After This by Alice McDermott


This is the story of a low to middle class family which begins with the
marriage of the parents just after World War II and ends as the four
children come of age. It is recounted by incidents that illuminate
them. The druggy 60s figure in the story, as does the Vietnam War. The
picture is of a family that spends lots of time together, but the
inevitable separations between them are clear. The underlying goodness
of the characters is in evidence. A neighbor man who is a nurse happens
to appear just as the mother goes into premature labor with the fourth
child, and saves the baby’s life. The family takes in the unlovable
former work-friend of the mother when she veers off course. An
appealing read.

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