Book Review – Someone by Alice McDermott

Before posting the review, I just want to take a moment to pause and remember that horrible day when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States occurred on the morning of September 11, 2001. 

As with all horrors that men inflict upon mankind, this one should not be forgotten. 


And now the review.


Alice McDermott
File Size: 614 KB
Print Length: 241 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374281092
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (September 10, 2013)
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English

BOOK BLURB — We first meet Marie Commeford at age seven, when she’s sitting on the stoop in her tight-knit, Irish-Catholic Brooklyn neighborhood, waiting for her father to come home from work. A seemingly innocuous encounter with a young woman named Pegeen sets the bittersweet tone of this remarkable novel. Pegeen describes herself as an “amadan,” a fool; indeed, soon after her chat with Marie, Pegeen tumbles down her own basement stairs. The magic of McDermott’s novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another.

Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn.

REVIEW — This is the first book by McDermott that I have read, actually listened to, and I found the story compelling. The author presented the tragedies in the lives of the characters with great sympathy, and the nuances of the way people rationalize behaviors reflected great insight.

The story is told primarily from the viewpoint of Marie and moves back and forth in time. The jump from one time period to another was sometimes hard to catch when listening to the audio book, and I think this is a story that should be read on paper or electronically. In part to catch those leaps back and forth, but also to be able to go back and reread a particularly well written sentence, of which there are many.

The title comes from a comment made to Marie by her brother, Gabe, when she asks who will ever love her. She has just had her first romantic heartbreak and shares her pain with her brother, who has always been her comforter. His response to her question is, “Someone.”

Such simplicity in the title and in the story itself in many ways. It is just life. Things happen and people make choices in how to respond. When handled well, that is what makes for a good story, and McDermott handles it superbly.



I’ve teamed up with a number of YA authors to sponsor this back-to-school contest and the prizes include a Kindle Fire and 15 free YA novels. I am so happy to sponsor this one with Friends Forever, and can’t wait to send copies to the winners.

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT – Enter by September 12th for your chance to win!

CLICK HERE to enter. Good luck!!

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