Another 1001 list book for me. I'd not heard of Edna O'Brien before so it was great to discover a new author who has a big backlist.
In the Forest is a novel based on a real life crime in Ireland in the 1990s. Michen is a young man who has been in and out of Irish correction centres - largely run by the church since the age of 10 when he first started committing crimes. Michen spends his teenage years breaking out and making his way back to his home town, where the locals leave bread and milk outside for him, too scared to invite him into their family home.
The novel is written in fragments each chapter skips from focusing on one character to the next. Whilst I quite enjoy this style at the beginning I felt lost sometimes knowin g which character we were now with, especially as many people from the village are suddenly introduced as the focus of a chapter and then not seen again. Once I got 50 pages into the novel it flitted around less and less, and I became steadier reading this novel.
The novel is a good read and tells a great story but I never became emotionally involved with any of the characters - probably due to the flitting around from character to character.