A photo Album

Someone, by Alice McDermott

A change from my usual reviews of SciFi of SFF, this is a short novel about a life, set in Brooklyn. We follow the entire life of Marie, an average girl, from the time she is a 7 year ild, through an awkward puberty, to falling to love, having kids and then dying…

The writing is simple, and elegant. Unobtrusive. Marie has a eye for details, and describes the most innocous of things to give you a very real, vivid picture of her life. She is however, like most of us, clueless about the meaning of any of these details. She sort of stumbles through life, painting a picture for us along the way.

It is like sitting with her, on the couch, with a photo album in her lap. she describes her life more or less chronologically, but often jumbles up the order, interspersing the narrative with excerpts from the past or the present. The result is a beautifully poignant portrait of a woman, going through life in her own little way. A powerful package of a story, that without saying much, talks about a whole life, the complete existence of Someone.

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