normal sort of way, in that college time of life when we're becoming something and don't know how to do it, and accidentally change everything about the futures we can't imagine. Can't wait to read more from this author.

    11. really disappointing. i loved Solace. Ms McKeon is a gifted writer. unfortunately she created two central characters who are utterly uninteresting, immature and rather irritating!

    12. This book is close to being 5 stars for me. It tells the story of Catherine just as she begins university at Trinity in 1997. A country girl from Longford, she comes into her own when she gets to Dublin. She soon meets James who becomes her closest friend. This novel is the story of their friendship.The story is told through the eyes of an 18-year old, and at times reads a bit like a YA novel. It coveys the pain of young love, and growing up. 1997-1998 in Ireland was a time of change. It ends in [...]

    13. Just gorgeousOne of those books short on story in some ways but long on human truth. The observational power here, and the dexterity with which human emotions are detailed, analyzed and created, is astonishing.

    14. I had read Solace and was really looking forward to this book. Ms. McKeon has the ability to revisit a time in most everyone’s lives when we were just beginning to figure out who we are and what we want to do with our lives. Catherine is a young Irish woman, inexperienced in life and love, at university in the 1990’s. She comes from a rural farm and moves to Dublin to study English and Art. Everything is new and exhilarating, the first time that she has felt such freedom from family restrain [...]

    15. Several years ago I read Belinda McKeon’s debut novel, Solace, which explored the age-old (Irish) story of strained relationships between fathers and sons. In Tender, her second novel, she explores a different kind of relationship, that of friendship between men and women — in this case two young adults, Catherine and James — and the pressure brought to bear on it by peer pressure, academic life, sexual politics and obsession.It is 1997 and Catherine, who comes from a rural farming communi [...]

    16. What a great read. A coming of age novel, Catherine is 18 and studying in Dublin when she mets James. The excitement of being away from home, the parties, meeting new and different people and getting to know people emotionally and sexually. What memories it evoked. I now know there are at least 42 genders so adolescent experimentation allows us to make mistakes, cringe over some decisions and look back at a time in Ireland that was exciting, dangerous and character forming.

    17. Belinda McKeon is great at capturing those subtle interactions between people that are hard to get onto paper. She did it with Solace, and now again with Tender.

    18. Belinda Mckeon has the ability to capture a very specific type of 'Irishness' in an incredibly authentic way. She never descends to cliches, her writing always feels so honest. I loved this book.

    19. Edit to add - there is one mild spoiler here but nothing that hasn't been widely discussed already, I think.I bought Tender shortly after it came out and completed it within 3 days, since I was very interested in the time in question, given I know the narrator's milieu (country student comes up to Trinity College Dublin) very well, having been in a similar situation myself. My feeling is of a novel with quite a few wonderful moments that needs tightening up so that the moments are not detached i [...]

    20. It definitely had its moments, both good and bad, but overall a good read that's a breeze to get through. What I liked best about my copy were the pretty purple-edged pages. Purdy.

    21. From the time I was fifteen I have asked myself the question: Why are straight girls so attracted to gay men? On the one hand they love the fact that they are gay, since it makes them safe, and still fun, but on the other hand they want to have a sexual relationship with them even though the guy is so clearly not interested. As someone who has never been attracted to a man once I know (or even suspect) he is gay I have been extremely frustrated by this question. Therefore I have become obsessed [...]

    22. „Zärtlich“, der Titel und auch der Anfang des Buches lässt sehr auf YA-Literatur schließen, doch eigentlich ist es das nicht. Dennoch habe ich mich zu Beginn etwas schwer getan mit der Geschichte, die Hauptperson Catherine ging mir mit ihrer naiven und pubertären Art sehr auf die Nerven. Wirklich erwachsen wird sie während der Geschichte nicht, doch alles drum herum passt so gut, dass man das aushalten kann. Und schließlich ist ihr Charakter ja entscheidend wichtig für die Geschichte. [...]

    23. Do you ever think back to the time when you were a young adult and cringe? So much awkwardness, embarrassment and self-consciousness. You tried so hard to instantly become the person you wanted to be. Do you remember meeting someone who seemed so revelatory and exciting you became totally fixated on them? You wanted to be with that person constantly and couldn’t stop thinking about them. I certainly remember experiencing all of this. “Tender” takes you back to that confused passion of yout [...]

    24. Oh God I hate this, but lets be truthful right. I won this book "First-read," for honest review. So here goes. Maybe a 2.5. Catherine was extremely annoying. And, and, and, then lets jump to whatever Zoe's doing then back to and, and, and. Ugh!Her thoughts were all over the place. And she contradicted herself ever other page it seems. Also, Catherine & James were boring characters. There was no climax just bits & pieces of ranting and uneasy feelings & anxious emotions. I don't get [...]

    25. Someone recommended this book to me as an interesting take on a love story. "Interesting take" is a hell of an understatement. Tender is a book that made me sick with worry and broke me with how vividly real those feelings are, were, especially in that confusing time of life that I myself still lie on the border of. The beginning is leisurely and dreamy and snowballs into an ending that feels all the more accelerated by the change in formatting and structure, which reflect much of the narrator's [...]

    26. Just started college and living away from home for the first time, inexperienced Catherine meets the seemingly more experienced James. As their friendship develops, Catherine has no ability to accept or understand their different objectives and aspirations.Belinda McKeon handles this coming of age/accepting what you are novel beautifully. The character of Catherine in particular, leaps from the page, and as she tries to steer James back to what she wants or what she thinks he should be, you crin [...]

    27. "It takes special talent to take basic, everyday story material and turn it into high art. Read this book for the audacious and brave perspective that McKeon shines on our very human vulnerabilities. Then, just like I did, read it again for the spellbinding writing. What more can I say? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of novels that I have read twice – back to back. Tender is one of them. " - Poornima Apte, BookBrowse. Full review at: bookbrowse/reviews/in

    28. Let me state up front that I thought McKeon's debut, SOLACE, was excellent. Unfortunately, her second novel left me feeling exasperated in spots. Her story of the highly charged and complicated relationship between Catherine and James, who meet as young university students, is at times overwrought. It's hard to feel empathy for either of them, especially Catherine whose character veers between self-loathing and self-righteous anger at those around her.I look forward to McKeon's next novel. I jus [...]

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