Rate this book. Buy This Book. Tells the story of the late Billy Lynch within the complex matrix of a tightly knit Irish American community, in a voice that is resonant and filled with deep emotion. In a fierce, witty, haunting novel--a masterpiece about the unbreakable bonds of memory and desire--the National Book Award-nominated author of " That Night " tells the story of the late Billy Lynch within the complex matrix of a tightly knit Irish American community, in a voice that is resonant and filled with deep emotion.
Charming Billy Summary & Study Guide
Reading guide for Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
The main character, Paul Berlin, is in the Vietnam War. Recently, "Billy Boy" Watkins has died of a heart attack after losing a foot due to a mine. Paul is woken up by a comrade and then takes part in conversation while skirting a village, mostly talking about Watkins's death. Then there are a series of events where Paul thinks about his family back home. He constantly wishes for his parents to be proud of his valor and courage. The irony in this story includes Paul viewing the sea as a place of safety, but once he gets there, he is still unable to rid himself of the fear that embodies him.
where have you gone charming billy
Fear can be a self-destructive emotion if people let it overwhelm them. First Class Private Paul Berlin is new to war. He does numerous things to keep his mind from being afraid.
The novel begins at a small bar in the Bronx after Billy's funeral where his family has gathered. Stories are told about Billy, of his first love and his wife, and of his struggles with alcoholism. A debate begins regarding the cause of Billy's alcoholism. Some believe it is a disease and no matter what happened in his life Billy would still have become an alcoholic. Others believe it was the loss of his first love, an Irish girl named Eva, which drove Billy to drink himself to death.