Nora Webster
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Nora Webster


From one of contemporary literature's most acclaimed and beloved authors comes this magnificent new novel set in a small town in Ireland in the 1960s, where a fiercely compelling, too-young widow and mother of four moves from grief, fear, and longing to unexpected discovery. Toibin's portrayal of the intricacy and drama of ordinary lives brings to mind of the work of Alice Munro.
     Set in Wexford, Ireland, and in breathtaking Ballyconnigar by the sea, Colm Toibin's tour de force eighth novel introduces the formidable, memorable Nora Webster. Widowed at 40, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world she was born into. Wounded and self-centred from grief and the need to provide for her family, she struggles to be attentive to her children's needs and their own difficult loss. In masterfully detailing the intimate lives of one small family, Toibin has given us a vivid portrait of a time and an intricately woven tapestry of lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business, and where well-meaning gestures often have unforeseen consequences. Toibin has created one of contemporary fiction's most memorable female characters, one who has the strength and depth of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. In Nora Webster, Colm Toibin is writing at the height of his powers.

Title:Nora Webster
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:373 pages

    Nora Webster Reviews

  • Julie Christine
    Jul 23, 2014

    Most of us lead lives of quiet desperation, knocked about every so often by rude shocks or lifted up by brief, brilliant joys. But our quotidian troubles and triumphs rarely create ripples beyond our ...

  • Laura
    Oct 18, 2014

    Another admirable book that I wish I could say I enjoyed more than I did. I understand that Nora is grieving and that we can only assume she loved her husband, although there’s scant evidence to sup...

  • Ron Charles
    Sep 12, 2014

    Colm Tóibín’s most recent book was about a grieving woman, too. But she was the mother of Jesus Christ, so the stakes seemed somewhat higher. In his new novel, “Nora Webster,” the Irish master...

  • Diane S ?
    Apr 07, 2014

    In plain and unsentimental prose, Toibin gives us the story of a woman, Nora Webster, whose husband of many years has died. Leaving her alone, with two younger boys and two older daughters, she must f...

  • Laura McNeal
    Oct 09, 2014

    I don't know how he does it. The sentences are deceptively plain, and at first the novel feels almost colorless, odorless, mute. If you tried to explain the plot to someone, and you said, "It's about ...

  • Rebecca Foster
    Aug 07, 2014

    A subtle portrait of a bereaved family in late 1960s Ireland. Nora, 40, has lost her husband Maurice to sudden illness. Repressing her own grief, she helps her four children move on. She will sell the...

  • Leslie
    Aug 22, 2014

    I wanted to like Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín, but in the end I was left disappointed by the book. This was one of those books that from the start I never got into. Disconnected would be the word I w...

  • Carol
    Aug 21, 2014

    Virtually nothing of interest happens in this book. It is a long slog of a widow's daily life and her trials and tribulations which don't amount to much. Nora has no notion of grace and appears ungrat...

  • switterbug (Betsey)
    Sep 17, 2014

    t's a modest elegance that pulls you along in this story of 40-ish Irish widow Nora Webster and her family in County Wexford, in Ireland. The gulf between wife and widowhood is daily captured by Nora'...

  • Cheryl
    Sep 15, 2014

    This book settled on to me, and so I settled in to it.You know when you’re younger, you think that - wherever you are - nothing happens here. Things happen elsewhere. But never here. It’s just reg...

About Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín

Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. Out of his experience in Barcelona be produced two books, the novel ‘The South’ (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus First Fiction Award) and ‘Homage to Barcelona’, both published in 1990. When he retur