OVERRIDE

That Night

A Novel

Alice McDermott

Picador

A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

It is high summer, the early 1960s. Sheryl and Rick, two Long Island teenagers, share an intense, all-consuming love. But Sheryl’s widowed mother steps between them, and one moonlit night Rick and a gang of hoodlums descend upon her quiet neighborhood. That night, driven by Rick’s determination to reclaim Sheryl, the young men provoke a violent confrontation, and as fathers step forward to protect their turf, notions of innocence belonging to both sides of the brawl are fractured forever.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

That Night
ONEThat night when he came to claim her, he stood on the short lawn before her house, his knees bent, his fists driven into his thighs, and bellowed her name with such passion that even the friends who surrounded him, who had come to support him, to drag her from the house, to murder her family if they had to, let the chains they carried go limp in their hands. Even the men from our neighborhood, in Bermuda shorts or chinos, white T-shirts and gray suit pants, with baseball bats and snow shovels held before them like rifles, even they paused in their rush to protect her: the good
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for That Night

"At once mythic and personal---a novel that possesses the ability to make us remember our own youth and all that has vanished since."---Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A strong, eloquent novel…McDermott writes clean, simple prose that serves her story beautifully. This novel is as carefully constructed as a poem, giving off a lustrous glow, and is poignant in the telling."---People

"Voiced with musical economy…the author’s perceptions of suburban life have a rich detail of the quality of a Cheever or an Updike."---Los Angeles Times

"McDermott is a spellbinder, adding a cachet of mystery and eloquence to common occurrences….She has taken a suburban teenage romance and pregnancy and infused it with the power, the ominousness, and the star-crossed romanticism of a contemporary Romeo and Juliet."---Chicago Tribune

"To enter the world of this incantatory novel is to palpably recall almost against one’s will the rash, embattled strivings and disillusionments of first love."---The Washington Post Book World

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alice McDermott

  • Alice McDermott is the author of five previous novels, including Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; and At Weddings and Wakes, all published by FSG and Picador. She lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.
  • Alice McDermott Epic Photography/Jamie Schoenberger
BACK

READING GUIDE

ORGANIZING A READING GROUP

GET THE GUIDE

Download PDF

TELL YOUR FRIENDS

FIND MORE BOOKS

Go to website

STAY UPDATED

Sign Up
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

That Night

A Novel

Alice McDermott

Pulitzer Prize - Finalist

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

BACK