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"An extraordinary, almost-successful debut that treats sensational material with literary grace....[M]ostly mesmerizing and deserving of the attention it's sure to receive."
"What might play as a sentimental melodrama in the hands of a lesser writer becomes in this volume a keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time. The novel is an elegy...about a vanished place and time and the loss of childhood innocence. And it is also a deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain and loss can be redeemed...through love and acceptance....[Some] lapses do not diminish Ms. Sebold's achievements: the ability to capture both the ordinary and the extraordinary, the banal and the horrific, in lyrical, unsentimental prose; her instinctive understanding of the mathematics of love between parents and children; her gift for making palpable the dreams, regrets and unstilled hopes of one girl and one family."
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 06/18/2002
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