After This Alice McDermott, whose gently sly 1998 novel Charming Billy won a National Book Award, stitches up another lovely needlepoint of a novel about middle-class Irish-American… After This Alice McDermott, whose gently sly 1998 novel Charming Billy won a National Book Award, stitches up another lovely needlepoint of a novel about middle-class Irish-American… 2006-09-05 Fiction Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Book Review

After This (2006)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Sep 05, 2006; Writer: Alice McDermott; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Alice McDermott, whose gently sly 1998 novel Charming Billy won a National Book Award, stitches up another lovely needlepoint of a novel about middle-class Irish-American life. In quiet scenes set over four decades — from Mary and John Keane's shy first meeting at a postwar Manhattan lunch counter to their older son's departure for Vietnam — she conjures both an utterly unique clan and the familiar historical events that shaped it. She's a canny observer of domestic dynamics, but her niftiest creation in After This is Mary's crabby friend Pauline, a bitter, chilly, and perpetually undermining spinster lurking in the corner of every Keane family snapshot.

Originally posted Sep 01, 2006 Published in issue #895-896 Sep 08, 2006 Order article reprints