Someone (Paperback)

By Alice McDermott

Picador USA, 9781250055361, 232pp.

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

September 2013 Indie Next List

“'Who's going to love me? Marie asks her brother after being dumped by her first boyfriend. 'Someone,' he tells her. 'Someone will.' Love is only one of the themes that weave together these non-linear stories in Alice McDermott's latest mesmerizing novel. The tale is told through Marie's memories, as a little girl, an old woman, a mother. Snapshot after snapshot of events in a Brooklyn neighborhood come together seamlessly to tell the endlessly fascinating story of someone's life. -- Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI”
— Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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Description

An ordinary life-its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion-lived by an ordinary, but unforgettable woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott's extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel.

We first glimpse Marie Commeford as a child: a girl in thick glasses observing her pre-Depression world from a Brooklyn stoop. Through her first heartbreak and eventual marriage; her delicate brother's brief stint as a Catholic priest and his emotional breakdown; her career as a funeral director's "consoling angel"; the deaths of her parents and the births of her children-we follow Marie through the changing world of the twentieth century and her Irish-American enclave. Rendered with remarkable empathy and insight, Someone is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived, with passion and heartbreak, a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.



About the Author

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.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. Why does the memory of Pegeen resonate so profoundly for Marie? Is there a similar story from your youth that has had a lasting effect on your life?generic viagra price canada
  2. What does Marie’s mother try to teach her about becoming a fulfilled woman? What exceptional qualities does Marie’s father possess? How does their marriage shape Marie’s vision of her future?generic viagra price canada
  3. Discuss the novel’s Brooklyn neighborhood as if it were a character. What are its most colorful attributes? How is it transformed over the years while Marie grows up? Do its inhabitants support one another, or is their gossip judgmental? Think about their speculation over the gender of Dora Ryan’s spouse and Bill Corrigan’s frailties.generic viagra price canada
  4. Why does Marie resist her mother’s attempts to urge her to adulthood, from how to read a recipe to the importance of finding a job?generic viagra price canada
  5. How is Marie able to look past the tragic death of Mrs. Hanson and focus on the loveliness of Gerty and her baby sister, Durna? Throughout her life, what beauty does Marie find in mothering?generic viagra price canada
  6. What is the role of fate versus free will in Someone? What did Gabe seek and find in religion? What truths about faith did he eventually learn to embrace?generic viagra price canada
  7. What did Walter Hartnett ultimately get out of his time with Marie? Was she naïve to fall for him, or was he powerfully persuasive? What made Tom Commeford a good match for her?generic viagra price canada
  8. What does Marie discover about life by working for Mr. Fagin?generic viagra price canada
  9. Discuss the story of Margaret Tuohy. How was Marie affected by the bishop’s choice of elegant burial clothes for his sister? What did the experience show Marie about the role of the survivor?generic viagra price canada
  10. As Gabe tells the story of the woman at his first parish who bought mints before attending church each week, what is revealed about the importance of avoiding assumptions? How do perceptions and misperceptions shape the novel’s storyline?generic viagra price canada
  11. What is the effect of the novel’s first-person narration? As Marie narrates her life, what changes do you notice in her view of the world—literal ones, as she endures eye surgeries, and symbolic ones?generic viagra price canada
  12. Discuss Marie’s relationship with her own children. What does she do differently from her parents? What traditions does she carry on? How does McDermott capture the revelations that life and loss bring?generic viagra price canada
  13. How does the depiction of Irish identity and family life in Someone compare to that in similar worlds you’ve explored in other novels by Alice McDermott?generic viagra price canada
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