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"Profound, no, but sincere and heartfelt: could be the affirmative novel about 9/11 that a lot of readers are waiting for."
"The dissonance between the world in which the 9/11 tragedy can happen and Wendy's subsequent Neverland, where nothing threatening looms and no one even curses, is disconcerting. There is never any fear that Wendy, unsupervised in a strange place, staggering beneath a loss that has damaged her forever, will fall through the cracks. There's little evidence of drugs or alcohol....Everyone is good. This does make for uplift--THE USUAL RULES--succeeds in being a sunny novel, despite its premise--but sunniness doesn't make for particularly compelling drama....And yet Maynard does manage to pull a rabbit out of this particular hat. Her gift for creating realistic and heartfelt domestic moments succeeds in convincing us that Wendy has found a reason to go on in the midst of her tremendous sorrow...."
Karen Karbo, New York Times Book Review, 02/16/2003
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