Novels

midnight feast 01 copyMIDNIGHT FEAST Sinclair-Stevenson 1996, Vintage 1998.

WINNER OF A BETTY TRASK AWARD (1995)

‘A story of charismatic starvation (rather like an anorexic Madchen in Uniform), Evan’s prose shimmers somewhere strange and changeable between peculiarly heightened realism and sheer fever.’
- Ali Smith, Times Literary Supplement

‘She’ll give the Dublin Boys a good run for their money one day.’ -Amanda Craig, Literary Review

 ’Superb.’ – Kate Figes, Independent on Sunday

‘A nightmarish tale of two convent girls’ descent into life-threatening bulimia…communicates the irrationality of childhood fears and passions as well as the incomprehensible affliction of eating disorders.’ -  Irish Times

‘A smartly written first novel (with a terrifying ending) proving that Evans knows more about adolescent girls than most of us care to remember. The book powerfully captures the forceful nature of incipient sexuality – unrecognised and therefore unacknowledged – which can run amok in violent, melodramatic imaginings. Her first novel takes us inside the friendships – to all intents and purposes love affairs – between adolescent girls, but her talent lies in dialogue; nuns, schoolgirls, layabout teenage boys who hang around the town are all brought to instant life. The affection and sorrow that underpin this story must spring from the author’s genuine love for her characters.’ – The Independent

‘A fine first novel.’ – The Daily Mail

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page10_1NO DRINKING, NO DANCING, NO DOCTORS (Bloomsbury 2000)

A graceful novel…its humour is an antidote to the sadness at its core – the loss of youth, of love and the flight of innocence.’ – Irish Independent

The interweaving of different times and points of view is so cleverly and lightly done, it becomes like a dance routine. The reader effortlessly goes with the rhythms.  And it’s funny, too – sadly funny.’ – Margaret Foster

Floats beneath the callused surface of rural life past and present…imprinting itself on the reader’s mind with the sort of surefooted, yet subtly unfamiliar stamp that marks a true original. – Irish Times

 ‘A lovely and astonishing book…moving and beautifully written.’ – Jennifer Johnston

‘A very fine piece indeed…an intriguing and entertaining tale of religious fanaticism and repressed passion’ -  The Sunday Tribune

Evans approaches these same preoccupations -nourishment, guilt, sexual prohibition – with a maturity of voice, a calm steady temperature and a new narrative clarity. No Drinking No Dancing No Doctors, a story of the demise of the Poleites, a dwindling Protestant sect in a tiny Southern Irish village gives her the perfect narrative: a repressed culture within a repressed culture. Although driven hard by the plot’s good strong melodrama, bursting with unrequited loves and cruel rejections, self hatreds and remorse, they are allowed the poetry and benignity of the oblivious, and for the first time in Evans’s fiction, the eyes of the distanced narrator –maybe a quiet approximation of a God.’  TLS

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page13_1THE GLASS MOUNTAIN (Sinclair-Stevenson 1997, Vintage 1998)

Maeve is a university fresher. She’s angsty but sweet, and she’s the first-person narrator of this brilliantly observed book…[it] is thoughtful and vivid: a spiritual pen-portrait which touches immacuiately on exactly what it is like to be 18.’ – Independent on Sunday

‘Parts of it will make you cry, parts of it will make you laugh…this woman is to middle class Cork what Roddy Doyle is to Kilbarrack.’ -Irish Tatler

‘There is a need for more books like this about Ireland.’ – Irish Times

‘A vibrantly entertaining text.’ – Sunday Tribune

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