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Charming Billyby Alice McDermott
Winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Fiction
Synopses & Reviews
Billy Lynch's family and friends have gathered at a small Bronx bar. They have come to comfort his widow and to eulogize one of the last great romantics, trading tales of his famous humor, immense charm, and unfathomable sorrow. As they linger on into this extraordinary night, their voices form Billy's tragic story and their mourning becomes a gentle homage to all the lives in their small community fractured by grief, shattered by secrets, and sustained by the simple dream of love.
Everyone loved him. If you knew Billy at all, then you loved him. The late Billy Lynch's family and friends, a party of forty-seven, gather at a small bar and grill somewhere in the Bronx to remember better times in good company, and to redeem the pleasure of a drink or two from the miserable thing that a drink had become in Billy's life. His widow, Maeve, is there and everyone admires the way she is holding up, just as they always admired the way she cared for Billy after the alcohol had ruined him. But one cannot think of Billy Lynch's life, one's own relentless affection for him, without saying at some point, "There was that girl. The Irish girl". And one can't help but think that the real story of his life lay there.
About the Author
Alice McDermott is the author of five previous novels, including A Bigamists Daughter; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy; winner of the 1998 National Book Award; At Weddings and Wakes; and That Night. She lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.
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