Reviewed by Monique Prince, Undergraduate Services Librarian
Charming Billy (1998) is this year's GO READ selection. It won the National Book Award and was a 1999 ALA Notable Book. The story opens as a group of Irish Americans are gathered in a Bronx bar following the funeral of main character Billy Lynch. What follows is an exploration of lost love, nostalgia, and betrayal as Billy's life story is pieced together in the following hours. Throughout his adult life, Billy struggled with alcoholism, traced to his cousin Dennis's revelation that his fiance in Ireland had died. Despite his lifelong sorrow and alcoholism, Billy married and was known to his friends and family as a romantic, a charmer. As a friend explained, "If you knew Billy at all," he said, "then you loved him. He was just that type of guy."
Consider reading Charming Billy in the coming weeks, and join others at VCU for book discussions and special events throughout the fall semester. See the GO READ VCU website for more information.