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A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.
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Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones, a novel, and Lucky, a memoir. She lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.From Publishers Weekly:
Sebold's disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator's statement that she has killed her mother. Helen Knightly, herself the mother of two daughters and an art class model old enough to be the mother of the students who sketch her nude figure, is the dutiful but resentful caretaker for her senile 88-year-old mother, Clair. One day, traumatized by the stink of Clair's voided bowels and determined to bathe her, Helen succumbs to a life-long dream and smothers Clair, who had sucked the life out of [Helen] day by day, year by year. After dragging Clair's corpse into the cellar and phoning her ex-husband to confess her crime, Helen has sex with her best friend's 30-year-old blond-god doofus son. Jumping between past and present, Sebold reveals the family's fractured past (insane, agoraphobic mother; tormented father, dead by suicide) and creates a portrait of Clair that resembles Sebold's own mother as portrayed in her memoir, Lucky. While Helen has clearly suffered at her mother's hands, the matricide is woefully contrived, and Helen's handling of the body and her subsequent actions seem almost slapstick. Sebold can write, that's clear, but her sophomore effort is not in line with her talent. (Oct.)
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Book Description LITTLE BROWN US. Paperback. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, will have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 3108597284
Book Description LITTLE BROWN US. Paperback. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, will have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 3261140355
Book Description Little Brown & Co, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Like New. First Edition. First edition. Hardcover in dust jacket. Shows minor shelf wear, otherwise an unblemished copy!; 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Ships same or next business day!. Seller Inventory # 41501160036
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Book Description Little Brown and Company, 2007. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Nice copy with dust jacket. Just minor shelfwear. Pages of text are clean, bright and free of markings. Binding is tight and secure. ***Superior service: accurate descriptions, prompt shipping, and virtually all items carefully packed in boxes (not envelopes)***. Seller Inventory # 226551
Book Description LITTLE BROWN US, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Seller Inventory # GOR010573294
Book Description Little Brown and Company, New York, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition; 1st Printing. This book is in Near Fine condition and has a Near Fine dust jacket. The book and its contents are in clean, bright condition. The text pages are clean and bright. The dust jacket is crisp and clean. Seller Inventory # A41568