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Someone: A Novel Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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In Twenty Years: A Novel
When five college roommates gather after twenty years, can the rifts between them be repaired? Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Rating: Five-star (I love it)
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 ›
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
It stands along the great literary works of fiction that I have felt worthwhile on many levels.Character development, historical setting,description - all are used to follow the... Read morePublished 3 days ago by marylynn
McDermott once again captures a neighborhood, a time. Surprise, right? Marie is a little girl who notices everything. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Mizdizit
I just finished reading the book for my book club. I never read the reviews until I have finished reading the book. My first response was, "What was the point?" Really?? Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kim Phillips
This book was a thoughtful collection of stories about people and the way to know yet don't really know about them. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Linda C.
This is a compelling novel. Intelligent and encompassing of people and place and the poetic details that bring it to life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Estrella
Alice McDermott has a way with words. This was the second novel of hers I've read and, like the other, I reread the first few chapters as soon as I finished because I wasn't quite... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Hoosier Mamma
This book is exquisite. I enjoyed every scene. It reminded me of my aunties. Every life is special and important. And every soul is mysterious.Published 1 month ago by Min's Nana