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9780312422912

Child of My Heart

McDermott, Alice

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9780312422912: Child of My Heart

In Alice McDermott's first work of fiction since her best-selling, National Book Award-winning Charming Billy, a woman recalls her fifteenth summer with the wry and bittersweet wisdom of hindsight.

The beautiful child of older parents, raised on the eastern end of Long Island, Theresa is her town's most sought-after babysitter--cheerful, poised, an effortless storyteller, a wonder with children and animals. Among her charges this fateful summer is Daisy, her younger cousin, who has come to spend a few quiet weeks in this bucolic place. While Theresa copes with the challenge presented by the neighborhood's waiflike children, the tumultuous households of her employers, the attentions of an aging painter, and Daisy's fragility of body and spirit, her precocious, tongue-in-check sense of order is tested as she makes the perilous crossing into adulthood. In her deeply etched rendering of all that happened that seemingly idyllic season, McDermott once again peers into the depths of everyday life with inimitable insight and grace.

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Review:

Fifteen is a year of clarity; you're still one of the kids, but you're finally beginning to unlock the mysteries of adult behavior. In her luminous novel Child of My Heart, Alice McDermott's narrator is a 15-year-old girl who has two qualities that give her access to the secret lives of adults: she's beautiful, and she looks after their children. Her beauty has already shaped her life. Her parents have moved the family to the east end of Long Island in hopes of finding her a wealthy husband, or at least a fancy crowd to run with. Here she babysits the children of the rich, whose fathers demonstrate their relative decency by making passes at her, or not. The novel spans a dreamy summer as our heroine spends her days with her various charges at the beach, happily leading her crew on home-grown, rather sweet adventures. Among the kids she looks after is a toddler whose father is a famous, aging artist. The narrator's preternatural acuity is apparent in this exchange with a new client: "Mrs. Richardson learned by direct inquiry that I lived in that sweet cottage with the dahlias (interested) and went to the academy (more interested) and babysat for this child of the famous artist (most interested) down the road." Child of My Heart is a pretty straightforward coming-of-age novel, but it's marked throughout by this beautifully honed, wry, knowing tone. McDermott's narrator reminds us that our lost innocence might not have been so innocent after all. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Alice McDermott is the author of four previous novels: Charming Billy, winner of the National Book Award in 1998; At Weddings and Wakes; That Night; and A Bigamist’s
Daughter. She lives with her family outside Washington, D.C.

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McDermott, Alice Author
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ISBN 10: 0312422911 ISBN 13: 9780312422912
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Book Description Picador : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "[A] wondrous new novel. . .Alice McDermott is a genius of quiet observation. . .Like Jane Austen, McDermott, one of our finest novelists writing today, is the master of a domain that in the hands of most writers would be limiting. . .Child of My Heart extends her artistic triumphs, and we should be grateful." --Los Angeles Times Book Review "A master. . .As good as any literary novelist writing today, and when I say that I include the big guns: Russell Banks, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison. . .All her books mirror the essential truths of existence so sure-handedly that they are neither comedies nor tragedies, but merely true." --Anna Quindlen "Has something of a classic about it. . .[Its] craftsmanship and its moral intelligence are as one. . .Immaculate." --The New York Times Book Review "Richly textured, intricately woven. . .a work not only of, but about, the imagination." --Margaret Atwood, New York Review of Books "In a league of her own." --People "We have echoes and stirrings of Hardy, Shakespeare, Dickens, James, Beatrix Potter, Christina Rosetti. [Theresa] is a vessel containing a multitude of heroines, a transcendence of ethereal beauties who loved and live in the minds of their readers and inventors." --Chicago Tribune "[A] quietly enchanting novel, graced by McDermott's well-calibrated writing and observant eye.Filled with subtle truths and hard-won wisdom." --The Charlotte Observer. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0312422911

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Book Description Picador USA, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 142 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In Alice McDermott s first work of fiction since her best-selling, National Book Award-winning Charming Billy, a woman recalls her fifteenth summer with the wry and bittersweet wisdom of hindsight. The beautiful child of older parents, raised on the eastern end of Long Island, Theresa is her town s most sought-after babysitter--cheerful, poised, an effortless storyteller, a wonder with children and animals. Among her charges this fateful summer is Daisy, her younger cousin, who has come to spend a few quiet weeks in this bucolic place. While Theresa copes with the challenge presented by the neighborhood s waiflike children, the tumultuous households of her employers, the attentions of an aging painter, and Daisy s fragility of body and spirit, her precocious, tongue-in-check sense of order is tested as she makes the perilous crossing into adulthood. In her deeply etched rendering of all that happened that seemingly idyllic season, McDermott once again peers into the depths of everyday life with inimitable insight and grace. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312422912

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Book Description Picador USA, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 142 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In Alice McDermott s first work of fiction since her best-selling, National Book Award-winning Charming Billy, a woman recalls her fifteenth summer with the wry and bittersweet wisdom of hindsight. The beautiful child of older parents, raised on the eastern end of Long Island, Theresa is her town s most sought-after babysitter--cheerful, poised, an effortless storyteller, a wonder with children and animals. Among her charges this fateful summer is Daisy, her younger cousin, who has come to spend a few quiet weeks in this bucolic place. While Theresa copes with the challenge presented by the neighborhood s waiflike children, the tumultuous households of her employers, the attentions of an aging painter, and Daisy s fragility of body and spirit, her precocious, tongue-in-check sense of order is tested as she makes the perilous crossing into adulthood. In her deeply etched rendering of all that happened that seemingly idyllic season, McDermott once again peers into the depths of everyday life with inimitable insight and grace. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780312422912

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