The Book Borrower

The Book Borrower By Alice Mattison, The Book Borrower On the first page of The Book Borrower Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in in a New York City playground where the two women are looking after their babies Deborah lends Toby a book Trolley
  • Title: The Book Borrower
  • Author: Alice Mattison
  • ISBN: 9780688177867
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Book Borrower By Alice Mattison, On the first page of The Book Borrower, Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in 1975 in a New York City playground, where the two women are looking after their babies Deborah lends Toby a book, Trolley Girl, a memoir about a long ago trolley strike and three Jewish sisters, one a fiery revolutionary that will disappear and reappear throughout the twenty two years these wOn the first page of The Book Borrower, Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in 1975 in a New York City playground, where the two women are looking after their babies Deborah lends Toby a book, Trolley Girl, a memoir about a long ago trolley strike and three Jewish sisters, one a fiery revolutionary that will disappear and reappear throughout the twenty two years these women are friends.Through two decades Deborah and Toby raise their children, embark on teaching careers, and argue about politics, education, and their own lives One day during a hike, they have an argument that cannot be resolved and the two women take different, permanent paths but it is ultimately the borrowed book that will bring them back together With sensitivity and grace, Alice Mattison shows how books can rescue us from our deepest sorrows how the events of the outside world play into our private lives and how the bonds between women are enduring, mysterious, and laced with surprise.
    The Book Borrower By Alice Mattison,
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      Published :2020-05-14T04:07:29+00:00

    About "Alice Mattison"

    1. Alice Mattison

      Alice Mattison s new novel, WHEN WE ARGUED ALL NIGHT, will be published by Harper Perennial as a paperback original on June 12, 2012 She s the author of 5 other novels, most recently NOTHING IS QUITE FORGOTTEN IN BROOKLYN, 4 collections of stories, and a book of poems Many of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and other magazines She grew up in Brooklyn, New York and has lived for a long time in New Haven, Connecticut She teaches fiction writing in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the low residency MFA program at Bennington College in Vermont.

    801 thoughts on “The Book Borrower”

    1. 4 09I really didn t care for this book, and it was quite an effort to get through it It was for book club We all read the blurb and decided that it sounded great, but I think we ve been let down I had a lot of trouble with her writing style It jumped erratically from one thought to another when characters were talking and thinking That drove me nuts Also hated that there were no quotation marks Just those dash things, which made it confusing figuring out what was spoken, and what was thought Cou [...]

    2. Many Goodreaders disliked this book, but it was a New York Times notable book, and a few people liked it a lot So it was an interesting experiment to read through the reviews and for readers whose tastes match my own Turns out, those who liked it are a lot like me reading wise duh It has been a long time since I read Anne Tyler, but I kept thinking of her and Raymond Carver as I followed the characters through their very ordinary, slightly sad, very believable lives This was an unromanticized st [...]

    3. This book sounded so intriguing but I gave up after 50 pages Everything about it annoyed me including the writing style and the characters I couldn t be bothered reading any further.

    4. EhI finished it My friendships with other women are very important to me I have been happily married for a long time, to a stand up guy, who does not talk, and doesn t listen very much And that s where I look for other women We re the oral types, right We have to talk, and we talk to each other.For this reason, plus the fact that it was a New York Times notable, I anticipated myself becoming immersed in one character or another, or maybe than one It never happened I was glad I didn t pay full c [...]

    5. Has this ever happened to you You are checking out the books at Costco and come across a book with a great picture on the cover Suddenly you are intrigued Then you read the fabulous title The Book Borrower Especially when you love books about books The Book Thief, Shadow of the Wind It ends up in your cart next to the frozen chicken and clorox wipes Why not, its only eight bucks Well, I wish I had my eight bucks back Lame book.

    6. I only read about 1 3 of this book Today our book group met and I found that even those who read the entire book had to force themselves to continue.The English teachers in the group were very bothered by the lack of punctuation, especially quotation marks No one in the group really was able to interpret much of a message The review of the book which several of us had read contained statements that were not borne out in the book.One member of our group had read that this is an example of post mo [...]

    7. I can t believe I finished this book What s , I can t believe someone published this book I kept thinking its going to get better , and yet, it didn t Unless this is some other super cerebral story that I didn t just get.All I wanted to do was strangle the main character but then realized its the author I should strangle Or at least find out what drugs she was on when writing this story.Pass on this one everyone

    8. Unfortunately, around the time this book was written 1999 , there was a style of writing that many authors used in which the author flipped back and forth between parallel stories, eras Usually, I found it distracting and detracted from the story Sometimes it was ok When I first began to read this book, it was too confusing and I put it down I picked it up again because I never quit on a book This author has somethingn to say and I believe had the story been written in a different style, would b [...]

    9. In the beginning this book is at times hard to follow As one becomes accustomed to the writer s unique style, and gets to know the characters better, it does get easier to read I do think the author has a unique perspective on these characters, in particular the friendship between the two main characters in the book I m not sure if it was her intention, but the progression of the story really doesn t seem to be leading anywhere Maybe that s like real life, especially the forgetfulness of the mo [...]

    10. Our first book in the book club and this book required considerable effort for me to finish If it had not been a book club choice I doubt if I would have finished it at all I found the book within the book much interesting than the main story itself Also the main character to me anyway was not very likeable at all I found her to be very selfish at times It is difficult to like a book when you don t really care for the main character throughout the story However two people in our group did enjoy [...]

    11. I rarely give a book a single star because if it s that bad I simply quit reading it and there s no point in mentioning it further Well, I quit reading this one, but I wanted to pass along just how bad it was to help others possibly avoid wasting the time and money It dragged and bounced around oddly, the characters were unlikable and the authors artistic usage of punctuation marks made it hard to read Avoid this book.

    12. This is a very weird book but a good one and actually one that will probably linger in my mind for sometime to come It s about the friendship of two women and their connection over their lifetime with a book called Trolley Girl which is a memoir about a Jewish Anarchist woman who led a strike in Boston in the 20s Yet neither of the women are attached to the book, nor the anarchist woman who eventually shows up in the story in the present.The narrative switches from the present lives of these wom [...]

    13. The story is set in Boston and begins in the 1970 s Toby and Elizabeth meet at the park while there with their children and form a lifetime friendship Toby who is an avid reader is given a book by Elizabeth called Trolley Girl and hence begins the bookception if you will, a book within a book Trolley Girl is made to believe it s based on a true account of a union activist in the 1920 s in Boston It tells her story of tragic events that changes the lives her she and her family.I felt the characte [...]

    14. This is a story about friendship, as well as a reminder that even the best of friends aren t always in the same relationship Writers and readers aren t always in the same relationship, either The book within a book was a strain, here I didn t see much growth in Toby and Deborah s friendship over 20 years, but some friendships are like that stuck in the time the twosome began The main character, Toby, was annoying, but almost all of the characters were unlikable Berry was the worst My last and da [...]

    15. I was remarkably dissatisfied with this story within a story I find I have less and less tolerance for authors who try to be unique in the way they put words down on a page I like conventional type and punctuation I also didn t particularly warm to either Deborah or Ruben Toby.

    16. I recently reread this book and was enthralled all over again It s still one of the most moving books I ve ever read on the subject of female friendship over time It also has an ingenious book within a book narrative strategy Mattison s style here reminds me a lot of Grace Paley.

    17. I really enjoyed this book, although just nitpicking, the lack of quotations marks with dialogue was really off putting, but I eventually adjusted Now about the story, or should I say stories this book begins by following two different storylines, one set in the in the 1920s and the other in the 1970s The stories go back and forth so fluidly at first that I wasn t sure what story I was reading and it was a bit confusing But things soon became clear, and I was fascinated by both narratives the st [...]

    18. After reading some of the reviews, I guess this is one of those books that you either like or you don t like I loved this book, and I really enjoyed Mattison s style of writing Her prose might be described as spare but in a positive way, a way that emphasizes the body of the novel imbued with the most meaning the dialogue Through the dialogue, the characters become fleshed out and take on truly realistic dimensions As readers, we are enlightened with perspectives that not only slowly and poignan [...]

    19. This is my new type of book to unmaliciously hate on the type that makes a pretty good movie if the acting is good like I suspect The Glass Castle might be , an Oprah book whether Oprah herself or her mag endorsed it or not, simply because I gotta get my To Read List pared down somehow Plus actually this one does seem kinda broad stroked and mediocre.

    20. This could have been a good book The author has an interesting story to tell but her writing style annoyed me She switches back and forth by calling the characters by either their first or last name and uses hyphens instead of quotation marks when the characters speak I struggled to finish the book, and afterwards, wished I had just given it away.

    21. At first, this book confused me I couldn t catch the rhythm of it All of a sudden it came together and end up being one of the richest explorations of friendship I ve ever read.

    22. The title and great photo on the cover caught my attention The book within a book was an interesting device and I started out intrigued but became less enthusiastic as it went on and did a lot of skimming.

    23. Could not waste my time reading this I tried but too hard to keep track of characters and time of story.

    24. It takes about 50 pages to get into this story It is worth the read, but gosh, it takes too long for the story to develop.

    25. The cornerstone of this book is a trolley strike that takes place in Boynton, Massachusetts in the 1920s A young girl is killed in the resulting trolley crash and her sister, an anarchist, is arrested for her death A third sister writes a memoir of her rebel sister which turns up in the hands of a trolley obsessed man in the 70s who gives it to his wife Deborah to read She in turn, loans it to a young mother, Ruben, that she meets in the play ground resulting in a strong bond of friendship betwe [...]

    26. Another klunker for me Returned it to the library without finishing it.Sounds interesting we ll see The pleasures, intimacies, tensions and failures of female friendship frame this subtle, psychologically rich novel, which chronicles the volatile relationship between two women and highlights issues of loyalty, sacrifice and guilt In brisk, energetic prose, Mattison Hilda and Pearl investigates the prickly territory between affection and unconscious jealousy, avowals of devotion and secret betray [...]

    27. was on a list somewhere and so it got on my library holds I was not impressed The parallel plots between Jessie s life and Deborah Toby were well constructed, but the construction showed through.The language often felt stilted I especially did not like the way that Mattison used Toby s name She was Ruben all the time except occasionally when she was Toby And that was almost okay if not just a bit annoying , but I really cannot fathom for what reason Mattison would also refer to the main ch [...]

    28. The writing was dreamy, disconnected, and somehow also matter of fact, and in a way I appreciated A sample One morning Peter walked out of the house to go to middle school and ten minutes later the phone rang She knew from Harry s voice that it was bad Peter had stepped off the curb into a moving car Harry made her take off her nightgown and put on clothes before she ran Ruben ran down the street It was the day in November it happens once a year, after a rainstorm when many leaves fall at once S [...]

    29. This book s presentation is creative but never uplifting even while telling the story of a friendship between two women over three decades and the underlying story of two sisters.Beginning in the 1960s, two women who are not yet friends meet in a park, one of them reading as she pushes a stroller Toby the other with two young daughters Deborah They bond over shared walks and raising children and after Deborah lends Toby a book, they also share being teachers together, which causes strife than f [...]

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