Laura Moriarty The Center of Everything

ISBN 13: 9781401300319

The Center of Everything

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9781401300319: The Center of Everything
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Critics and readers everywhere stood up and took notice when Laura Moriarty's captivating debut novel hit the stores in June '03. Janet Maslin of the New York Times praised The Center of Everything as "warm" and "beguiling." USA Today compared the scrappy yet tenderhearted Evelyn Bucknow to Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. It garnered extensive national attention; from Entertainment Weekly to the Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle, the press raved about the wisdom and poignancy of Moriarty's writing. The Book-of-the-Month Club snatched it up as a Main Selection, as did the Literary Guild. It was a USA Today Summer Reading Pick, a BookSense Top 10 Pick, and a BN.com book club feature title. And still, months after The Center of Everything's original publication date, reviews and features of the book continue to run nationwide.

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Review:

Laura Moriarty's debut novel is a simple story, but effectively told. Ten-year-old Evelyn Bucknow lives with her not very responsible young mother, Tina, on the outskirts of a small Kansas town. The Center of Everything follows a clean arc: How Evelyn, a gifted but poor student, negotiates the pitfalls of her background to become a college student. The book shows the scary tenuousness of poverty. When Tina's car breaks down, their life falls apart like a flimsy cardboard edifice. Evelyn can't get to school, Tina can't get to work, and unseemly relationships with men who own cars develop. The novel's other theme is the importance of teaching; when one of her teachers tells her she's gifted, Evelyn's life is changed. "She takes off her glasses, still looking at me. I take off my glasses too, because for a moment I think she is going to place them on my eyes, the way you place a crown on someone's head when they become queen. Welcome to being smart." As she heads into adolescence, Evelyn sees her best friend fall in love and become pregnant, just as Tina did when she was a teenager. Evelyn resists these traps, not without some lovelorn, lonely moments. The Center of Everything careens dangerously near fingerwagging at times, but the book's salvation comes from unexpected quarters: Evelyn's mom Tina. At the outset, she seems beleaguered and lost, but as the book progresses she develops a wry resiliency. We get to watch Evelyn and Tina grow up together, and it's a rare sight. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Laura Moriarty received her master's degree from the University of Kansas and was awarded the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. She is the author of The Center of Everything. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786888450: The Center of Everything

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ISBN 10:  0786888458 ISBN 13:  9780786888450
Publisher: Hachette Books, 2004
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9781615538836: The Center of Everything : A Novel

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9780965810197: The Center Of Everything

Hyperion, 2003
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9781402548161: The Center of Everything

Record..., 2003
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Book Description Hyperion, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. 000-002: BRAND NEW Hardcover with Dustjacket. 291 pages. No Defects. A New, Unread Book. A beautiful, square, tight copy with clean, unmarked pages. Perfect Gift Quality. Set in Kerrville, Kansas, a First Novel of Family, Love, and a Refreshing Way of Looking at the World. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Stated First Edition, First Printing 2003. Published by Hyperion Books. Seller Inventory # 32943

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