A story about the recently widowed Nora Webster, set in a small town in Ireland during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, shows us how Nora and her family adjust to life without Maurice, her husband and their father. The book is written by Colm Toibin (pronounced Cullum Toe-bean), who also wrote the novel Brooklyn.
Nora lost the love of her life when Maurice passed away after a short illness. Wanting to hide away to mourn privately, and irritable because of the number of condolence calls paid to her, Nora tries to find the will to continue on. But her children and other relatives also miss Maurice and Nora is forced to cope with this too. Eventually, she is able to open up to renewing and expanding on her relationships with family and forms friendships within the community. Nora returns to work, becomes an active participant in political discussions, joins a music listening club, and begins singing lessons. Although Nora’s recovery is not quick nor painless, after three years we see that she has embraced her new skills and relishes her new freedoms, ending the novel on a positive note.