Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

I enjoyed this finely wrought book, which is undramatic but subtle and very human. It is about a woman who is widowed, and how she copes with her own grief and its relationship to her children and others. It is set in Ireland and brilliantly captures the benefits and the downsides of living in a society where taking a close interest in other people’s business is normal. Even the woman who is sour and difficult evokes our sympathy, because of some slight she suffered years before, which, I must admit, moved me a lot because it was both trivial but, because of her age, imaginably devastating.

It is convincing and emotionally detailed. Really a very nice book, indeed.

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