Billy Lynch's family and friends have gathered at a small Bronx bar. They have come to comfort his widow and to eulogize one of the last great romantics, trading tales of his famous humor, immense charm, and unfathomable sorrow. As they linger on into this extraordinary night, their voices form Billy's tragic story and their mourning becomes a gentle homage to all the lives in their small community fractured by grief, shattered by secrets, and sustained by the simple dream of love.
"Eloquent ... heartbreaking ... McDermott is brilliant. "—New York Times Book Review
"There's no one like Alice McDermott for catching the ebullient particulars of the Irish-American sensibility, and in this superbly drawn, bittersweet tale of a captivating alcoholic, Charming Billy, her touch is light as a feather, her perceptions purely accurate."—Elle
"An astoundingly beautiful novel about the persistence of love, the perseverance of grief, and all-but-unbearable loneliness, as well as faith, loyalty and redemption."—Philadelphia Inquirer
"Magical ... In Charming Billy, Ms. McDermott writes ... with wisdom and grace, refusing to sentimentalize her characters even as she forces us to recognize their decency and goodness. She has written a luminous and affecting novel."— Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times