Nora Webster

Nora Webster

by Colm Toibin
3.7 10


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Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

From one of contemporary literature’s bestselling, critically acclaimed, and beloved authors: a “luminous” novel (Jennifer Egan, The New York Times Book Review) about a fiercely compelling young widow navigating grief, fear, and longing, and finding her own voice—“heartrendingly transcendant” (The New York Times, Janet Maslin).

Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, 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 to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.

Nora Webster “may actually be a perfect work of fiction” (Los Angeles Times), by a “beautiful and daring” writer (The New York Times Book Review) at the zenith of his career, able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY). “Miraculous...Tóibín portrays Nora with tremendous sympathy and understanding” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439138335
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,088,070
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.


Dublin, Ireland

Date of Birth:

May 30, 1955

Place of Birth:

Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland


St. Peter's College, Wexford; University College, Dublin, B.A. in English and history

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Nora Webster: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
Family Drama. I received an advanced reader's edition from GoodReads First Reads in exchange for a review. This was my first introduction to Colm Tóibín's works and I loved his fluid writing style. This was a very psychological read - I kept seeing the cycle of family influence on personality disorders. And it's done subtly, with a very deft hand, so much so that I can imagine Nora's mother and the future of her children with Tóibín telling me very little about them. Now, the downside -and this is partly due to the depressed nature of the main character- I kept waiting for something dramatic to happen. Especially considering the setting, turbulent Ireland in the 1960s, but most of the events are in the background as Nora sets herself apart, keeping distant. Real-life events play out in the background in perfect mimicry of real life. It's hard to find fault with the concept but it's a bit of a let-down to not see the events unfold up-close and personal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't expect fireworks.  Simply surrender to the quiet experience of great loss and slow self renewal in the hands of a master.
Voracious-readerJR More than 1 year ago
In spite of having traveled in the British Isles, I think this novel does not translate well to readers from the U.S. From the novel description, I expected more surrounding the singing aspect. It was more just a summary of a widow trying to get on with her life. Her family seems odd and uninteresting. Sorry, I really wanted to like this more.....
squirrelrunner More than 1 year ago
I found this book boring and mundane. I did not sympathize with the main character and didn't find her very likable. I did enjoy the references to Irish history and geography.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Not much of a story and a self absorbed main character . The writing , however , is intelligent and an informative source of events in Ireland during the 1960s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True don't expect fireworks with this, however I feel it does translate well to those of us who live in the USA. It's a very good story about three generations of women to take care of the grandson/son/brother who is dying with AIDS. Old resentments come to the forefront since they hadn't been close or seen much of each other. I honestly feel this to be a very good story. It's not that long and flows well. The author picks his words and sentences carefully to say what he needs to without all the useless fluff and detail that in some books goes on and on. Honestly if you read books like that all the time it would get old fast. This is well told quick and to the point. His Nora Webster is not everyone's cup of tea. She is a quiet and very self contained, not an easy person to get to know or related to, but there are certainly people like her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the most boring I have ever read ~ I am going to remove this author from my "list".
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