Summary and book reviews of Snapshots by William Norris

Snapshots

by William Norris

Snapshots by William Norris X
Snapshots by William Norris
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2001, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2002, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Norris lays bare the secrets that family members keep from themselves and each other, and ultimately tells a hopeful story about the bonds of flesh and blood and shared experience. A story about the real, hard-won joy of family.

Snapshots engages our endless fascination with what goes on behind other people's closed doors. It's that particularly American brand of literature that puts the ideal middle-class suburban family under a microscope and exposes the heartaches, fears, and secrets not visible to the naked eye.

William Norris's first novel is a portrait of the Mahoneys as they appear in 1997, then working back through twenty-five years, filling in the rich, deep hues of the life that has shaped their relationships. And in the shadows of alcoholism, homosexuality, and mental illness, the Mahoneys love and hate one another, save one another, and break one another's hearts. Norris lays bare the secrets that mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters keep from themselves and each other, and ultimately tells a hopeful story about the bonds of flesh and blood and shared experience. A story about the real, hard-won joy of family.

SNAPSHOTS: A NOVEL
1997

The mother, always an early riser, finds it difficult to sleep much past six as she grows older. This day, Christmas Eve morning, she is up once again with the seabirds; their songs melding with the creaks and moans of this old beach house, winterized, finally, for these retirement years. Careful not to wake her still slumbering husband, she stretches her limbs, eases to a sitting position, slowly gets to her feet. This effort, she thinks, is what it is to be old.

Half a world away, Sean, the only son, hails a black cab in a London already empty for Christmas. "Heathrow Terminal Four," he tells the driver. He settles back to watch the city shrink down into suburbs as the cab shoots out the M1. Molly, the woman he loves, the woman who he still cannot believe loves him, left earlier, bound for her own family in Ireland. She’ll join him in a few days, her seventh or eighth trip over now, and he knows he’ll find himself marveling at how much he ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Norris renders anecdotes of family conflict and nurturing some trivial, others tragic with energy and compassion ... the collective portrait of a changing family unit has complexity and validity.

Author Blurb Katharine Weber, author of The Music Lesson
Snapshots is a vivid family portrait, illuminating as it does the strange and complex relationship between past and present. William Norris has a wonderful gift for capturing those ordinary gestures which, like snapshots in a family album, retrospectively emerge as significant and telling in the lives of engaging and authentic characters. An auspicious debut.

Reader Reviews

Anonymous
Andrew
Snapshots tells the story of the Mahoneys, a
contemporary Irish-Catholic family from suburban New
Jersey. First time novelist William Norris draws a
convincing portrait of a nuclear family, one that will
especially resonate with readers who came ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Snapshots, try these:

  • The Family Tree jacket

    The Family Tree

    by Carole Cadwalladr

    Published 2005

    About this book

    At once nostalgic and refreshingly original, The Family Tree is a sophisticated story of one woman and the generations of women who came before her and whose legacy shaped her life and its emotional landscape.

  • The Laments jacket

    The Laments

    by George Hagen

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Meet the Laments—the affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the center of Hagen’s exuberant debut novel.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Cold Millions
    The Cold Millions
    by Jess Walter
    Jess Walter's The Cold Millions centers around 16-year-old Rye Dolan and his 23-year-old brother Gig...
  • Book Jacket
    The Shadow King
    by Maaza Mengiste
    While reading The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, I was reminded of the David Foster Wallace novel ...
  • Book Jacket: The Exiles
    The Exiles
    by Christina Baker Kline
    A young governess finds herself pregnant and in prison for theft and attempted murder. An Irish ...
  • Book Jacket: White Too Long
    White Too Long
    by Robert P. Jones
    Religious scholar Robert P. Jones doesn't pull any punches in his latest book, White Too Long: The ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Blind Light
    by Stuart Evers

    A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Agent Sonya

Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

Master storyteller Ben Macintyre tells the true story behind the Cold War's most intrepid female spy.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I I M B T Give T T 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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.