*** Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

The eponymous Nora Webster is a slightly overwhelmed widow who just lost her husband and is juggling four children and too little money in a small town where everyone knows her business and is not exactly embracing any sign of independence on her part. But she perseveres and in tiny ways at first finds her way to a more autonomous life. The quiet story reminded me very much of Someone, the story of a mostly anonymous woman in Brooklyn — but here the author takes us into Nora’s mind and her occasional rage at the establishment and the limitations everyone is putting on her. So her main victory is to repaint her living room, but it feels like a symbol for so much more,


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