Someone: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 10, 2013 - Fiction - 232 pages
27 Reviews

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.

A Publishers Weekly Best Fiction Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013
A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nivramkoorb - LibraryThing

This is my 2nd Alice McDermott novel. She is an author who won a National Book Award for Charming Billy which I enjoyed. This book about Marie covers her life through various entry points. It is not ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lilalu - LibraryThing

Several memories or maybe vignettes during the life of a average women, who comes alive and seems much more than average by the end of the book. Sweet and well told, I felt like I could drop by her ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Alice McDermott is the author of six previous novels, including After This; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; and At Weddings and Wakes, all published by FSG. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. McDermott lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.


Kate Reading is the recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been named by AudioFile magazine as a "Voice of the Century," as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. Reading has performed at numerous theaters in Washington D.C. and received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Aunt Dan and Lemon.

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