Nora Webster

A Novel

Nora Webster

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).
  • Scribner | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439170939 | 
  • June 2015
List Price $16.00
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Nora Webster includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb eighth novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and 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 drawn back into it. Wounded, iron-willed, clinging to privacy in a tiny community where everyone knows everyone else’s business, Nora is drowning in her sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons. Even so, Nora finds moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, and a haven.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. The novel opens with Nora discussing her intrusive visitors with her neighbor Tom O’Connor (p. 1). How does this set the tone for Nora Webster? What is your first impression of Nora?
 
2. What motivates Nora to sell the house in Cush? Is she just taking advantag see more

Articles About This Book

More Books from this Author

House of Names
Brooklyn
The Testament of Mary
New Ways to Kill Your Mother

About the Author

Colm Toibin
© Brigitte Lacombe

Colm Toibin

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.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US