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After This
by Alice McDermott


Overview - On a wild, windy April day in Manhattan, when Mary first meets John Keane, she cannot know what lies ahead of her. A marriage, a fleeting season of romance, and the birth of four children will bring John and Mary to rest in the safe embrace of a traditional Catholic life in the suburbs.  Read more...

 
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More About After This by Alice McDermott
 
 
 
Overview
On a wild, windy April day in Manhattan, when Mary first meets John Keane, she cannot know what lies ahead of her. A marriage, a fleeting season of romance, and the birth of four children will bring John and Mary to rest in the safe embrace of a traditional Catholic life in the suburbs. But neither Mary nor John, distracted by memories and longings, can feel the wind that is buffeting their children, leading them in directions beyond their parents' control. Michael and his sister Annie are caught up in the sexual revolution. Jacob, brooding and frail, is drafted to Vietnam. And the youngest, Clare, commits a stunning transgression after a childhood spent pleasing her parents. As John and Mary struggle to hold on to their family and their faith, Alice McDermott weaves an elegant, unforgettable portrait of a world in flux-and of the secrets and sorrows, anger and love, that lie at the heart of every family.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780385334693
  • ISBN-10: 0385334699
  • Publisher: Dial Press
  • Publish Date: September 2007
  • Page Count: 277
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds


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Books > Fiction > General

 
BookPage Reviews

After This

The National Book Award-winning author returns with a poignant novel—her sixth—about an Irish-Catholic family struggling to deal with the after-effects of the Vietnam War. When John and Mary Keane of Long Island lose Jacob, their oldest son, in the conflict, their lives are forever altered. While the two are able to cope with their grief thanks to their deep-rooted Catholicism, their children react in ways that reflect the generation gap of the era. As she shows how the loss affects the Keanes' other children, McDermott—a virtuoso when it comes to presenting the inner lives of her characters—creates rich, well-rounded portraits of the three remaining siblings. The Keanes' son, Michael, turns to drugs and sex. Their two daughters, also overwhelmed by the loss, take different paths: Anne drops out of college and moves to Europe, while Clare, still in high school, gets pregnant. McDermott skillfully uses flashbacks to fill in the family's history, telling the story of John and Mary's courtship after World War II, when he was a veteran, and she had given up hope of ever marrying. Spanning several decades, this provocative novel unfolds in brief, tightly focused chapters that give the book a sharp emotional edge. McDermott has crafted a moving chronicle of a family shattered by war—a book that's timely, wise and beautifully written.

A reading group guide is available online at www.bantamdell.com.

 
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