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At Weddings and Wakes
ALICE MCDERMOTT

At Weddings and Wakes by Alice McDermott
21 reviews (1992) (224p)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
Scenes of a family unfold through childrens' eyes in Alice McDermott's extraordinary novel. Here, among family rituals and relationships, love and longing, recriminations and regret, an Irish-Catholic family comes vividly, brilliantly to life.

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. Lucy longs for the ineffable as her sisters grapple with alcohol and absolution and her mother wrestles with the past.

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 who has vowed to find happiness, blossom with a late and unexpected love....

And the children watch, absorbing the legacy of their haunted family: "...like the dead, their presence would be all the more inescapable when they were gone."


Amazon.com Review
Telling a story through the eyes of children is a tricky business, which is that much more proof of what a magician Alice McDermott happens to be. At Weddings and Wakes, her engrossing portrayal of love and tragedy in an Irish-Catholic family, takes us along with the kids as they accompany their mother on weekly visits to a world of memory and recrimination in the family's old Brooklyn neighborhood. An exquisitely executed little novel that masks all its hard work and complex structure behind finely wrought lace curtains of craft.


Other Award Winning Books by Alice McDermott
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
161 reviews (2017) (256p) (Time Top10) (LJ Top10) (NBCCA) (TIME)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Someone by Alice McDermott
529 reviews (2013) (240p) (PW Fiction) (NYT100) (NBCCA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
After This by Alice McDermott
48 reviews (2006) (288p) (PP)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
301 reviews (1998) (256p) (NBA) (ALA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
That Night by Alice McDermott
24 reviews (1987) (192p) (PP) (NBA) (PF) (LATimes)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Alice McDermott Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 9  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 6  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 3 At Weddings and Wakes · That Night · After This ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 2 Someone · The Ninth Hour ·  
National Book Award Wins 1 Charming Billy ·  
National Book Award Nominations 2 Charming Billy · That Night ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 That Night ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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