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Count the Ways: A Novel de Joyce Maynard
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Count the Ways: A Novel (edició 2021)

de Joyce Maynard (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
9418232,763 (4.42)4
Membre:annie7364
Títol:Count the Ways: A Novel
Autors:Joyce Maynard (Autor)
Informació:William Morrow (2021), 464 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Informació de l'obra

Count the Ways de Joyce Maynard

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» Mira també 4 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 18 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I have never read a book by Joyce Maynard before. I knew of her slightly - the fact that she was J. D. Salinger’s one time girlfriend and I think I may have seen a movie based on one of her novels. The early reviewers description of Count the Ways sounded very good so I thought I would give it a try. I must say Maynard is indeed a very talented writer. The entire plot description is on the back cover, so it is how she tells the story in a simple way with beautiful prose that engaged me. However, because I knew that a tragic event would unfold, I was not happy that it took almost 200 pages to get there. I knew she had to set the stage, but at each chapter I thought it would occur and it did not. I feel it was self indulgent to write so many chapters where nothing really happened. But I must say, once the event occurred the book did move along at a better pace and I began to really enjoy it. (It is a long book.).

Maynard beautifully and sensitively describes the emotions of a loving family coming apart. She realistically presents the wife Eleanor’s feelings of both love and despair about her relationship with her husband Cam, the effects of the divorce on her three children, and what happens to the family.

Some of my favorite quotes exemplify these things:

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.

Cam wasn't the type to display anger, least of all to Eleanor. In some ways, his anger would have been easier to take, because a person who is angry at you is at least acknowledging your existence. But Cam drifted along like a cork person. The kind that somehow, miraculously, makes it all the way down the brook without getting caught in the weeds.

It wasn't just that the two of them turned out to have no future together. More surprising, for Eleanor, was the obliteration of the past.

Sometimes, Eleanor reflected, it might be better for a person to remember less.

Families didn't always look the way you pictured them. And even if they did, that was just about never the real story.

Also, Maynard sets the scenes throughout the novel by the news stories and music of the day. The novel covers many years and this technique highlights the passage of time.

She tackles painful topics such as rape, abortion, AIDS, gender reassignment, a child’s disability and of course betrayal and divorce. The themes of loss and sorrow predominate but joy and love do shine through. ( )
  Micheller7 | May 12, 2021 |
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard is a very highly recommended, excellent, heartrendingly beautiful family drama spanning five decades.

Eleanor was already accustom to living a solitary life when her self-absorbed, usually inebriated parents died in a car accident while she was a teen away at boarding school which left her truly alone in the world. She has always been an artist and a series of children's books she started after this were published and became successful which provided for her the financial independence to buy an old farmhouse in New Hampshire. Eleanor loves her farm house and spends several years living there alone, happy and working on her books.

When she meets Cam at a craft fair the handsome, redheaded woodworker steals her heart. He moves to her farm where the two have three children they adore: Alison, Ursula, and Toby. They are a busy, active family, but when a terrible accident occurs caused by Cam's negligence, Eleanor can't forgive him. Cam, however, turns to the teenage babysitter for solace. The marriage breaks up, but the children never learn about Cam's betrayal and blame Eleanor for everything. Over the decades that follow the family encounters more trials, decisions, and experiences that shape all of their lives.

Eleanor is a wonderfully fully-developed character and will elicit empathy, understanding, and compassion. She loves her children above all else. She is relatable and you will feel her pain and understand the losses she endures. Maynard interweaves into the plot historical events of the times and, because the novel spans decades, many readers will recall and relate to all of the historical events, as well as the music. Eleanor does the right thing for her children, yet she is the one who ultimately pays the price for her integrity. Eleanor's life experiences are both frustrating and tragic, and, ultimately, result in hard-fought wisdom and integrity. I really can't recall another novel where I related so completely to the character that I felt we knew each other, that we comfortably sit down and visit with each other like old friends.

I was totally engrossed in the poignant, heartbreaking story of this woman's life and her her family. Following all the changes Eleanor and her family goes through is touching, but also painful. The narrative opens with Eleanor in her fifties, her children grown, and she has long been divorced from Cam. Then the novel goes back in time and follows Eleanor's life up to the time of the opening scene. And I was totally enmeshed in the entire story of her life and all of her experiences. Maynard realistically captures the life of a family as they confront fundamental, difficult truths from their past, and ultimately find common ground in their love of each other which allows them to continue.

This will be a contender for my list of top novels of the year. The Ho'oponopono prayer which Maynard opens Count the Ways with is so fitting: I’m sorry. I love you. Thank you. Please forgive me. There are a few events that are a part of Eleanor's life which perhaps make it a bit too melodramatic and on-topic, on-trend, and obviously political (for example the MeToo story line), but the plot elements are resolved and handled well.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins in exchange for my honest opinion.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2021/05/count-ways.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3997372209 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | May 12, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 18 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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Epígraf
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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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