The Best of It

At the center of the stories is Kate, the matriarch, a woman of unrealized possibilities whose disappointments in life are masked by a veneer of cruelty which affects them all, especially her daughter, Bridget, subject of eight of the stories. Beginning in County Mayo, Ireland, the fifteen short stories in The Best of It lay bare the complexities and contradictions, the lights and shadows that plague the immigrant Quinn family as they move from the old and embrace the new. Included in the stories are Beas attempts to remain true to her religious beliefs in a loveless marriage, Timeens patriotic fervor which leads him with Pattons Army into the Black Forest, John who thought he had left behind forever the dyin that so darkened his childhood. Bridget, in the second generation, becomes Sister Bridget whose life in the convent mirrors the aspirations and disappointments of her forebears.