>Martin McDonagh, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996)

[Denne bog er ikke oversat til dansk]

This Irish work is not traditional crime, but drama. The reason why I have decided to write a short review is that this story about an old, ailing mother and her fortyish daughter is an excellent psychological thriller.

The whole drama takes place in a rural cottage in County Galway, and the best way to give you an impression of the main characters is probably through a somewhat long quotation:

Mag: I do be scared, Maureen. I be scared what if me hand shook and I was to pour it over me hand. And with you at Mary Pender´s, then where would I be?

Maureen: You´re just a hypochondriac is what you are.

Mag: I´d be lying on the floor and I´m not a hypochondriac.

Maureen: You are too and everybody knows that you are. Full well.

Mag: Don´t I have a urine infection if I´m such a hypochondriac?

Maureen: I can´t see how a urine infection prevents you pouring a mug of Complan or tidying up the house a bit when I´m away. It wouldn´t kill you.

Mag: (
pause) Me bad back.

Maureen: Your bad back.

Mag: And me bad hand. (
Mag holds up her shriveled hand for a second.)

Maureen: (
quietly) Feck … (Irritated.) I´ll get your Complan so if it´s such a big job! From now and ´till doomsday! The one thing I ask you to do. Do you see Annette or Margo coming pouring your Complan or buying your oul cod in butter sauce for the week?

Mag: No.

Maureen: No is right, you don´t. And carrying it up that hill. And still I´m not appreciated.

Mag: You
are appreciated, Maureen.

Maureen: I´m not appreciated.

Mag: I´ll give me Complan another go so, and give it a good stir for meself.

Maureen: Ah, forget your Complan. I´m expected to do everything else, I suppose that one on top of it won´t hurt. Just a … just a blessed fecking skivvy is all I´m thought of!

Mag: You´re not, Maureen.

Maureen slams a couple of cupboard doors after finishing with the shopping and sits at the table, after dragging its chair back loudly. Pause.

Mag: Me porridge, Maureen, I haven´t had, will you be getting? No, in a minute, Maureen, have a rest for yourself …

Even my 18-19-year-old students loved this, and several of them admitted that they had been reading ahead! A horrible story about the relationship between mother and daughter, with a strong element of pitch-dark, Irish humour.


About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in drama, Irish, review. Bookmark the permalink.

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