BookBrowse Reviews After This by Alice McDermott

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

After This

A Novel

by Alice McDermott

After This by Alice McDermott
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Her sure authorial hand illuminates the inner lives of these ordinary people in a way that resonates beyond the mundane to the broad human condition. Novel

It's a mistake to rush a McDermott novel, because in doing so you might miss the little details that make the whole worthwhile. In After This, she revisits the familiar ground of an Irish Catholic family living on Long Island, this time focusing on the Keane family from the mid 1940s up until the 1970s.  By setting her books in essentially the same location and around the same type of people time after time, McDermott is able to bring her magnifying glass to bear on the little details, subtly digging deep into the psyches of her characters - focusing on the fleeting thoughts and gestures, and the apparently trivial events, the sort that are rarely recorded in photo albums but are the bedrock of family life.

Although the Keane family consists of equal numbers of males and females, it feels that McDermott's focus, intentionally or otherwise, is more on the lives of the women. At the heart of this, and her other novels, are simple but profound questions: How do normal, simple people find reason and hope to keep going day after day? How do we build and preserve the stories inside every family in the face of the inevitable sorrows that confront us? How do we balance faith, family and friendship, let alone love?

This review was originally published in October 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The End of Eddy
    The End of Eddy
    by Edouard Louis
    The End of Eddy has been a publishing phenomenon in Édouard Louis' native France, where it...
  • Book Jacket: If We Were Villains
    If We Were Villains
    by M L. Rio
    22 out of 28 of our reviewers rated If We Were Villains four or five stars, giving it an overall ...
  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -