At Weddings and Wakes Author:Alice McDermott Scenes of a family unfold through childrens' eyes in Alice McDermott's extraordinary novel. Here, among family rituals and relationships, love and longing, recriminations and regret, an Irish-Catholic family comes vividly, brilliantly to life. — Twice a week, Lucy Dailey leaves suburbia with her three children in tow, returning to the Bro... more »oklyn home where she grew up, and where her stepmother and unmarried sisters still live. Lucy longs for the ineffable as her sisters grapple with alcohol and absolution and her mother wrestles with the past.
Aunt Veronica, with her wounded face and dreams of beauty, drowns her sorrows in drink. Aunt Agnes, an acerbic student of elegance, sips only from the finest crystal as she sees Aunt May, the ex-nun who has vowed to find happiness, blossom with a late and unexpected love....
And the children watch, absorbing the legacy of their haunted family: "...like the dead, their presence would be all the more inescapable when they were gone."« less
Try to read this when and where you will be free of distractions, because in order to grasp fully the beauty of McDermott's style, you have to pay attention. She writes a bit like Henry James, with long and somewhat complicated sentences. Nevertheless, the story and the way it is told is both moving and memorable. You will feel right at home identifying with the children through whose eyes the tale develops.
The author writes with beautiful flowing words. The story is told from the point of view of the Dailey children but, for me, that didn't work well. I would have expected more childlike thoughts & feelings. I feel like I didn't get to know the characters well. However, there is a lot of praise for the book so maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. So it goes.
"A moving evocation of life's inexplicaable calamities and a magical celebration of childhood and familial love...the story of three generations of an Irish-American family through the eyes of its youngest members.