The Joyce Girl
Rating: 3.5 / 5
What would have it been like to live under the shadow of James Joyce, the much celebrated—if misunderstood—author of novels, such as Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses? Annabel Abbs’s new novel The Joyce Girl gives us some indication. In her narrative, however, Joyce’s daughter, Lucia Joyce, is rightly put in the spotlight.
Growing up in Paris with her exiled parents and older brother, Lucia enjoyed a close relationship with her father and a far more ambivalent one with her mother, Nora.
A talented and innovative dancer, Lucia looked destined to a life on the stage, but her plans are thwarted when she falls in love with the young Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Abbs is determined to give Lucia a voice and, while, at times, annoyingly mannered, she succeeds in gaining our sympathies for a young woman never allowed to fulfil her full potential.