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Mary After All

A Novel

Bill Gordon

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

In the tradition of Roddy Doyle's The Woman Who Walked Into Doors comes a brilliant feat of literary ventriloquism, a debut novel by a male author introducing a one-of-a-kind female narrator.

Meet Mary Nolan (née Marelli), a tough-talking Jersey City native who comes of age during the turbulent 1970s. Adored by the small-time mafia types in her extended Italian American family–formidable but doting figures like her grandpa Louie, Tony the Horse, and Charlie Cuppacoffee–Mary grew up believing she could always count on men to protect her. But after marrying young to escape her parents, Mary finds herself sidelined by life with a philandering husband and two needy young sons, her dreams as shattered as the city around her.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Mary tells of her unusual route to independence, and about the lives she touches–and is touched by–along the way. From Aunt Dot and Aunt Loretta, who get her started in "business," to the ex-nuns who listen to her troubles even as they ask her for relationship advice, to the nosy neighborhood housewives determined to befriend her, Mary finds allies in the unlikeliest of places. How she learns to stand on her own "legitimately"–triumphantly–is the heart of Bill Gordon's remarkable first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 06, 2004 – Mary Nolan's life story is a classic: restless and unhappy in a Jersey City home where she was stifled by a diffident father and an invalid mother, she married too young (at 17), had kids too young (two by the age of 20), then found herself living her life to take care of others—her philandering husband, Bobby, included. But in Gordon's deft hands, Mary tells her story (and also the stories of her friends and family members) with the kind of freshness and chutzpah that make it new again. She's no martyr, that's for sure. She develops a liking for Valium, makes friends with ex-nuns and starts running a numbers business right out of her kitchen. Her beloved but misbehaving kids get smacked. Her husband's floozy-on-the-side gets kicked down the stairs. And Bobby gets himself served with divorce papers, even if Mary doesn't want to give him up entirely. Mary's no-nonsense, hardheaded voice gives way to a mellower, more wistful tone as she grows more independent and comes to terms with the unexpected but generally good turns her life has taken. Gordon's funny, cranky, warmhearted debut will find appreciative readers, and his Italian-American heroine plenty of fans.
Mary After All
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  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Dec 28, 2004
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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