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Charming while being Disarming
I found this book in a 2nd hand store in Gladstone, New South Wales (Australia). The owner of the store said a friend had sent it to her from America. I read it and it reminded me of my alcoholic and dysfunctional uncles who have passed away, while we who are left behind piece together the memories. I gave it to my mother to read who in turn gave it to a friend. It's a melancholy read, though disarmingly frank and genuinely compassionate. This writer has a true gift.
I kept hoping it would get better and read all the way to the end. It didn't get better and I wasted my time.
Charming Billy is an enchanting book, a man loved by everyone driving himself to alcoholism. Is wonderful wife Mauve who has been there all the way for him. He was an aspiring Poet and loved being with his many friends. He made his living working in a Shoe Store! But the Alcohol had ruined his life and the lives of the people around him. His brother and best friend Dennis, often took care of Billy during those late nights, listening to his phone calls at 3 am. A kind man who would pick up the tiniest piece of paper to write his friends and family a note
Wasn't able to get past page 50
The premise for this novel seems out of sync initially. We are at a funeral, Billy is gone and can't defend himself from the memories others have of him. Chilling thought for the live reader. But, Billy was loved by many for different reasons. And Maeve, his wife, and Dennis, his best friend, help us to know him. I loved McDermott's characters. She made them real. She has such a gift for language and settings. I want to read through all her books now.