Charming Billy

Charming Billy

The late Billy Lynch's family and friends gather at a small bar and grill in the Bronx to remember better times. 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 without saying at some point, 'There was that girl'. On Long Island one summer years ago, Billy fell in love with a beautiful Irish girl working for a wealthy Park Avenue family. Billy wanted to marry Eva, but then she went back to Ireland. And then Billy's cousin Dennis had to break the terrible news: Eva had died of pneumonia. Billy never got over it. Anybody who knew him would tell you so. Billy began courting Maeve not long after, but for the rest of their lives, he, she and Dennis shared a hidden, twisted grief.

Title:Charming Billy
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9782264031112
Format Type:

    Charming Billy Reviews

  • Will Byrnes

    In the arc of an unremarkable life, a life whose triumphs are small and personal, whose trials are ordinary enough, as tempered in their pain as in their resolution of pain, the claim of exclusivit...

  • Christiane

    I confess, I have OWNED this book for a couple of years. I started it twice, thinking an award-winning book should surely win me, but both times set it aside. But after reading McDermott's "After This...

  • Audrey

    Charming Billy is what happens when you stop in the library on a whim, before you have registered at Goodreads and before you have an idea of what you want to read, and you find the book with the pret...

  • Jeanette

    This was a reread. Years ago I read this one when it was new. It didn't connect as Alice McDermott for some reason. After I read Someone and loved it so much, I should have recalled this much earlier ...

  • Rebecca

    Charming Billy is more sculpture than novel. The characters don’t so much develop as exist like creatures suspended in amber, unyielding to the chaos of time, love, and grief. Unlike traditional sto...

  • Clare

    This book should have been a short story, instead it was a novel that dragged on and on. The narrator is the second cousin of Charming Billy and is somehow telling the story of Charming Billy to her h...

  • Deirdre

    thoughts i didn't know i shared with every other child of an irish american growing up in the five boroughs...

  • Julie

    This was a beautiful novel with some top-notch prose. Not one word in this novel was pointless. This book was superbly written and a delight to read. It's a short read too. It's longer than Gatsby, bu...

  • Carla

    Maybe I'm getting impatient as I age, but like so many recent novels, this one seemed about 100 pages too long to me. I was done with the story by the time of the family gathering after the post-funer...

  • Robin

    This was a slow read for a bit and then you start to get involved with the characters. Billy had his faults as an alcoholic but he was very loving and very well loved in return. He had a sad life in m...