Picador USA, 9781250055361, 232pp.
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
September 2013 Indie Next List
— Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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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.
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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- 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
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- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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- 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
- 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
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- 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