On a wild, windy April day in Manhattan, when Mary first meets John Keane, she cannot know what lies ahead of her. A marriage, a fleeting season of romance, and the birth of four children will bring John and Mary to rest in the safe embrace of a traditional Catholic life in the suburbs. But neither Mary nor John, distracted by memories and longings, can feel the wind that is buffeting their children, leading them in directions beyond their parents’ control. Michael and his sister Annie are caught up in the sexual revolution. Jacob, brooding and frail, is drafted to Vietnam. And the youngest, Clare, commits a stunning transgression after a childhood spent pleasing her parents. As John and Mary struggle to hold on to their family and their faith, Alice McDermott weaves an elegant, unforgettable portrait of a world in flux–and of the secrets and sorrows, anger and love, that lie at the heart of every family.
“Again and again, After This moves toward revelation and then modestly, modernly, pulls back, but not without a memory of what it glimpsed.”—New Yorker
“Ms. McDermott gives us an affecting meditation on the consolations and discontents of family life.… And her easy authority with this material, combined with her clear-eyed sympathy for her characters, results in a moving, old-fashioned story about longing and loss and sorrow.”—The New York Times
“It is hard to know how to start piling on praise for this gripping, poignant book….Before we are aware of what McDermott has done, we are completely engaged….Like magic, we are drawn in.”—Chicago Tribune
“A master at capturing Irish-Catholic American suburban life . . . [McDermott] flawlessly encapsulates an era in the private moments of one family’s life.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Word by word, metaphor by metaphor, McDermott writes the most exquisitely perceptive and atmospheric fiction published today. Heir to Woolf and Nabokov, she nets the totality of human consciousness.”—Booklist
“After five penetrating novels and a National Book Award, McDermott infuses the undulating plot with the knowledge that lives become most vivid in small moments of connection . . . Genuinely moving yet amorphous, like a remembered fragrance that you can’t quite place.”—Kirkus Reviews