[Reading] ➼ The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne ➲ Brian Moore – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk


10 thoughts on “The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

  1. says:

    Judith Hearne, a Catholic middle aged spinster, moves into yet another bed sit in Belfast A socially isolated woman of modest means, she teaches piano to a handful of students to pass the day Her only social activity is tea with the O Neill family, who secretly dread her weekly visits After finishing the wonderful Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which also deals with similar themes albeit on a muchhumorous level I wanted to revisit Judith Herne as I had enjoyed it so much firsJudith Hearne, a Catholic middle aged spinster, moves into yet another bed sit in Belfast A socially isolated woman of modest means, she teaches piano to a handful of students to pass the day Her only social activity is tea with the O Neill family, who secretly dread her weekly visits After finishing the wonderful Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which also deals with similar themes albeit on a muchhumorous level I wanted to revisit Judith Herne as I had enjoyed it so much first time around.I really enjoyed this extraordinary novel and found it a thought provoking insight into loneliness and what it means to be ALONE.This Novel was one of the recommendations from Good Reads and I have to be honest I had never heard of Brian Moore until I purchased this book First published in 1955 this novel is a real classic and I can see why Mr Moore was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is an unflinching and deeply sympathetic portrait of a woman destroyed by self and circumstance Judith Hearne is an unmarried woman of a certain age who has come down in society She has few skills and is full of the prejudices and pieties of her genteel Belfast upbringing But Judith has a secret life And she is just one heartbreak away from revealing it to the world.I was blown away by the writing in this novel as it is so rich in imagery and detail and the pacing is perfect This is quite a small novel but Mr Moore makes every word count and not only do you get a feel for the characters you really are a fly on the wall of the Bed Sit with Judith Hearne I found myself immersed in the characters and could not put this book down.I believe this book has been made into a film starring Maggie Smith Downton Abbey and Bob Hoskins and I really would love to see that.I found this read a true 5 star experience


  2. says:

    I think you re as lonely as a Sunday morningThat never had a Saturday night. That s Judy Hearne, all right, though she honestly likes Sundays It s the one day each week when she has plenty to do First, there s church, followed by her visit to the O Neill household for tea She has such fun thinking of the stories she will tell and the gossip she will share.It began with the long tram ride to their house which gave you plenty of time to rehearse the things you would tell them, interesting I think you re as lonely as a Sunday morningThat never had a Saturday night. That s Judy Hearne, all right, though she honestly likes Sundays It s the one day each week when she has plenty to do First, there s church, followed by her visit to the O Neill household for tea She has such fun thinking of the stories she will tell and the gossip she will share.It began with the long tram ride to their house which gave you plenty of time to rehearse the things you would tell them, interesting things that would make them smile and be glad you had come Because when you were a single girl, you had to find interesting things to talk about Other women always had their children and shopping and running a house to chat about.Oh, but poor Judyif she only knew how the O Neills dread her arrival They make fun of her, and argue over who will have to stay in the room and listen to her tell her same old stories, yet again They fall asleep as she prattles about her life.Loneliness makes us vulnerable, easy prey for telemarketers, bullies and con men But, it also makes us hopeful Today could be the day something special will happen If not today, then maybe tomorrow Judy lives in this realm of possibility She is full of hope, full of maybe Any day now, she could meet a man, and any man could be the man.Judy Hearne, she said, you ve got to stop right this minute Imagine romancing about every man that comes along.But, she doesn t stop.Now, she has a crush on her new landlady s brother, an Irishman recently returned from decades spent in America He sees Judy as an open purse while he entertains impure thoughts about the dewy young maid Poor Judyheaded for disappointment onceBut, she does have one secret love, a passion, if you will, who returns her affections and makes her feel good about herself a love she can rely on in times of trouble.The yellow liquid rolled slowly in the glass, opulent, oily, the key to contentment She swallowed it, feeling it warm the pit of her stomach, slowly spreading through her body, steadying her hands, filling her with its power Warmed, relaxed, her own and only mistress, she reached for and poured a tumbler full of drink.Poor Judy, with her habit of calling out It s only me which only emphasizes her own insignificance She is left with her hopes dashed, her maybes in tatters, and precious little to believe in any This was a reread for me and this time was even better than my first encounter in 1988.A beautifully written, sad, yet lovely novel featuring unforgettable characters, not just Judy, but also Jim Madden, her heartthrob, and Bernie, the landlady s spoiled son Don t Let It Go to Waste Greg Trooper


  3. says:

    Oh sweet lord if there is aexcruciatingly, exquisitely, exactingly, deliriously wretched little book out there, I don t think I could even handle it.What an absolute motherfucking masterpiece.


  4. says:

    I tried to think of adepressing novel than Brian Moore s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, and I came up with exactly nada Even Holocaust literature usually aspires to some mitigating, redemptive element to remind the reader that even though the world is a sick, twisted, hateful, miserable, incomprehensibly fucked up place there are still nooks and crannies of goodness to be found here and there Or what passes for goodness on the sliding scale of values, at any rate Mitigation is s I tried to think of adepressing novel than Brian Moore s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, and I came up with exactly nada Even Holocaust literature usually aspires to some mitigating, redemptive element to remind the reader that even though the world is a sick, twisted, hateful, miserable, incomprehensibly fucked up place there are still nooks and crannies of goodness to be found here and there Or what passes for goodness on the sliding scale of values, at any rate Mitigation is so much harder to come by, however, in the merciless tale of Judith Hearne, a friendless, unattractive, alcoholic spinster who whiles away her empty days aided only by a few tenuous delusions and an increasingly wavering faith in God One particularly brutal aspect of the novel is its shifting perspective usually it is through Hearne s eyes that we take in this artfully bleak Belfast, but occasionally we sidle over to other characters viewpoints minor characters as well as major ones through which we discover much to our horror that Hearne s already gloomy opinion of her world doesn t quite go far enough These people pity and mock her beyond even her worst suspicions I read this book approximately twenty years ago in my college Irish Lit class, and it was the only thing I remember reading in that godawful class that I actually loved Fuck off, W.B Yeats Later, when I was living with my partner in crime, I read the book out loud to her in installments nightly because we had no television Recently, I saw that NYRB republished this and I wanted to see if my youthful opinion was trustworthy And well let s just say that once in a while I stumbled into correct opinions when I was young and idiotic that The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is a great novel is certainly one of them There is also a serviceable film version of the book as a result of which I am unable to picture Judith Hearne as looking like anyone but Maggie Smith But it s a shame about the cover design on this The garish wallpaper is completely appropriate for the likes of Judith Hearne I just don t like the gimmicky woman with the wallpaper skin Although the woman is not a baby, there s something gallingly Anne Geddes ish about the technique But I guess you can t have everything In Judith s case, you can t even have anything


  5. says:

    This bleak, raw powerful story of the mental disintegration of a lonely Belfast spinster was a very accomplished debut novel that must have seemed quite modern in 1955 At the start of the book we see Judith Hearne moving into new lodgings in the house of Mrs Henry Rice The first half of the book is quite comic in tone, with darker undercurrents that increase as the story proceeds Judith has sacrificed her best years to caring for a tyrannical aunt, and now has occasional work as a piano teach This bleak, raw powerful story of the mental disintegration of a lonely Belfast spinster was a very accomplished debut novel that must have seemed quite modern in 1955 At the start of the book we see Judith Hearne moving into new lodgings in the house of Mrs Henry Rice The first half of the book is quite comic in tone, with darker undercurrents that increase as the story proceeds Judith has sacrificed her best years to caring for a tyrannical aunt, and now has occasional work as a piano teacher while dreaming of better things and relying on her Catholic faith.One of her fellow tenants is the landlady s brother James Madden, who has recently returned from 30 years in America Both James and Judith see each other as possible means of escape from their routines and they embark on a tentative courtship But when their illusions are shattered a calamitous chain of events ensues view spoiler as Judith seeks solace in alcohol, loses her faith and self respect and burns her bridges hide spoiler The second half is so relentlessly sad and bleak that I found it almost painful to read, but the book remains haunting and probably memorable


  6. says:

    There is someone in my life who partly reminds me of Judith Hearne Along with Judith, this person has the complete inability to see things from other s point of view, or to see reality in the harsh light of day As a result, her entire outlook and perceptions of people are severely skewed Judith s clinginess and desperation is awkward to read about if you know someone like that She s a grasping for attention sort of person talk to me, like me, be my friend, please What could he be thinking There is someone in my life who partly reminds me of Judith Hearne Along with Judith, this person has the complete inability to see things from other s point of view, or to see reality in the harsh light of day As a result, her entire outlook and perceptions of people are severely skewed Judith s clinginess and desperation is awkward to read about if you know someone like that She s a grasping for attention sort of person talk to me, like me, be my friend, please What could he be thinking of He seemed to be trying to remember something, perhaps an engagement, perhaps an excuse to leave her For eventually, they all made some excuse.Judith s friends mock her behind her back and treat her visits as a chore, and at first we think Judith is clueless, and then we start to think what if she knowsWhat if some of these people know they re disliked and tolerated and thought of as a bore and a burden We don t like Judith much She s a silly, irritating and fitful woman, but somewhere in the pitying we start to feel bad for her because for some people there s never a sporting chance at happiness What was she supposed to do 1950s Belfast, a plain unmarried woman who s over 40 Such was her lot She watched the glass, a plain woman, changing all to the delightful illusion of beauty There was still time for her ugliness was destined to bloom late, hidden first by the unformed gawkiness of youth, budding to plainness in young womanhood and now flowering to slow maturity in her early forties, it still awaited the subtle garishness which only decay could bring to fruition a garishness which, when arrived at, would preclude all efforts at the mirror game.When the landlady s brother moves in and shows an interest in Judith she dares to think that her prayers have been answered Again, Judith never stood a chance because view spoiler he s only interested in gold digging and raping the maid hide spoiler Judith starts spiraling down I ve never had religion in my life, so it speaks to Moore s skill as a writer that I was able to feel the weight of Judith s panic and disillusion when her faith is called into question Usually prolonged scenes of religious contemplation can be trying on me, but here it was so miserable and frantic and so beautifully written that I was enthralled Is it just bread This was draining, wretched, bitter and wonderful to read


  7. says:

    One of the saddest stories I ve ever read regarding a woman s life so much the victim to her background and times Judith s wanting to be loved in spite of everything and yet failing is terribly upsetting there was a moment I stop reading as I felt so much pity for her No passion that can be shared for Judith


  8. says:

    Such a sad story of a tortured soul A beautifully executed novel that does pack a wallop I ve had this novel in my to be read pile for years and have had a lot of recommendations for it but the timing just wasn t right for the read.It s an emotionally draining read, of a complex woman, her battle with alcohol, her guilt, and her faith I can t remember having read a novel where a male author has been able to portray a woman so finely, delicately as the author was able to do in this novel.


  9. says:

    In Vito veritasin wine, truth , suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol islikely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.The saying that comes to mind is, if you don t laugh you ll cry This book was so densely bleak yet with enough comic undertones that I found it surprisingly humorous at times Poor Judy is a pitiful character, who is so sorrowful for all the crosses she s had to bear She is a devout Catholic whose weakness will be tempted and faith will be tested Th In Vito veritasin wine, truth , suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol islikely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.The saying that comes to mind is, if you don t laugh you ll cry This book was so densely bleak yet with enough comic undertones that I found it surprisingly humorous at times Poor Judy is a pitiful character, who is so sorrowful for all the crosses she s had to bear She is a devout Catholic whose weakness will be tempted and faith will be tested This author is brilliant in his ability to get into the head of this lonely female character The writing alone made this a 5 star read for me, with all the shifting points of view and vivid descriptions I personally think this would make an excellent book club read but the themes were very dark and the characters unlikable A little gem


  10. says:

    I set aside a book about wind I was reading so I could read this one But books don t like that and the wind never quits, not really, and so it wasn t long before I read this they went out through the brightly lit lobby, past the waiting queues, out into the night wind which rushed like a thief along the streets.Of the they, one of them could be a thief But there s nothing to steal but loneliness The other of they is the eponymous Judith Hearne And lonely she is Eleanor Rigby hadfrie I set aside a book about wind I was reading so I could read this one But books don t like that and the wind never quits, not really, and so it wasn t long before I read this they went out through the brightly lit lobby, past the waiting queues, out into the night wind which rushed like a thief along the streets.Of the they, one of them could be a thief But there s nothing to steal but loneliness The other of they is the eponymous Judith Hearne And lonely she is Eleanor Rigby hadfriends.Something else about that sentence I quoted above The wind is anthropomorphic So are Judith s shoes, with eye buckles that wink or smile Or the two pictures the Sacred Heart and her departed aunt she displays as she goes from room to room They glower or smile at her, depending on her mood And her mood is determined largely by the amount of liquor she has swallowed The first person narrative shifts, from Judith to a dozen orcharacters, but those always looking at Judith Her loneliness, her pain, is largely justified, we learn that way.One character, Bernard, is a youngish, obese, long blond haired, coddled, wannabe poet He s noimportant, but kind ofinteresting, than the others But he said this America sells refrigerators for culture They come to Europe when they need ideas. Not saying he s right But I like when authors put quotes like that in the mouth of an enigmatic character Quotes like that We read in part for the lightbulbs those choice words that make us understand, or merely think The process doesn t have to resolve This can happen now, reading a 1955 novel Or one that quotes the 16th century This, from The Prince When an evil has sprung up within a state thecertain remedy by far is to temporise with it for almost invariably he who attempts to crush it will rather increase its force and accelerate the harm apprehended from it Show him honour, regardless of consequence.I don t know But I do abhor the fractious nature of current things As I implied above, there is an awful lot about drinking in this book That s not why I read it And I didn t see myself in Judith Hearne I have a different kind of loneliness And I ve never been drunk with a Scot More s the pity But someday, maybe And when I do, I hope to get stocious drunk


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The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne Launched Brian Moore S Distinguished Literary Career And Also Because Of His Sensitive Portrayal Of Her Enshrined Judith Hearne In The Gallery Of Literature S Unforgettable Women A Penetrating, Comic, Tragic Tale Of A Plain Woman, It Is A Novel That Occasionally Sings With The Lilt Of The Irish Greats

  • Paperback
  • 255 pages
  • The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
  • Brian Moore
  • English
  • 10 October 2019
  • 0586087583

About the Author: Brian Moore

Brian Moore 1921 1999 was born into a large, devoutly Catholic family in Belfast, Northern Ireland His father was a surgeon and lecturer, and his mother had been a nurse Moore left Ireland during World War II and in 1948 moved to Canada, where he worked for the Montreal Gazette, married his first wife, and began to write potboilers under various pen names, as he would continue to do throughout the 1950s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne 1955, now available as an NYRB Classic , said to have been rejected by a dozen publishers, was the first book Moore published under his own name, and it was followed by nineteen subsequent novels written in a broad range of modes and styles, from the realistic to the historical to the quasi fantastical, including The Luck of Ginger Coffey, An Answer from Limbo, The Emperor of Ice Cream, I Am Mary Dunne, Catholics, Black Robe, and The Statement Three novels Lies of Silence, The Colour of Blood, and The Magician s Wife were short listed for the Booker Prize, and The Great Victorian Collection won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.After adapting The Luck of Ginger Coffey for film in 1964, Moore moved to California to work on the script for Alfred Hitchcock s Torn Curtain He remained in Malibu for the rest of his life, remarrying there and teaching at UCLA for some fifteen years Shortly before his death, Moore wrote, There are those stateless wanderers who, finding the larger world into which they have stumbled vast, varied and exciting, become confused in their loyalties and lose their sense of home I am one of those wanderers.