At Weddings and Wakes
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|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."
|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
|Alice McDermott Award Stats
*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award