I have been a book lover/book junkie for decades. Still it is a first for me to finish the last word on the last page and then immediately go back to the first page and re-read the whole book again. The author, Alice McDermott, flawless writing explains why she has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. McDermott casts a wide net with this novel; this is a story about nothing and everything, a human life. Though the story may seem mundane at first, its life-like complexities draw one in. The story takes place in between WWI and WWII. We meet the heroine when she is seven years-old, sitting on a Brooklyn stoop, waiting for her dad to come home. Though the story is not linear, it ends when she is an old woman dying in assisted living. To say “the characters jump off the page” does not give due service to McDermont’s skills. Her writing is always tender and subtle never melodramatic managing to hide an upcoming punch that will make you gasp for air.
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