EMILY, ALONE by Stewart O’Nan

Stewart O’Nan may simply be genetically incapable of writing a bad book. His characters are written with precision, intelligence and verisimilitude; they’re so luminously alive that a reader can accurately guess about what they’re eating for dinner or what brand toothpaste they use.

In EMILY, ALONE, Mr. O’Nan revisits Emily, the Maxell family matriarch from a prior book, Wish You Were Alone. Anyone who is seeking an action-based book or “a story arc” (as taught in college writing classes) will be sorely disappointed. But for those readers who are intrigued by a near-perfect portrait of a winningly flawed elderly woman who is still alive with anxieties, hopes, and frustrations, this is an unsparingly candid and beautifully rendered novel.

March 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Literary


Headquarters has decided to shut down the Red Lobster restaurant in a small mall in New Britain, Connecticut. We spend its last twelve hours in it with the restaurant manager, a Latino man named Manny DeLeon, as he struggles to keep his ship afloat just one more time, in the face of an impending New England snowstorm and an unmotivated crew.

July 25, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Literary, NE & New York