[Reading] ➿ Good Behaviour By Molly Keane – Lectinshield.co.uk

Good Behaviour chapter 1 Good Behaviour, meaning Good Behaviour, genre Good Behaviour, book cover Good Behaviour, flies Good Behaviour, Good Behaviour f623e7d56deb2 I Do Know How To Behave Believe Me, Because I Know I Have Always Known Behind The Gates Of Temple Alice The Aristocratic Anglo Irish St Charles Family Sinks Into A State Of Decaying Grace To Aroon St Charles, Large And Unlovely Daughter Of The House, The Fierce Forces Of Sex, Money, Jealousy And Love Seem Locked Out By The Ritual Patterns Of Good Behaviour But Crumbling Codes Of Conduct Cannot Hope To Save The Members Of The St Charles Family From Their Own Unruly And Inadmissible Desires


10 thoughts on “Good Behaviour

  1. says:

    When I read this in the early eighties, it was a huge eye opener for several reasons It was probably one of the first contemporary novels that made me think ah, now I know what is meant by a classic Even though I was a fairly unsophisticated reader at the time, I could tell that the writing was superb, I just knew that the characters were true to life, and I even suspected that they were portraits of real people I admired the way Molly Keane was able to ridicule all our human foibles while maintaining a certain sympathy for her characters on the part of the reader If she hadn t been nominated for the Booker prize in 1981, this novel would have escaped my attention, and that of many other readers, I suspect Looking back to the early years of the Booker short list, I realise that it brought to our attention some authors who would otherwise have escaped the public eye, and who subsequently did disappear from view for one reason or another Who remembers Keri Hulme and her moving but disturbing novel, The Bone People


  2. says:

    She must have noticed my bosoms, swinging like jelly bags, bouncing from side to side without words she conveyed the impression of what she had seen as unseemly the Fat Lady in the peepshow.Aroon St Charles topsy turvies the pedestal biosphere that doesn t leave the suffocating family life Oops, heads and tails are the same damn fix The outside life must look like dim glamour in her imaginations Other people who don t look like her whirling in arms inside blurry parties Letters from spoiled children in Africa Dear Penthouse, oppression and slaughter Solicitors behind closed doors The future is the same kind of life The past is the same damp material from sobbing wet dreams The rest of the St Charles clan that also includes the servants hold her in their judge first, see later Papa and brother precede her as a joke I hate it when she s grinning with the punchline like they ll start laughing with her Servants conspire to keep the big girl hungry Aroon reminded me of Janet Frame s Faces in the Water when the likewise no safe corner heroine sneaks chocolates from other inmates She quickly eats the short breads and cake slices before her father s pampering cook cum nurse Rose can come back in time I bet he fucked her a time or two Aroon just knows that when her mother is in charge she will never get to eat Rose won t cook for her and the skinny mama never eats Good Behaviour begins when the self pitying fantasy is done Papa left everything to Aroon and she after all can withhold pity and control over them At first I just thought it was a waste to live your life hoping for others to be grateful to you Never trust anyone who says they know what is best for you It is probably a self reassurance that they are living their own the right way if you are doing it too But no, Keane only detuned the hard chairs Rose in the end accuses Aroon Mummie dies to spite her They were always like that Backs turned, you don t fit our parameters of whatever I really think they wouldn t have colluded over anything if Aroon hadn t been there to leave out There once was a brother and his friend probably lover Richard love each other when they can giggle and close their door on Aroon Papa can fuck the governess on the sly No one gave any other fuck about that governess I really just thought it was a shame that anyone thought that was all life had to offer There had to be better lays out there than that old fart Maybe if Aroon had met another man than snotty ass Richard she would have wanted something It was too bad that her fantasies are so limp dicked What is it worth if these boring family members say they appreciate you I wish I could give her that part in Fat Kid Rules the World when the fat kid realizes what he was imagining that skinny people didn t have any problems because they were skinny and start a band I really wish Good Behaviour didn t numb me with the day in and day out of alliances That s probably how dreams died in that purgatory before dreams are born Aroon won t let her sick father have his whiskey the doctor said it was okay I suspected he might have been against it if someone other than the lackluster Aroon had asked him Maybe because she was too good girl to pity him man was gonna die anyway It started to feel like being with them too long every time something happened like Papa and brother infecting their society with jokes about Big Girl Aroon I kinda felt like after all that it wasn t a bad thing if Aroon got one over them They were never going to love her But at least she didn t have to go hungry I don t want to think about all of the ugly women who didn t have jobs or families who loved them They probably ended up in mental institutions like Janet Frame or eeked out in poverty Growing older and colder What do you do before they bury you It is too bad that I felt like I was being buried than Keane saying anything about this I read this on my kindle The whole time I casted different Tamara de Lempicka portraits for the cover Virago use her a lot and the larger than life world is less frame of girls in their places just felt so Good Behaviour and big girl Aroon to me But no I m sure the paperback from them has some irritating descriptor about black humor and raucous whatever anything called raucous instantly puts me in the mood to want to like it less I don t know about the humor in Good Behaviour I wish it had a sense of humor that was internal It is external like theirs a soulless mindless god Hey, you weren t there the day we passed out what other people got Here s a pale copy to watch what it could have looked like, Aroon I wish she had been there when they handed down imagination ANYTHING other than bland stupid Richard She was pining over HIM I wish I could stop reading books that are really just about people wanting to see themselves a certain way and everyone and everything else in the world is about supporting that self vision There wasn t anyone in Good Behaviour not like that.


  3. says:

    Another Anglo Irish family whose members are dedicated to mutual assured destruction, even as they slide into genteel poverty Nobody in the St Charles household would dream of treating the dogs or horses badly servants and local tradesmen don t fare so well But the brunt of their vituperation is saved for one another, with each family member nursing a store of petty grievances, both real and imaginary Our guide for this particular version of hell is the unlovely, delusional daughter of the house, Aroon Neglected by her philandering father, despised by her icy mother, used by her charming brother, she pines for love and approval Her transformation to bitter, vengeful, old maid is inevitable and heartbreaking to watch.The stifling closed world of the decaying Anglo Irish ascendancy is Molly Keane s chosen niche, and nobody captures it better except, perhaps, William Trevor While parts of Good Behaviour are very funny indeed, it is considerably darker and complex than the rest of her books, all of which cover similar ground An engaging, if ultimately depressing, account of a not so well behaved family.


  4. says:

    The St Charles family are hit by hard and changing times in 1920 s Ireland These are the dying days of Anglo Irish aristocracy where appearances must be preserved and emotions muted and controlled.Events are narrated through the eyes of a child, Aroon St Charles, revealing subtle details which are confused and not understood by her, but as a reader reveal the truth she is too young and naive to grasp Secrets, lies and tragedy surround the family as they each struggle with life events Aroon s charismatic father is recovering from a war injury which causes feelings of discontent and failure, but bridges a gap between his children as he strives to face his vulnerability Aroon s mother is cold, distant and shallow with a belittling habit which deepens the separation between mother and daughter.It is a beautifully written novel with a tense, tight style, complex characterisation and moments of dark, black comedy Tension is gradually heightened as economic worries and a lack of initiative begins to drain resolve The perpetuation of good behaviour at all costs, along with a certain arrogance, adds a shocking and ironic twist.


  5. says:

    Good Behaviour is an exquisite read Aroon St Charles is a daughter of Irish upper class family, a Big House family in the country She narrates the going on s of her life and boy, is it vile The book is most often described as a dark comedy and it is indeed very funny at times but mostly it makes the little hair on your back rise and groan with frustration at Aroon s naivety A distant mother, drunkard father,gay brother, many deathsall masked under the icy Good Behaviour Nothing is ever brought above the level of what is decent, not a flinching emotion not a tear not a raised voice Keane trusts her reader to get most of the undercurrents in the novel I didn t get some on my first read and only after reading the reviews were there even so THAT S why he said that moments It is a very layered novel, funny but not hahaha funny Dark and disturbing and in my opinion, very very sad I am not even gonna mention that the prose itself great, which makes it quite a page turner as well.


  6. says:

    Love, love, loved this book Beautiful writing, sad story, great characters Oh, just go and read it The only thing I found odd was that Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift which I read last year, was so very similar, so similar that I m surprised no one has pointed this out Same time period, and similar things happen, although Swift s is set in England and this is Ireland Made me feel a bit weird about Mothering Sunday.


  7. says:

    I shall be careful when referring to warming feet hate to get that mis interpreted


  8. says:

    Just not my cup of tea I couldn t even figure out if it was supposed to be funny or just sad I definitely seem to have different tastes to the rest of my book club although that said, most of them didn t like any of the characters in this, either, so maybe we were in sync this time It also supports my view that I have different tastes to the Man Booker Prize committee, as well I d never have nominated this.


  9. says:

    This is a solid novel that grimly marches through its story, jaw firmly set, while onlookers watch in disbelief how can this plot be sustained by these characters But it is sustained because that s what these characters do, in spite of their fraying, worn thin elbows There s almost no one to like in this book, not even Aroon, who narrates We can t believe how thick she is, how deluded, but Keane doesn t let her story be simplistic Aroon has been so isolated, kept in ignorance, that she knows nothing, perhaps refuses to know anything Come on Rose is not warming his feet when her hand is under the Major s blankets At other times, we want to shout, For the love of God, he s GAY We can t be entirely frustrated with Aroon, though, because her mother is a horrible person, who with tremendous decorum it s all about good behaviour, really engages in relentless verbal abuse of her daughter I ended up filled with pity for Aroon, and in a cheeky twist, thanks to the Major whose serial infidelities become and forgivable maybe , Aroon wins This is than the story of a calcified family It s a look at a fossilized stratum of Irish society, watching as it disintegrates.


  10. says:

    I originally read this book while on semester abroad in Ireland It was presented as an Irish classic, the great comeback from a neglected author I ve reread it many times since, but this time I revisited it after finishing Downton Abbey s third season I wanted to be reminded of the other side of the coin, of what happens when the aristocratic family is unable to change, is locked into destructive patterns, is so entrenched in the idea of good behavior that it destroys itself.This is a brilliant novel It will always be one of my favorites You should read it.


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