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Dec 17., 7 pm, "Someone: A Novel" 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.

***Ingrid to lead the discussion***

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  • Jane B.

    I enjoyed discussing this book with you tonight. Jane

    December 17, 2013

  • Lynn Danielle S.

    I am sorry, I am coughing too much and it would not be wise to share my cold. Have a wonderful holiday. See you in January.

    December 17, 2013

  • Jai R.


    I am sorry that I will not be able to attend tomorrow's meeting. I will attend the meeting in January.

    December 16, 2013

  • Lynn L.

    Hi all - I will not be at the meeting tomorrow night -- the holidays are upon me & I need one more night to get things done!!! I will call Barnes & Noble tomorrow to remind them of our club meeting there tomorrow night.

    I will post the novels suggested for February -- please vote on them at the December meeting -- if someone could let me know the decision and who will lead that conversation I can post it on the Meet-up site.
    See you all in January -- Happy Holidays!!!

    December 16, 2013

  • Ingrid

    SO VERY SORRY! I volunteered to lead the discussion on December 17th and cannot. Amidst a family crisis. I can't tell you how sorry I am.

    December 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry unable to attend. Will be back in Massachusetts.

    October 23, 2013

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