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.
The synopsis reads:
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.