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Count the Ways

de Joyce Maynard

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
13020176,485 (4.28)4
In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family--from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives Eleanor and Cam meet at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s. She's an artist and writer, he makes wooden bowls. Within four years they are parents to three children, two daughters and a red-headed son who fills his pockets with rocks, plays the violin and talks to God. To Eleanor, their New Hampshire farm provides everything she always wanted--summer nights watching Cam's softball games, snow days by the fire and the annual tradition of making paper boats and cork people to launch in the brook every spring. If Eleanor and Cam don't make love as often as they used to, they have something that matters more. Their family. Then comes a terrible accident, caused by Cam's negligence. Unable to forgive him, Eleanor is consumed by bitterness, losing herself in her life as a mother, while Cam finds solace with a new young partner.  Over the decades that follow, the five members of this fractured family make surprising discoveries and decisions that occasionally bring them together, and often tear them apart. Tracing the course of their lives--through the gender transition of one child and another's choice to completely break with her mother--Joyce Maynard captures a family forced to confront essential, painful truths of its past, and find redemption in its darkest hours. A story of holding on and learning to let go, Count the Ways is an achingly beautiful, poignant, and deeply compassionate novel of home, parenthood, love, and forgiveness.… (més)
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I’m sorry.
I love you.
Thank you.
Please forgive me.

- Ho'oponopono prayer, phrases spoken in any order, for reconciliation and forgiveness.

These are the first words we see as we open the book as the Epigraph and honestly, they are the perfect words to begin this story, to remember as you make your way through this compelling novel.

Count the ways is a very character driven novel that allows readers to form an intense bond with the members of this family. The plot spans over forty years, moving back and forth as necessary to provide an entire, clear, intimate portrait of each characters essence. Eleanor, for example, is the first character we meet and right from the start it is impossible not to love her. She feels so real, like I could call her on the telephone and chat about anything from Joni Mitchell to family issues and beyond as she matures and grows older.. She isn't perfect, none of the characters are which is why they are so authentic and life like. Her family is fractured but the love between the members is real, believable and a bit fierce.

This is a novel of family. Of love, loss, laughter, inspiration, sunshine and hurricanes, every single thing that life could throw at a person is a potential hurdle to overcome in this novel. It flows along at just the right pace, Joyce Maynard has done the near impossible by evoking so many emotions through out the story and by keeping the pages turning with her elegant prose containing pieces of her soul that can be felt by the reader.
There are so many reasons this book is a must read, but that right there is above all the biggest reason.

I Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something soulful, something comforting like a warm mug of tea in your hands, this book is the perfect choice to cozy up and become a member of Eleanor's family.

Don't let this one fall behind on your ever growing TBR list. Now is the time you'll want to read this. You'll thank me before you're even finished with the book! If you only read one book this year, this is the book to choose.

Thank you to Netgalley, Joyce Maynard, and publishers for the e=copy provided to me in exchange for my honest review. Count the Ways is a book that I feel good about recommending and promoting and I look forward to watching the conversations and posts regarding this book or the author blow up all of our social media feeds. ( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Count The Ways is Eleanor's story and of the center of her life: her family. Eleanor was an only child in a world where she felt unwanted. Her one desire was to love and be loved. For quite some time she found that in rural New Hampshire. After a tragedy her life was turned on its head. The reader sees Eleanor's ordinary life filled with love, sadness, joy, difficulty, progress, fighting and giving up. 
Although it was neither an extraordinary family or truly unusual story I enjoyed the forty-year journey with Eleanor.
  Nancyjcbs | Feb 9, 2022 |
Leave a few problems for the next book. Don't load them all on one character. Please! ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Oct 6, 2021 |
The Short of It:

An amazingly heartfelt story about a family.

The Rest of It:

The easiest way to describe Maynard’s newest story is to say that it’s a story about life. The life that you and I know, have lived or are currently living. As I was reading it, I could relate to different parts of the story as well as different characters as they were walking through it.

At a young age, Eleanor scrimped and saved to buy a farm and the small but lovely house that came along with it. Having some success writing children’s books, she built a small, humble home for herself and when she falls in love with Cam, he immediately becomes her future. The talk of kids and family and raising them on the farm is all that matters to them and so they waste no time. Three children later, Eleanor’s writing career is somewhat on pause due to raising her young children, Eleanor and Cam struggle to make ends meet. Cam? Not concerned. He has what he wants. He’s creating his burl bowls in his workshop and he’s surrounded by his family.

Although the bowls he creates are beautiful, they don’t sell and with Eleanor’s writing career on hold, she slowly begins to resent Cam’s easy going attitude about making, or not making a living. He is the fun parent. Always stepping in to whisk the kids away to the waterfall, or play with them all day long while Eleanor sits in the house trying to come up with new story ideas. During these times, the cracks begin to show. The cracks in their marriage. All is not gold. Is it ever?

This is such a reflective type of read. Eleanor feels every bit of her age as her children grow. The hours spent feeding them, changing their diapers, tending to their every need. It all leaves a mark. At the same time though, it’s exactly what she wanted from life. A home. A family. A loving man to call her husband. As the home life she creates begins to unravel around her, she wonders why she never wanted more for herself.

I loved this story. There is so much to ponder. Especially for me, as my own kids leave this nest we’ve created. I’d turn a page and read something that I’d have to sit with for a little while before moving forward. I’d go to bed thinking about this family, about missed opportunities and about friends and the idea of home and what it means to each of us. This family will stay with me for a very long time.

Simply put, get yourself a copy. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, have had kids or not. There is something here for everyone. Highly recommend.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Jul 30, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Such a beautiful story and I one I will not soon forget! It was moved so much by this story and the way the story was told. It was original and heartwarming and a bit heart breaking at times too. The story has so much depth a reader will be drawn in quickly and won't look up until the book is closed! A MUST read! ( )
  Mrsmommybooknerd | Jun 29, 2021 |
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I'm sorry.
I love you.
Thank you.
Please forgive me.

        ---Ho'oponopono prayer, phrases spoken in any order, for reconciliation and forgiveness
And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.
             
              --Jane Kenyon, "Happiness"
How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

            --Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43
Dedicatòria
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For A., and W., who continue to instruct me well in the occasional heartbreak and lifelong joy of being a mother.
And for C. and S. The next generation.
Primeres paraules
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Toby was just a baby---Alison four years old, Ursula not yet three---the first time they launched the cork people.
Citacions
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How does it happen that a person with whom you have shared your most intimate moments---greatest love, greatest pain, joy, also grief---can become a stranger?
Until that night she had not known he was capable of so much coldness or, call it what it was, so much quiet rage. Maybe that's what happened when someone who had once been in love with you wasn't anymore.
How could it be that a person could be both the source of your greatest sorrow and the source of your only comfort, all at once? That afternoon he was both.
Maybe the same thing that made him so enviably carefree also resulted in his maddening obliviousness. Life just didn't seem so earthshakingly serious to Cam...Eleanor remembered everything and never let it go.
Eleanor had learned this over the years: children of divorced parents were like citizens of two hostile countries, observing the laws and customs of each, depending on where they were at the moment. Shedding the language and culture when they entered the other, doing the same when they crossed back. Having to keep their story straight, depending on where they were. Their one source of continuity with each other.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Cap

In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family--from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives Eleanor and Cam meet at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s. She's an artist and writer, he makes wooden bowls. Within four years they are parents to three children, two daughters and a red-headed son who fills his pockets with rocks, plays the violin and talks to God. To Eleanor, their New Hampshire farm provides everything she always wanted--summer nights watching Cam's softball games, snow days by the fire and the annual tradition of making paper boats and cork people to launch in the brook every spring. If Eleanor and Cam don't make love as often as they used to, they have something that matters more. Their family. Then comes a terrible accident, caused by Cam's negligence. Unable to forgive him, Eleanor is consumed by bitterness, losing herself in her life as a mother, while Cam finds solace with a new young partner.  Over the decades that follow, the five members of this fractured family make surprising discoveries and decisions that occasionally bring them together, and often tear them apart. Tracing the course of their lives--through the gender transition of one child and another's choice to completely break with her mother--Joyce Maynard captures a family forced to confront essential, painful truths of its past, and find redemption in its darkest hours. A story of holding on and learning to let go, Count the Ways is an achingly beautiful, poignant, and deeply compassionate novel of home, parenthood, love, and forgiveness.

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