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Let's discuss "Someone " by Alice McDermott

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age—come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice. Our first glimpse of Marie is as a child: a girl in glasses waiting on a Brooklyn stoop for her beloved father to come home from work. A seemingly innocuous encounter with a young woman named Pegeen sets the bittersweet tone of this remarkable novel. Pegeen describes herself as an “amadan,” a fool; indeed, soon after her chat with Marie, Pegeen tumbles down her own basement stairs. The magic of McDermott’s novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another. Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn—McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight. This is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived; a crowning achievement by one of the finest American writers at work today.

A Publishers Weekly Best Fiction Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

A New York Times Notable Book of 2013

A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2013

An NPR Best Book of 2013

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  • Steph

    Great discussion

    1 · May 5, 2014

  • Beth M.

    Hi, space just opened for the meeting April Meeting! I won't have time to read the book before next Sunday and want someone who has or will read it to attend and enjoy the meeting. See you all in May.

    April 20, 2014

  • Brenda Y.

    If a spot opens up, I would love to come. I already have the two previous novels and both are great reads. I will get this one as well in the hope I can meet everyone.

    1 · March 30, 2014

    • Andrea F.

      We would love to have you there as well, Branda! Just keep checking, usually at least one spot opens up as the meetup gets closer. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

      March 31, 2014

  • Alisa C.

    I would have loved to join this meet-up however this is my anniversary day and will be out of town. Please keep me posted on the next meet-up. I would love to join you ladies.

    March 5, 2014

    • Beth M.

      Hi Alisa, congratulations! The group usually meets the last Sunday of the meeting. Andrea Faulkner, our group leader is very good about posting books three or more months ahead of time to give you time to check the book out of the library or buy it and read it, and plan your schedule to attend meetings. We hope to see you in April. If you enjoy talking about books with fun people you'll love our book club! Just look on the group's website for details, or contact Andrea, or even me if you want too. Beth

      March 6, 2014

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