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Someone: A Novel Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
McDermott has done it again. Don't be surprised if this novel acts as a magnet for prizes. It's like a perfect miniature, with not a wasted word. The prose is flawless, and
flows like water downhill. It's as if a certain very famous female Canadian short story writer had written a novel. Do yourself a favor and read this novel.
One detail stands out for me. When narrator Marie finally finds a husband (Tom) and is safely in bed with him on her wedding night in a hotel room (with sheets smelling faintly of bleach), she says: "For one of us, we knew, we were certain--this is how we saw the world--there would never again be loneliness. For Tom, it turned out."
This critical observation is never mentioned again. Marie's loneliness is never fleshed out, or described in any way, yet it continues hold sway over the rest of the book. This is what Alice McDermott is so good at, conveying the deepest emotions indirectly, quietly, with just a slight shift of the hip or raise of an eyebrow.
The author has a way with words so that the story lifts off the page and the reader is transported to the time and place in Brooklyn, where Marie was raised in a tight knit Irish immigrant neighborhood. So accurately does she describe the life, in the home and on the street, in the workplace and in the church, in the medical facilities and in the school, that I was reminded of my own years growing up in Brooklyn, watching my brother study for a career while I was expected to be a secretary or a teacher, since not all avenues were open to women then, and I was filled with nostalgia for that simpler time when neighbors actually not only knew each other, but they cared about each other, even as they gossiped and created rumors. They talked to each other almost every day as they lived in communities where neighborliness was the norm.Read more ›
Rating: Five-star (I love it)
ages of her characters, however, I can attest to the complex family dynamics that Ms. McDermott describes. It's
interesting that she references Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church. I was baptized there and attended
released time for religious instructions at the school since I went to public school. The drinking and boozing.
Yes, I'm quite familiar with that activity having been raised in the "projects" by an alcoholic grandmother. Alice McDermott reminds me of a New York-ish James Joyce when she presents the residents of the block: the cripple,
the blind, the dysfunctional, and the most likely homosexual priest, Gabe. In my early years in lower Brooklyn,
I knew Dave with a deformed hand (he was also a raging alcoholic who lived with his two kids in the apartment
next door), Carol whose arm had been burned when she wound up, as a kid, being scalded with hot tea. Another
girl wore "Coke bottle glasses" that did nothing to remedy her cross-eyes. We played with ALL the kids, and
their limitations did not bother us one little bit. Alice McDermott captures that era, that time, when we
were innocent and carefree. Stickball, jacks, hit the stick, potsy, and splitting a popsickle with your best
friend. McDermott has brought me back to the 50's and many memories, both good and bad. Thanks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed this book that showed the life of an average New York City Catholic family.Published 5 days ago by Susan
This is the life story of a perfectly average woman told through specific instances in her life, but not in chronological order so you need to pay attention as you read. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Kate --Cook & Reader
Alice McDermott tells the story of a woman coming of age in the 40's. Memories of her life as a child, a young woman, a young bride, a mature woman and finally an old woman are... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Sheila Preston Comerford
The details in this book made it feel SO REAL. I absolutely felt like I was there and could see everything so clearly. That's what stuck out to me most. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Samantha
Suddenly I was at 80% in this kindle book and I couldn't believe that it was almost over, like the main character's seemingly long, but in retrospect, brief, life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Norwenna