Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 16 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

From the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a moving vision of love and family.

A sequel to the bestselling, much-beloved Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan's intimate new novel follows Emily Maxwell, a widow whose grown children have long moved away. She dreams of vists by her grandchildren while mourning the turnover of her quiet Pittsburgh neighborhood, but when her sole companion and sister-in-law Arlene faints at their favorite breakfast buffet, Emily's days change. As she grapples with her new independence, she discovers a hidden strength and realizes that life always offers new possibilities. Like most older women, Emily is a familiar yet invisible figure, one rarely portrayed so honestly. Her mingled feelings-of pride and regret, joy and sorrow- are gracefully rendered in wholly unexpected ways. Once again making the ordinary and overlooked not merely visible but vital to understanding our own lives, Emily, Alone confirms O'Nan as an American master.

 

About Stewart O'Nan

See more books from this Author
STEWART O'NAN is the author of twelve previous novels, including Songs for the Missing, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. In Faithful, he and Stephen King chronicled the 2004 Boston Red Sox. He was born, raised, and lives in Pittsburgh with his family.
 
Published March 17, 2011 by Penguin Books. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Emily, Alone

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Emily Maxwell, newly bereaved in Wish You Were Here (2002), is now more or less accustomed to life without her beloved husband Henry.

| Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

James, of course, wrote ghost stories, too, and viewed the supernatural forces at play in stories like “The Turn of the Screw” as an embodiment of the anxiety that underlies the stuff of daily life, “the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy.” If O’Nan makes one...

Apr 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

Her mother hadn't saved any of her other letters, only the program from her college graduation and her wedding announcement.As if in imitation, the other packet Emily removed was fastened with a pink ribbon — Margaret's cards to her, in crayon but graced by the same wobbly hand and free sentiments.

Mar 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Book Reporter

She surprises herself with her daring, yet remains acutely aware of the passage of time and its effect on her and those around her throughout the novel.

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

Dodgers' Luis Cruz: 'I lost it' in Mexico-Canada WBC brawl 03/11/2013, 11:35 a.m. S...

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

On yet another friend's memorial service: ''The room was windowless, the air warm and stagnant, and as Jamie read a long, gently comic remembrance of her mother's love of weddings, Emily thought that she'd been to so many of these that she'd become a critic.'' The novel kicks off at the Eat 'n ...

Mar 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

(If characters in novels in general are very well drawn, 20 years after reading the book, you can scratch your head unable to remember if that was someone you knew in three dimensions or less.) What's truly thrilling here is the restraint and respect with which O'Nan cradles Emily's life.

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

The Washington Post

Comments our editors find particularly useful or relevant are displayed in Top Comments, as are comments by users with these badges: .

Jan 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Dallas News

Even though the book is told entirely from Emily’s point of view, the reader is able to discern that not all the fault lies with Emily’s relatives.

Mar 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

2 star of the week Pennsylvania Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic stars are well-decorated Penguins center Malkin to sit out of lineup for a week or two Kunitz leads Penguins over Islanders, 6-1 ...

Mar 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Review (Barnes & Noble)

But in Stewart O'Nan's Emily, Alone, a welcome follow-up to his 2002 novel, Wish You Were Here, the emphasis, as the title suggests, is Emily, toute seule, determined to uphold standards and maintain discipline even as her world erodes.

Mar 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Denver Post

The reader meets Emily and Arlene on one of their regular Tuesday outings, when Emily puts "what precious little remained of her life in God's and her sister-in-law Arlene's shaky hands and they drove together to Edgewood for Eat 'n Park's two-for-one breakfast buffet.

Apr 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Stewart O’Nan EXTRAS: Author Q&A and Reading Guide MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read our review of: Last Night at the Lobster

Mar 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

The Story: In this sequel to Wish You Were Here (2002), the widowed 80-year-old Emily Maxwell lives a quiet life in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

The New Yorker

Subscribers can read the full version of this story by logging into our digital archive.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

"The book business is now changing more rapidly than any other form of physical media.

| Read Full Review of Emily, Alone: A Novel

Reader Rating for Emily, Alone
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 192 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×