"Living in a small insulated 1970's Irish town, a recently widowed 40'ish mother of four attempts to reshape her life, despite the best intentions of family and friends who consistently involve themselves in this effort. Facing the decisions to sell the beloved family summer house and to reluctantly return to her previous employment, Nora's journey toward widowhood, concurrently caring for her 2 younger children and working through her own grief. Ultimately, it is in accepting an invitation to audition for an opening in a semi-professional choral group that Nora slowly awakens from being an object of pity to finding, both literally and metaphorically, her own lyrically pitch-perfect voice. Authored by a master of the written word, readers will be inspired by this sensitively drawn portrait of a woman who finds renewed confidence and peace. This I an unforgettable reading experience!" --Jane— From Jane's Staff Recommendations
October 2014 Indie Next List
“This quiet but beautifully constructed novel of grief is the tale of an Irish woman caught between looking after her own emotional well-being and that of her four young children in the wake of her husband's death. Her relatives and community mean well, but they trespass almost as often as they support. Like Nora's own missteps, those of outsiders are also forgivable. Toibin's work gets deeper and richer with each new book. I'm already looking forward to his next.”
— Susan Scott, The Secret Garden, Seattle, WA
From one of contemporary literature's bestselling, critically acclaimed, and beloved authors: a "luminous" novel (Jennifer Egan, The New York Times Book Review) about a fiercely compelling young widow navigating grief, fear, and longing, and finding her own voice--"heartrendingly transcendant" (The New York Times, Janet Maslin). Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Toibin's magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven--herself. Nora Webster "may actually be a perfect work of fiction" (Los Angeles Times), by a "beautiful and daring" writer (The New York Times Book Review) at the zenith of his career, able to "sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations" (USA TODAY). "Miraculous...Toibin portrays Nora with tremendous sympathy and understanding" (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).