The Marriage Bed Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Marriage Bed

Touchstone, Jun 2004, 23.00, 289 pp.
ISBN: 074325497X

Up until 1907, Dierdre O'Coigligh lived on the impoverish Great Blasket Island off the Irish Coast until she was fourteen when her parents died. She feared the sea and never crossed it until her grandmother left her with no choice. The teen orphan was dumped at the Enfant de Marie Convent on the mainland because her grandmother insisted that she was too old to raise a young lass.
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At the Convent, Dierdre meets wealthy novice Bairbre O'Breen, a widowed mother who is a key benefactor. Through Mrs. O'Breen, Deirdre meets Bairbre's brother Manus, an architecture student. He falls in love with Dierdre-and his mother feels she is acceptable as a daughter-in-law. Instead of becoming a nun, seventeen years old Deirdre agrees to marry Manus. After the ceremony, they move to a house in Dublin that his mother furnished. They have two delightful daughters, but Mrs. O'Breen demands a grandson who will be a priest regardless of how the lad or his parents feel because the matriarch has secret scandals that she feels need heavenly intervention to remedy.

THE MARRIAGE BED is a look at Ireland in the years just prior to World War One. The story line provides the reader with a glimpse at middle class life and the influence of family on members.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Marriage Bed

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Irish Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   In-laws Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Irish Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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