The Forgotten Waltz chronicles a memoir of an affair: an affair of desire, longing and at times, necessity. Gina Moynihan begins her reflection on a night where silence and snow have fallen on a suburb outside of Dublin. Gina recollects her successes, failures and losses throughout her life. Enright explores the interactions of people, touching on the risks, consequences and emotions of everyday occurrences throughout the novel.
Time is not an element adhered to for the plot of this novel. It is whimsical and wandering, but very easy to follow. The novel begins with a picturesque description of the moment Gina Moynihan meets Seán. It’s a brief moment one afternoon in her sister’s garden where she first sees him. Enright begins with this moment, a quiet, serene almost innocent moment and then layers tension, conflict and emotion. Gina’s recollection describes her affair with a married man, Seán, and the effects of that way of life on his daughter, Evie. The Forgotten Waltz weaves throughout their lives but adhering to a linear timeline, returning back to that first quiet moment when things get tense or emotional.
Enright is a favorite author of mine. I thoroughly enjoyed The Gathering and many of her other novels. Her voice is strong and determined; Enright guides you through her novels, never takes a straight path, but never lets you wander. The journey is just as rewarding as the ending. Her writing his powerful and emotional, leaving you satisfied when you reach the unpredictable end.
Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Zach.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by W. W. Norton & Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.