Classics Club Spin Lands On A Virago Modern Classic
When I put my list together for the latest Classics Club Spin I was hoping it would land on Anthony Trollope or The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. But it was not to be.
Spin #22 landed on the number 13 which means I am to read Never No More: The Story Of A Lost Village by the Irish born broadcaster, scriptwriter and cookery book writer Maura Laverty.
Published in 1942, it proved popular around the world, though not in Ireland. In fact the novel created huge controversy in her home town of Rathangan, Co. Kildare, where some residents were upset by descriptions of people they believed to be their relatives.
The novel was re-issued as a Virago Modern Classic in the early 1980s. This is the edition that I found in a second hand bookshop in Cardiff .
Never No More was Maura Laverty’s first novel and was based on her own experience of growing up in early-20th-century rural Ireland and her subsequent life in Spain.
Never No More Synopsis
When Delia’s family moves away, Delia goes to live with her grandmother in a farmhouse in the Irish countryside. Here, she experiences the happiest years of her life as she watches the seasons come and go until, one November day, she stands poised for independence – and Spain.
Laverty followed Never No More with another semi-autobiographical novel featuring Delia Sculley, No More than Human. It apparently offended the censor because of its frankness about the female body. The subject matter and the local reaction to her novel reminds me of another Irish author, Edna O’ Brien’s The Country Girls which sent shock waves through rural Ireland when it was published in 1960. If Never No More is only half as good as The Country Girls it will be a delight to read.
There’s an interesting article about Maura Laverty in the Irish Times, which indicates that she was better known for her work on an Irish soap opera called Tolka Row that was broadcast on the RTE television station for four years in the 1960s.
I’ve not had a great track record with the Classic Club spin but did manage to read this one. My review is posted here
16 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin Lands On A Virago Modern Classic”
Never heard of this one but it sounds as if it could be a hidden gem. Hope so!
I hope so too…
I have read both these novels, Never no More and No more than Human, I enjoyed both. I hope you enjoy reading Laverty.
I bought this simply because it was a VMC and there are very few of them around here second hand
I bought 7 second hand Viragos as a job lot some years ago. They look very interesting on their shelf by my desk but I’m no closer to making a start on them.
I’ve done the same with Persephone – the grey covers look very tasteful….
Controversial books are always good!
It’s interesting to see what was controversial at the time but probably now wouldn’t raise even an eyebrow
I feel like some books I’ve read from the 1970s in the U.S. are incredibly racy compared to today. It makes me wonder what changed. Perhaps it was Ronald Reagan’s fault.
What would he have done to bring about this change?
Now that I’m thinking if it, it was more Nancy Reagan and her “just say NO” cleaning up drugs and creating this image of a strong conservative family.
Ah yes I have vague recollections of that ‘campaign’
I have not heard of this Virago. I have, however, heard of the Classics Club. 😉 I once was a member, and then let it go as I felt an unnecessary pressure to read which was turning my joy into a job. Goodness sakes, I retire, and all of a sudden I’m loathe to fulfill many obligations! I hope this novel works for you, and of course, I wish you a Merry Christmas.
That feeling of being pressured to read a particular book is what is swaying me away from doing a second classics club list. It’s taken me so long to do the first one because I’d look at the list I created and couldn’t get excited about any of the books…
I do not think that I had ever heard of Laverty before. The book sounds interesting. It s an old story about family, friends and others being upset with artists for pulling things from real people. I personally know an artist who is involved in this kind of controversy.
Even when the author denies basing their characters on real people, there are still people who are certain they know who the role models were……