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Breaking and Entering
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Breaking and Entering

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Set against the tragic events of the Oklahoma City bombings, Breaking and Entering follows Christian/Jewish couple Louise and Richard Shapiro as they move from California to rural Michigan with their daughter Molly in an attempt to save their marriage. They find their core beliefs about life and love tested as school counselor Louise's students blame Satan for their homose ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Four Way Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Book Maven
In the early months of 1995, a family struggles with their own quiet, yet riveting (to them and to us) domestic dramas. Without either of them being consciously aware of it, Richard and Louise’s marriage has hit a pretty rocky point, created—or perhaps only exacerbated by—a couple of personal and professional setbacks. To make a fresh start of it, they and their daughter decide to make a drastic life change, leaving the “left coast” of California and settling in rural Michigan, where Richard pur ...more
Barbara
Not great. just another story of two married folks having an affair. No insight.
Ava Butzu
I have been a fan of Ms. Pollack's short stories, which I find to be biting, poignant, funny, and smart. I was excited for her to take on the Michigan Militia in this novel, and though "Breaking and Entering" opened up with a plausible outsider-looking-in scenario, the story fell apart in the middle and disintegrated at the end, when about 200 pages of story were crammed into 20. Overall, Characters were unlikable, underdeveloped, and unrealistic, even on the most basic human level of desire, re ...more
Natalie Serber
Pollack is an engaging and thoughtful writer. Her novel deals with important issues, personal and political. One thing I really admire is her honesty and ability to let her characters, people she clearly feels compassion for, behave badly. And they do. The novel follows Louise and Richard from the politically correct Bay Area to their new home and new life in rural Michigan, in a very intolerant town. The narrative arc loops around themes of fidelity, arson, religion and seeking out love. What I ...more
Amanda
"Breaking and Entering" was a let-down for me. It has a promising start and features a family of three who move to Michigan after the father experiences a minor mental breakdown. The book jacket claims this story is set against the tragic Oklahoma City bombings; however, the bombings hardly make it into the story at all. They take the backseat to the personal problems of the main characters, particularly a love affair that ends up being the bulk of the story. And a character-based story with har ...more
Patty
I found this author at the summer book fest in Ann Arbor and enjoyed her contribution to the panel discussion with other Michigan authors so I bought her book. I was pleased to find out that the story takes place in Michigan and was really interesting and well written. Although slow to begin the plot thickens and I couldn't put it down.

The novel follows the experiences of Louise and Richard Shapiro, who, with their young daughter, Molly, move from ulta-liberal Marin County, California, to a quai
...more
Connie Hess
A couple hopes for their relationship to renew itself after moving halfway across the country.
They have a precocious daughter who gets lost during their selfish pursuits.
Their beliefs are challenged at every turn by their new neighbors and friends.
Andrea
This book was so unrealistic and the whole third person present tense thing was off putting.
Martie Nees Record
The story takes place in rural Michigan in 1995 at the high point of the militia movement but before the Oklahoma City bombing. In real life, the bomber Timothy McVeigh attended militia meetings on a Michigan farm. I was expecting to learn much of this famous event. However, The Oklahoma City attack comes about a third of the way through Pollack’s fictional book and I never really got a good understanding of the thoughts of the right-wing extremists. It was an interesting story of isolation, fam ...more
Debbie Levine
Breaking and Entering by Eileen Pollack is a fictional account of a California couple Louise and Richard Shapiro who decide to move to a small town in Southern Michigan in the wake of the Oklahoma City shootings. Transplanting themselves and their young daughter proves to be devastating to their core: their selves, their marriage and shatters the family unit.

The book is well written and kept my interest. I had a difficult time relating to either Louise or Richard and was not sympathetic to them,
...more
Chris Lindsay
There are a lot of layers to this novel. Aside from the intrigue and suspense built into the story, there are many moments (a brief aside, simple analogy, or a subtle detail) that one could spend an hour reading into, before continuing onward with the story.

This is a book to read over the course of a week or so, when you can spend an hour meticulously reading its pages. I was doing this for awhile before the actual plot gripped me to the point where I was flying through it, in order to see what
...more
Diane
Apr 11, 2012 Diane rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Angie & Sue
This book is one of those stories that start slowly and you're not sure whether you like the characters completely or not. And then it builds from there until you can't put it down! I find myself continuing to think and wonder about some of these characters after having finished the book. I wish my library carried the other books that Eileen Pollack has written because I would sure like to read them. I definitely recommend this book!
Heathermarvell
This book started with what I think was an imperfect use of third-person omniscient, which made it seem at times that attitudes I believe were supposed to be the protagonist's were actually the author's. Still, it was engrossing at times, and, even though the observations about the cultural left and right were heavy-handed and obvious, they somehow seemed better done (because more nuanced, which isn't saying much) at the end.
Nikki
Geography initially drew my attention to this book... a couple starts off in California and moves to Michigan. I thought it was an interesting story, but given the amount of drama that occurs the telling of the story seemed somewhat detached. The book is well written but this was one of those stories where I didn't particularly like the main characters.
Amanda Nan Dillon
Really enjoyed this book! I definitely thought it would be more about the Oklahoma City bombing being related to the Michigan Militia. All I'll take away from this book is the gritty, no frills lives the characters lead. The only frills were in the protagonist's dreams about her dalliance with the minister.
Shelly
Relatively interesting, partially because the book is about a family moving from California to Michigan and trying to fit in and make friends. Some of the language was a bit clumsy, and the shifting narrators seemed a little awkward and not fully developed.
Sue
A liberal California couple moves to a small town in Michigan, with their young daughter. There they confront threats both real & imagined from neighbors with, shall we say, very different view of life.
Sybil
The range of views and dramatic plot might suffer under a lesser writer, but Pollack is more than up to the task--a beautifully written, expansive, gripping, and humane novel. Highly recommended.
Corinne


I had such high hopes for this book when I started it. Those hopes were dashed at about the thirty percent mark. I hated the two main characters.
Janice
It's not like this story was boring because I didn't ditch it like I have with others. However, I didn't like the story or the characters much.
Laura
While the plot of this book wasn't overly exciting, it did make me think more about gun rights and gun owners in this country.
Kathy Tweeten
This book had my interest with several plot lines going. I'm familiar with Michigan and its fringe elements. Held my attention
Cranky
Wanted to like this better; no question the author is great with words. But the characters weren't sympathetic enough for me.
Fiona

Unlikeable characters... a plot that lurched from improbable to dull... and yet strangely readable.
Abby Willemsen
This book had a good storyline, but I was hoping for a little more to happen. I found it a bit slow.
Lori


Disappointed. Could not like any of the characters.
Adria
Um, boring.
Jeanne
Jeanne marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Kaitlin
Kaitlin marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
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Eileen Pollack grew up in Liberty, New York. She has received fellowships from the Michener Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, and her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, the Literary Review, the AGNI Review, Playgirl, and the New Generation. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, and teaches at Tufts University. She won the Pushcart Prize for her story “Past, Future, Elsewher ...more
More about Eileen Pollack...
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“You can't get sentimental about houses. Or bodies. They're just, I don't know, the Tupperware of the soul.” 1 likes
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