Harriet's Reviews > That Night

That Night by Alice McDermott
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Oct 28, 2009

it was amazing
Read in October, 2009

I am so moved by this novel, the way it grows so quietly, and spreads among various points of view, various characters, so that you go deeper and deeper into the story of one night. Her deftness with voice stuns me, and I'm trying to learn from it.
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07/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Tara (new)

Tara One of my favorite novels.


Harriet Tara wrote: "One of my favorite novels."

I'm pretty new to McDermott's fiction. This one really accumulated -- I think Charming Billy does too, as you start to realize all that's being left unsaid . . . In That Night, I so love the way that the narrator gives you just glimpses of her own life, and you start to think about the ways in which all these women are connected, those who want to get pregnant, those who get pregnant and are in a culture where it's impossible to keep the baby, those who have an abortion -- a word and deed so powerful it can't be used.


message 3: by Tara (new)

Tara Yes, and I think what additionally appealed to me was that she could get a whole novel out of one night. All the complexity of a novel that covers a generation. Sort of what a piece of flash fiction tries to do, only in reverse.

If you haven't read it, try Kaye Gibbons' A Virtuous Woman. It's another novel that "grows quietly." As your own beautiful novel did for me as well! :-)


Harriet Tara wrote: "Yes, and I think what additionally appealed to me was that she could get a whole novel out of one night. All the complexity of a novel that covers a generation. Sort of what a piece of flash fictio..."

I have to find out more about flash fiction! And I'll definitely look up Kaye Gibbons' A Virtuous Woman -- thank you for that suggestion, Tara!


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