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Someone by Alice McDermott

  • Dec 1, 2013 · 4:00 PM
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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.

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  • Cindy

    Miss you guys! Have fun on Sunday and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

    1 · November 30, 2013

    • Quen

      We miss you too! Come back when you can :-)

      1 · December 2, 2013

  • Christy

    I ran across this Alice McDermott fiction essay from the New Yorker. Thought it might be of interest!

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • Nellie

    I'm out of town this weekend and won't be able to attend.

    December 1, 2013

  • Amber H.

    Hey all. I will have the following tomorrow:

    coffee, water, wine, pop

    roasted chick pea, mango and strawberry salad
    creamy broccoli soup
    vegetable cake

    apple pie and sopapilla cheesecake

    if you have something special that you like to drink, you might want to bring it

    November 30, 2013

  • Donna B.

    Sorry to have to miss Sunday's meeting. Some unexpected but welcomed company arrived. Not real sure if they will be still here on Sunday. Didn't want to wait until last minute.

    November 29, 2013

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