Large Print - 2013
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A fully realized portrait of one womans 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 McDermotts 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 McDermotts 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 McDermotts novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another.
Maries first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brothers 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 Maries 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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Wheeler Publishing, 2013
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410463258
Branch Call Number: FICTION (LARGE PRINT) McDermott, Alice
Characteristics: 351 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


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Jan 16, 2019

I'm always drawn to books that take place in cities I know and love! This tale did not disappoint.

ArapahoeJill Oct 15, 2018

A lovely, short read that evokes the time and place of her storytelling. This was my first time reading McDermott's literary work and I was drawn in by the way she crafts a narrative. Her sentences modulate between simple to artful. McDermott weaves the story of Marie Commeford's life, growing from girl to woman in Brooklyn, experiencing her first love, her first job and through loss, love, and temporary blindness, you are drawn in by this simple, but artfully crafted work. I found the way that she bounced around in the timeline of the story intriguing. I will definitely explore more of McDermott's other literary works and learn from her as a writer.

booklady413 Apr 22, 2015

Marie lives an average life, but she longs for "someone". As a child of Irish immigrants living in what is now downtown Brooklyn, her story takes us from her childhood until old age. Interwoven with heartache, lost love and family obligations, we see a life lived through days. An excellent read.

madison382 Mar 04, 2015

I really enjoyed reading this book, I was sooo sad when I came to the end. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Aug 03, 2014

This is my first read with this author and
it will be my last! The fact that it won
a high award is bewildering. The plot
eludes me, the characters are one
deminsional, McDemott's writing style
is disjointed with endless descriptive
paragraphs. Little if any dialogue or
interactions between charachters. They
seem do die off with no context or explanation. VERY disappointing

Jul 01, 2014

This is my first Alice McDermott novel - really good character development , but rather odd format . I'll read more of her work , though

May 31, 2014

This book starts off slow, but it is worth it to stick with it, and it is a good story, a vignette of someone's life. I usually have trouble with time-shifting but in this book it was what made the book a gem.

Jane60201 Apr 18, 2014

A pleasant read. Interesting how the chapters are not sequential in Marie's life.

patienceandfortitude Mar 08, 2014

A lovely book about an Irish immigrant family in Brooklyn. Very touching and beautifully written.

Tish1NYC Mar 08, 2014

Graceful, touching story of a woman growing up and living in Brooklyn in the period post WWII. Superb and one of the best I've read in a long time.

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