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Sharp, Paula

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ISBN 10: 0786862661 / ISBN 13: 9780786862665
Published by Hyperion, 2000
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From Columbia Books, ABAA/ILAB (Columbia, MO, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Sharp, Paula. I LOVED YOU ALL. NY: Hyperion, c2000. First Printing. 370pp. 8vo. SIGNED by author on as new hardcover in as new d/j. Bookseller Inventory # 40677

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Hyperion

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Marguerite Daigle struggles to survive in a small New York town she considers the edge of nowhere, always holding her family together by a thread. In the summer of 1977, that thread unravels when her older daughter forms a bond with a zealous but well-meaning religious right-to-lifer. A lyrical, funny, and moving portrait of family life, and of the peculiar politics of abortion rights, I Loved You All demonstrates once again that Paula Sharp is a writer of formidable abilities.


Paula Sharp's tale of a family on the edge takes place in upstate New York in the late '70s, in a gloomy prison town of harsh winters and hard-core Christians. Marguerite Daigle loves to drink; she also loves her daughters, Mahalia and Penny, but she cannot seem to pull herself away from the bottle long enough to raise them. So they go to school in dirty clothes, drink Coca-Cola for dinner, and sit on the steps waiting for mom to return from her benders. The youngest daughter, 8-year-old Penny, narrates I Loved You All. She's a rebel who's constantly in trouble at school; she draws mean cartoons of teachers. Penny remembers her mother's confidences, and forgives her in retrospect:

Years after that summer, my mother told us that she had awakened one morning when she was thirty-seven and found she needed a little whisky to start the day. She understood that she had undergone a kind of change of life overnight, slid into a new personal chemistry that required alcohol the way a car needs gasoline to run. The feeling, she said, was as definite as knowing you were gravely ill, or that you were pregnant.
At 15, the oldest daughter, Mahalia, is not so forgiving, and much of I Loved You All concerns her joining an extreme right-to-life church, passing out pamphlets, and crying for the unborn children in abortion clinics. The book's title comes from Gwendolyn Brooks's remarkable poem "the mother," which begins: "Abortions will not let you forget. / You remember the children you got that you did not get." Sharp is interested in the ways people succumb: to sex and addiction, to ideas of God. The eccentric, neglectful mother of I Loved You All will be familiar to readers of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping or Jenny Offill's Last Things. Like those writers, Sharp is interested in the ways kids come of age in troubled families--the ways they try to escape, and the ways they try to forgive. --Ellen Williams

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