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Sharon Solwitz

Författare till Once, in Lourdes: A Novel

5+ verk 55 medlemmar 7 recensioner

Om författaren

Foto taget av: Uncredited image found at Purdue University website.

Verk av Sharon Solwitz

Once, in Lourdes: A Novel (2017) 30 exemplar
Blood and Milk (1997) 17 exemplar
Bloody Mary: A Novel (2003) 6 exemplar
Alive 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Best American Short Stories 2012 (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 363 exemplar
The Best American Short Stories 2016 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 265 exemplar


Allmänna fakta




I don't remember how I received this one for review, but I was glad I did receive it. It came in my email as a suggested like from NetGalley and it hit pretty well. This was a quick read in a world where there is so much mess.

In Lourdes, MI in the summer of 1968, 4 friends- Kay, CJ, Saint, and Vera make a pact to end their lives by the end of the summer. They want to escape their lives because each in their own way live lives filled with mess.

CJ is Jewish, yet gets turned on by Holocaust footage. He is struggling with his sexuality too.

Vera has had several sexual partners and none are right for her. She seeks love in sex because she thinks no one will love her because of her deformed hand.

Saint is the newest in the group and bounces from partner to partner within the group.

Kay's mother committed suicide when she was 11 and has essentially replaced her mother in her father's life. It is not a positive connection.

As the 4 journey through the summer, their lives will change as they face their reality and the reality of their decision of having a pact. They will also sleep and romance one another like crazy. All this takes place while Vietnam is happening in the background.

I thought this was a good book, but not a great book. By the end, I was really glad I read it through to the end as I almost quit the book. When one of Vera's partners is revealed, it was a bit messed up, it was why I wanted to quit, but also why I continued because it showed how messy their lives are.

Each chapter switches the focus to each one of the characters with unnamed chapters focused on Kay. Their lives are dark, so don't expect an uplifting one for this one. I keep using the word mess and that is what it is. They are teens, in the midst of a country at war, and at the end of HS. Their old lives are ending and they are growing up.

I wound up giving this one 3 stars. It wasn't bad and I wound up enjoying the read, but there are rough parts to this book.

I wish to thank NetGalley for the review copy. I read it in exchange for an honest review.
… (mer)
Nerdyrev1 | 6 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2022 |
This novel of four misfits, lovable only to themselves, who make a deadly pact, is a must read for anyone interested in characters so original and artfully rendered that you want to pull them aside and ask them all kinds of personal questions on your own. The descriptions and language are so staggeringly great they inspire awe without actually becoming purple. And, there is a surprise ending that is inevitable without being predictable. It blew me away. At the same time, the author is a bit too in love with her characters to the point where at times it’s overpacked, with descriptions of their quirky behaviors and situations interrupting the through story just as it begins to roll. You will forgive the author, however, in the overall achievement of this remarkable story.… (mer)
RitaDragonette | 6 andra recensioner | Sep 11, 2018 |
This was a book that will certainly affect a reader. It is a coming of age story of sorts with the main characters a close clique of four teens who are on the verge of graduating from high school. They each have had problems fitting in with other teens and have banded together to form gang of misfits. The story takes place in a small town, Lourdes, Michigan, during the turbulent year of 1968. These four each clearly have a love and concern for each other and look to each other for acceptance, understanding, and direction. Eventually it becomes apparent that two of them have the charisma that draws this group together and sets their direction. The author does an amazing job of bringing out these characters and allows the reader to get to know them and what makes them tick.
The story line focuses strongly on these four and their connections to each other. The relationships shift throughout, and yet they remain committed to each other and their group. There are many mature and controversial issues that come up throughout the book. Probably the most "normal" of the kids is Kay, an overweight girl whose mother committed suicide after struggling with her own weight and marital problems. She now lives with her father, his younger and thinner new wife, and her step-sister who while empathetic to Kay, is everything that Kay is not. The rest of the group, Saint, Vera, and C.J., each deal with significant dysfunction within their families and struggles with their inner demons. Their compelling story leads up to a pledge and a significant event that will determine the fate of the group and each of it's members.
This book might appear to be written for a young adult audience since it deals with teens, but I would suggest caution with this age group. The subjects in the book are sometimes disturbing and might be difficult for immature suggestive and/or sensitive youth. As an older reader, I felt that it was geared more to parents and older readers. I was able to pick out nuances of thought and hope that a less mature reader might completely overlook.
Part of the draw for me in choosing to read this book was the time period. Although I would have been a little younger, I remember this time and the changes that were going on around the country. Many people were confused and lacked direction, bending to the actions of others. Kids were more frequently left to function and figure things out on their own than previous generations. I think the author captures this time well with its expansion of thought and experience.
That said, the style of writing is somewhat challenging to read. The narrator is most frequently Kay, but there are times when any of the other main characters might be thinking or describing what's happening. This might be a bit off putting or at the very least confusing at times, but eventually it begins to make more sense and the reader adapts. Again, I urge caution with recommending this to youth since it is raw in its description of issues and might seem to glorify the idea of suicide. Ultimately this is not the case, but it might take an older reader to fully appreciate it.
I thank the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
… (mer)
c.archer | 6 andra recensioner | Sep 17, 2017 |
A coming of age novel set in 1968, when I did the same, should have knocked me out, but this didn't. Even though their strong friendship is heartfelt and well-written, the four main characters individually held very little appeal to me. An girl obsessed with her weight, a boy who longs to dress in drag, a boy who's poor compared to his middle-class friends, and an ethereally beautiful fuckup blonde who's just as much a trope as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. They decide upon a suicide pact, and the plot counts down the weeks until the date they will or won't execute it. Can't say as I cared too much by the end.… (mer)
froxgirl | 6 andra recensioner | Aug 1, 2017 |


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