Review: Someone

someone - alice mcdermottSomeone by Alice McDermott

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed copy

Another book I’ve picked up for a challenge where it’s required for a book to have been nominated for an award but hasn’t won any. So, really, there should be some merit to this book to have been nominated, right? I can sort of see some parts of where the book merited nominations and yet, it is missing just that extra twist or punch to the gut to win.

As most reviews have said it and I’ve to agree, this is a novel where a lot of things happened but nothing’s actually happened. It is exactly as per the blurb; “Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age”. To begin with, the jumps between time was a little jarring though you’ll soon get used to it. Whatever happened in this book is just life; everyday life – the good and the bad, all mixed up.

Overall, Someone was quite an easy read though unfortunately, not really memorable. Marie’s life was pretty ordinary, in fact, it is probably this ordinariness that readers may find the connection with the book though that is not the reason why most of us turn to books! It was so ordinary that I wasn’t even sure when she found love and then marriage, whether she has found ‘love’ –the romantic love that we would usually gush over in books. And yet, the practical side of me would chime in that first love or romantic love just isn’t all life’s about.

”It was not that life was less valuable to me now that I had glimpsed what it would be like to lose it. My love for the child asleep in the crib, the child’s need for me, for my vigilance, had made my life valuable in a way that even the most abundantly offered love, my parents’, my brother’s, even Tom’s, had failed to do. Love was required of me now – to be given, not merely to be sought and returned. My presence on earth was never more urgently needed. And yet even the certainty of that fact seemed reason to throw away caution, not to heed it.”

A perfectly ordinary life in recollections –recollections I could imagine my old self will go through one day… not exactly the same but similar enough. A quick read though I couldn’t imagine who I’d recommend this one to. Maybe when we’re older…

”Gabe sat at our older son’s place. His manners, as always, were meticulous and elegant. They had been meant, after all, to belong to a bishop. Watching him at my table, I briefly entertained the notion that the lace-curtain pretensions my parents had taught us might well have been meant as a way (frail at best, but a way nonetheless) of cosseting, corralling, patting down, and holding in, whatever it was that had undone him last summer.”

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