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NovelNancyM

NovelNancyM

Joined May 2019

My motto in life: Never leave home without a book.
review
NovelNancyM
Lucy by the Sea: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Pickpick

Even though the plot is about the anxiety we all felt during the uncertainty during the Pandemic before vaccines were available, this was a delightful read that as usual in Strout's novels left me hopeful. Thoroughly enjoyed this!

sarahbarnes I loved this one too - I felt the same way about it. ♥️ 5d
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NovelNancyM
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Panpan

Maybe romance novels are not for me, but in spite of the grief the character's have experienced they were so narcissistic I had no empathy for them.

LeslieO I only read a few pages and decided I wasn‘t in the mood for it. But that is the greatest title and cover. 1mo
41 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NovelNancyM
State of Wonder | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

Not sure why I haven't read this book before because Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. Love her character development and her strong descriptions of setting. Also everything is not neatly tied up in a bow at the end and perhaps that's why she always leaves me wanting to come back for more of her writing.

SamAnne Loved this one. 1mo
Kristin_Reads She has a new one coming out in August, too! 5d
41 likes2 comments
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NovelNancyM
Book Lovers | Emily Henry
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Mehso-so

Was this literature? No. Was it a fun read? Eventually. At first the triteness drove me crazy, but I wanted to like it better so kept reading and it had some twists at the end I didn't predict. Not sure I am a better person for reading this, but it was compelling enough I finished it in two days.

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NovelNancyM
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Mehso-so

This book meandered a bit too much to hold my attention so I mostly skimmed it. I agree that social media has no context and often feel bombarded by disparate subjects in a feed. Also agree nature is healing and important for us to notice our surroundings. Mostly learned that the person who recommended this to me seems to enjoy such different types of books than me (I have recommended many of my favorites to her that she didn't enjoy too!).

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NovelNancyM
Euphoria | Lily King
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Panpan

I chose this novel because I liked King's Writers and Lovers. This one I did not care for. The white characters were selfish and it felt like cultural misappropriation. I did finish the novel hoping it might get better, but didn't find it redeeming, even after reading it was loosely based on Margaret Mead.

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NovelNancyM
Yerba Buena | Nina LaCour
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Pickpick

While I didn't find the writing exceptional I enjoyed the story line. Also, if you enjoy descriptions of food and drink, you may like this. The novel once again reinforces how one's family of origin can mess up a human for years if not their lifetime.

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NovelNancyM
Yerba Buena | Nina LaCour
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Pickpick

While I didn't find the writing exceptional I enjoyed the story line and this novel once again reinforces how one's family of origin can mess up a human for years if not a lifetime.

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NovelNancyM
Trust | Hernan Diaz
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Pickpick

It took awhile to get into this seemingly disjointed novel which is actually four versions of the same story. When it all came together, it was compelling and it took until the last page for it to all come together. A fun read!

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

Sometimes people can't get out of their own way and in this novel both Daley and her father Gardiner are examples of this. At times I found myself irritated with the choices they both made, but in the end it's hard to question someone's motives that are driven by love.

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NovelNancyM
Unsettled Ground | Claire Fuller
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Pickpick

This is not an uplifting book as the main character Jeanie is challenged with poverty, illiteracy, and stubborn pride. There is love, music and companionship, but ultimately will a lack of honesty and transparency among people she thinks she knows be possible to overcome?

37 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancyM
Ghosted: A Love Story | Jenn Ashworth
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Mehso-so

Not the most uplifting of books but intriguing enough to keep reading. Realistically flawed characters, none of which I particularly liked. It also reinforces how we all create stories in our head which isn't always the healthiest to do.

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NovelNancyM
Ghosted: A Love Story | Jenn Ashworth
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Mehso-so

Not the most uplifting of books but intriguing enough to keep reading. Realistically flawed characters, none of which I particularly liked. It also reinforces how we all create stories in our head which isn't always the healthiest to do.

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NovelNancyM
City of Orange | David Yoon
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Bailedbailed

I almost always finish a book, but this one did nothing for me. I gave it a bit over 100 pages and decided to bail. As the saying goes, too many good books, too little time.

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NovelNancyM
Lessons: A Novel | Ian McEwan
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Pickpick

I almost never quit a book but I was tempted with this one. I decided to give it 100 pages and just as I got to it, I was hooked. The novel spans 70 years and includes historical events, mostly political. It also has many literary references. I enjoyed the character development and the humanness of the flawed characters. Heavy subject matter of sexual exploitation so definitely not light reading.

ChaoticMissAdventures Always impressed with the expanse of McEwans writing, his range is something we don't see by many authors. I read him often when I hit a book slump. 2mo
35 likes1 comment
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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

This is my fourth book of Shafak's. While the writing is as beautiful as the other books, what made this novel so interesting is many of the chapters are told from the point of view of a fig tree who provides much background as well as an outlet for the humans to express their feelings. Much research went into this & I enjoyed learning about the island of Cyprus & its tumultuous history. Not my favorite novel of the authors but glad I read it.

Hanna-B I didn‘t enjoy it 2mo
44 likes1 comment
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NovelNancyM
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner
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Mehso-so

I didn't connect with this book. I usually enjoy memoirs but maybe this one was too built up based on all the hype. As someone who enjoys Asian food, I did enjoy all the food references.

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NovelNancyM
Perfect: A Novel | Rachel Joyce
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Mehso-so

Bought a used copy as I loved the Harold Fry book. This one is so sad I almost didn't want to keep reading it, yet there it was compelling enough to finish. Few of the characters are likable. Jim has uncontrollable OCD - almost to the point he can't function in life. Byron, a young boy, learns his mother isn't perfect when over a summer an incident causes life to go out of control The plot alternates by chapter until the end when they converge.

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NovelNancyM
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This is an amazingly complex book that endeared me to the characters. Marian Graves is a strong female protagonist and I loved her twin brother Jamie. So many concepts about identity, sexuality, gender roles and a great read overall. Highly recommend!

30 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

Sometimes in life, people can't catch a break. This is certainly true for Bess, a 15-year old who has been in the foster care system most of her life. On the surface, she is “lucky“ in that she's been placed with the same family. However, she and her foster mom have issues, her social worker simply goes through the motions and she gets involved with a 19-year old guy whose life is no better than hers.

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NovelNancyM
Case Study | Graeme Macrae Burnet
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“At Oxford he could be whatever, or whomever, he chose. He realised that the person he thought he had been was no more than a construct. You could not separate an individual from the environment they found themselves in, or the people they interacted with. His identity up to that point - or what he thought of as his identity - was no more than a reaction to his upbringing,“ (52).

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NovelNancyM
Nightcrawling: A novel | Leila Mottley
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Pickpick

For a first book, this is well done. At times the story seemed to have random elements, but the overall plot line is compelling and the characters are well developed. Everything is stacked against Kiara who never is given the chance to be a child. She has to not only be responsible for herself, but takes on others when the adults in her life let her down. She quickly gets in over her head while simply trying to survive.

charl08 Looking forward to reading this #Booker22 4mo
30 likes1 comment
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NovelNancyM
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

On the one hand, this novel has a simple premise. On the other hand it is quite existential. Definitely one I will continue thinking about for a long time after reading it in a day.

DrexEdit I loved this book. ❤️ 3mo
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NovelNancyM
The Night Watchman | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

Beautiful writing about a not so beautiful part of American history where the US government wants to exterminate the Native Americans in the 1950s. The novel weaves together many characters into a colorful rich tapestry.

30 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancyM
The Swimmers | Julie Otsuka
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Pickpick

A short novel that will have a long lasting impact on me. Otsuka has a unique writing style especially her point of view & her beautiful sentences & spare words. Alice is a long-time swimmer at a lap pool where there is camaraderie among the regulars. Then a crack appears in the pool. Meanwhile, Alice's memory is diminishing & her daughter to whom she is not particularly close begins to deal with her mom's condition. A stunningly beautiful novel!

sailu112 Wow intriguing. Loved Buddha in the attic. Adding it to my TBR 4mo
34 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NovelNancyM
And the Mountains Echoed | Khaled Hosseini
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“The moment is brief, barely enough for a flutter of the pulse but long enough for her illusory self to catch up with the reality of the woman gazing back from the shopwindow. It is a little devastating. This is what aging is, she thinks as she follows Isabelle into the store, these random unking moments that catch you when you least expect them“ (231).

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

A quick read, motivational book that comes across as non-preachy.

parker_pa1 Hi there👋🏻Good day to you, how are you doing and how's things going with you over there..? 5mo
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

The setting is WWI which naturally makes for a confusing timeframe since wars are never straightforward. This novel also uses the approach of switching POVs between two characters. I thought the plot was slow to start, but hooked me enough that I chose to keep reading. It also offers the perspective of the people who survived and how life must somehow go on. If you enjoy historical fiction (particularly WWI) this is worth the read.

parker_pa1 Hi there 👋👋
Good day to you✨how are you doing and how's things going with you over there my dear..??
5mo
30 likes1 comment
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NovelNancyM
Young Mungo | Douglas Stuart
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Pickpick

As brilliantly written as Shuggie Bain. Young Mungo is both heartbreaking and breath taking as one witnesses abuse, violence, poverty, alcoholism in Mungo's life while he also discovers love and occasional kindness. The ending leaves one hopeful too. While intense and raw, the plot makes for a compelling read.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

As is common with many current novels, this one alternates narrators and time covering both WWI and WWII. An interesting premise of female spies who were less suspect by enemies. This novel once again reinforces the true cost of war - even those who never directly fought may be adversely affected the rest of their lives.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

I wasn't quite sure at first if I'd enjoy this novel given all the woven in fairy tales, but about a third of the way in I began to truly enjoy it. There is so much empathy and the theme that everyone feels different and just wants to be loved makes this such a universal message. Great character development and an unpredictable plot.

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NovelNancyM
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Panpan

I would categorize this as a YA book. I enjoyed the character development and the relationship between the grandmother and granddaughter, but the plot was too implausible.

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NovelNancyM
The Silver Star: A Novel | Jeannette Walls
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Pickpick

A quick read with a somewhat predictable plot, but still enjoyable. Themes of mental health and racism.

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NovelNancyM
Grown | Tiffany D. Jackson
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Pickpick

This was a challenging book to read in that Jackson's character development, especially of Enchanted, can't help but create empathy in the reader. Enchanted has experiences no 17 year old girl should have, while also raising the issue of how Black woman in our society are not believed. Great cover and title!

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

Excellent writing about a young man who spends his youth being told by his father he is a god. His father “markets“ him as he builds up an ashram. I learned a lot about India I didn't know before but also found universality in this coming of age story about a boy who suddenly is forced to question what he has always thought to be true.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. For so many of us 2020 was a blur, yet this clearly spells out not only what was happening, but also what we need to survive - human connection. The writing is poetry; the visual display is art; combined it is magic that spoke to my heart. I give it a 10/5 as everyone needs to read this book. Those who do will be changed for the better.

RebL I am recommending this book to everyone. 7mo
NovelNancyM @RebL Me too! I reread it the next day and immediately texted 6 friends telling they HAVE to read it!
7mo
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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NovelNancyM
The Paris Library: A Novel | Janet Skeslien Charles
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Pickpick

A well-written historical novel. I liked the back and forth of time and narrators between chapters. The plot was compelling and made me want to keep reading. The characters weren't necessarily endearing, but they grew and developed in the story.

20 likes1 stack add
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NovelNancyM
The Borrower: A Novel | Rebecca Makkai
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Pickpick

A fun adventure about the power of books and how they can save people. Interesting that this was written in 2011 and is still so relevant in light of the current climate that is anti LGBTQ+ and in favor of banning books. To quote the character Lucy: “I do still believe that books can save you“ (320).

20 likes2 stack adds
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NovelNancyM
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Panpan

I am usually a fan of memoirs, but didn't enjoy this one (even though I like the author's fiction). It's about the time in Berg's life when her parents are aging and her father starts the descent into Alzheimer's. One of her mom's sister dies and so the mom becomes depressed, but from Berg's perspective she thinks her mom is mad and angry. I know everyone's journey is different, but having recently been through this with my mom, I couldn't relate.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

A story where love transcends all and family isn't always the one we're born into.

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NovelNancyM
Oh William!: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Mehso-so

Not my favorite Elizabeth Strout book - writing felt more of telling versus showing.

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NovelNancyM
In the Wild Light | Jeff Zentner
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Pickpick

Another amazing book by one of my favorite YA authors. I know The Serpent King is his most popular, but I loved Goodbye Days more and In the Wild Light ranks up with that for me. The writing is so lyrical; Cash has so many bittersweet moments that I couldn't help but feel tenderness for him.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

Amanda Gorman is an amazing writer. The way she combines words - using alliteration, juxtaposing similar words (e.g., a jar is ajar) is incredible. This collection takes us through the start of the pandemic until Jan. 20, 2021 where she read her brilliant poem at Biden's inauguration.

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NovelNancyM
Run | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

Ann Patchett's novels are character driven and this one had so many well-developed ones, I'm not even sure who the protagonist was. Behind many of the lives of the characters are secrets that not only made for some plot twists, it makes one wonder if we truly do know even the closest people in our lives.

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NovelNancyM
Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

Another stellar novel by Ann Patchett where she weaves in so many characters over many years who are simply going about their daily lives. I love how the relationships are intertwined and as people mature, they become more forgiving of one another.

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NovelNancyM
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Mehso-so

While the writing style is interesting, I did not care for this book as much as When the Emperor was Divine. I am looking forward to reading The Swimmers.

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NovelNancyM
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this collection of essays as much as These Precious Days. Topics have aged well even though some essays are over ten years old. Ann has a way of taking personal experience and making it universal.

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NovelNancyM
In Every Mirror She's Black | Lol knmd kerstrm
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Pickpick

I liked the writing style, the interweaving of the three black women, and the character development, but not the ending. I don't expect books to be tied up into nice bows where everyone lives happily ever after, but this one felt abrupt or something that left me feeling not quite satisfied.

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NovelNancyM
These Precious Days | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

I once told my students when I finish a novel, I have to say goodbye to the characters. I rarely start a new book on the day I finish one.
I finished this book before bed & didn't sleep well; I was still thinking about Ann's ideas. Her writing, her honesty, her vulnerability resonate with me. I truly believe that if our paths were to cross somewhere in life we would be friends, but since they haven't I will settle for being a fan girl.

NovelNancyM “When someone claims they don't know how to cook, I find myself snapping, 'Do you know how to read?' Paying close attention to the text, and realizing that books can save you, those were the lessons I learned. ... Books were not just my education and my entertainment, they were my partners. They told me what I was capable of. They let me stare a long way down the paths of various possibilities so that I could make decisions“ (30-31). 8mo
IuliaC Great review! 8mo
lynneamch I've found something special in everything I've read by her. I especially enjoyed listening to this other essay collection 8mo
18 likes3 comments
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NovelNancyM
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“The most important thing I've learned is that what you do will never define you for long. Who you are always will“ (92).