Mary Lavery, née Dunne lives in New York and is happily married to a much celebrated British playwright. But still she can’t get a grip on her life as she has three personalities who seem to be at war with each other. She suddenly begins to question her entire identity, life and choices. „Who am I any more?“ A question coming up in every one’s life, the later the more profound. You might call Mary a neurotic woman in her thirties, but this would only mean you deny your own insecurities.
To me this novel is about the struggle to know who you are, who you want to be and what put you on the track you are on. Reading the reviews to this book I began to wonder how little appreciated introspection is by quite a lot of readers. Brian Moore found a captivating pace and gripping tension for this seemingly simple and slow-moving story.
Moore is often praised for his portraying female characters, particularly in his 1953 debut The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne. In one line Moore can say more than most authors do in 10. With „I am Mary Dunne“ Brian Moore showed again his mastery in creating a complicated insight with short and compact sentences. He composed the story as an uninterrupted internal monologue by Mary. He stirs you up with her dense speach. You might be totally embarrassed for Mary the whole time you read the book. But don’t take your opposing feelings for Mary for a justification to blame the author.
If you are willing to go for a deeper evaluation of the plot you will find a lot of questions arising about your own life. That may cause discomfort but it’s only a proof of the well-written prose of Brian Moore, who managed to catch you off your guard. This book will make you think and you will want to read it again. After some years.
„I am Mary Dunne“ by Brian Moore from 1968 is by far not outdated. To name the novel „beautifully depressing“ was tellingly describing the very well-written book. I am glad to have rediscovered Brian Moore for myself again and dig for “we are what we remember“.