At Weddings and Wakes

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2003 - Irish Americans - 224 pages
3 Reviews
Twice a week, Lucy Dailey leaves suburbia with her three children in tow, returning to the Brooklyn home where she grew up, and where her stepmother and unmarried sisters still live. Aunt Veronica, with her wounded face and dreams of beauty, drowns her sorrows in drink. Aunt Agnes, an acerbic student of elegance, sips only from the finest crystal as she sees Aunt May, the ex-nun, blossom with a late and unexpected love. And all the while, the children watch, absorbing the legacy of their haunted family. At once a moving evocation of life's inexplicable calamities and a magical celebration of childhood and familial love, AT WEDDINGS AND WAKES is the story of three generations of an Irish-American family through the eyes of its youngest members. With eloquence and grace, master storyteller Alice McDermott transforms everyday experience into the heroic and universal.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - handy1 - LibraryThing

Though I admired some of the writing, I found the book to be poorly constructed overall. I'm an attentive readers, but found myself struggling to differentiate characters, and found the authors seemingly random jumps back and forth in time, and in voice, to be further disorienting. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Donna828 - LibraryThing

Three children learn about their family through observations and overheard whispers during cocktail hour...this is an Irish Catholic family, after all. They learned bits and pieces of family history ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Alice McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 27, 1953. She received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1975 and an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire in 1978. After graduating college, she got a job reading unsolicited manuscripts for Redbook magazine and did some freelance reading for Esquire. She has taught writing at American University, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of California at San Diego. Currently, she is the Writing Seminars Professor of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Department. Her short stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker, Seventeen, the New York Times and the Washington Post. She has written several novels including A Bigamist's Daughter, At Weddings and Wakes, Child of My Heart, After This, and Someone. That Night was made into a film starring C. Thomas Howell and Juliette Lewis in 1992. She has won several awards including the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 for Charming Billy, a Whiting Writers Award, and the 2008 Corrington Award for Literature.

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