Friday, November 26, 2010

Anna Quindlen - One True Thing: A Novel

61. One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen (1994)
Length: 289 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 16 November 2010
Finished: 26 November 2010
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 October 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and I read and enjoyed Blessings by the same author in the past.

A young woman sits in jail accused of murder. While she claims that she is in fact innocent of the charges against her, she also says that the crime was actually an act of mercy. She tells everyone who will listen that she may know who committed the crime.

When Ellen Gulden first learns that her mother, Kate, is suffering from cancer, the disease has already become far advanced. Actually, she has always held a special place within her family. As the oldest of three children, Ellen has always been seen as the high achiever of the family; her father's intellectual match, and the person who is most caught in the middle between her parents. So, when her father insists that Ellie quit her job and come home to care for Kate, she feels obligated to fulfill her father's wishes.

However, while everyone else sees Ellen's role in the family as that of the dutiful daughter, she sees herself as very different from her mother. Kate Gulden was always the talented homemaker, the family's popular center, its one true thing. Ellen secretly believes that she will never truly measure up to her mother, no matter what she does. Yet as she begins to spend more time with Kate, Ellen learns many surprising things, not only about herself but also about her mother, a woman she thought she knew so well.

As the days progress for Ellen and Kate, the life choices both women have made are reassessed in this deeply personal and poignant novel, a work of fiction which is inbued with richly detailed and profound insights into the complex lives and relationships of men and women. I have to say that while this book dealt with a very heavy subject, it was still very well-written. In my opinion, Ms. Quindlen treated such a difficult subject with a certain amount of tenderness and sympathy for all involved.

To be perfectly honest, while I came to understand the main character by the end of the story, I would have to say that she didn't have the most appealing personality to start with. I found her to be somewhat annoying and self-absorbed; although she became a more sympathetic character to me the further that I read. I would also say that my initial impressions would perhaps have to be deliberately created by the author. I would give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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