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The Whole World Over

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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  4,284 ratings  ·  653 reviews
When Greenie Duquette heads west with her son, she sets in motion a period of adventure and upheaval not only for herself but for others who are drawn into her orbit. This work describes these people as serendipity and determination pulls them more tightly together over the course of the year that culminates in 9/11.
Unknown Binding, 512 pages
Published July 6th 2006 by Not Avail (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Maine
Nov 08, 2007 David Maine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This is the first book I've read by this author, and it will be the last. Although some of the scenes were engaging and well-written, she really shows her northeast provincialism by painting characters from new Mexico as utter good-ol-boy stereotypes. To top it off, after creating a pile of characters who are uninteresting and dull, she tries to ratchet up the emotional involvement by tossing in Sept 11: "Oh gosh! I hope so-and-so wasn't caught in the WTC!" or words to that effect. This is the c ...more
Alicia
I remember loving Glass' previous book, Three Junes, so was excited to finally get her newest novel from the library. And mad props to Glass, b/c it did not disappoint--even though it's mainly the story of a bunch of New Yorkers just before 9/11. It revolves mainly around four characters--Greenie, who is suddenly being wooed by the governor of New Mexico, who needs a personal chef; her husband, Alan, a failing shrink; her friend Walter, a flamboyant restaurateur who takes in his teenage nephew; ...more
Ellen Librarian
As a former New Yorker now living in New Mexico, I could not resist this novel about a Greenwich Village chef (who lived around the corner from where I lived) who relocates to Santa Fe.

Although the book was engaging enough for me to want to finish it, it never took off. The problem for me was that the main characters were never interesting enough to engage me with their marital problems. The lesser characters were more interesting but they were off stage more often than not. And as others have
...more
Melanie
I loved the descriptions of food in this book as the main character is a successful pastry chef in New York. I thought that the relationship between Greenie and her husband was interesting and several of the other characters in this book were really intriguing, especially Saga who is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury from a fluke accident. I felt, however, that the author included way too many characters and therefor didn't do them enough justice throughout the book. I get that she was tryi ...more
Shannon
What luck to read two wonderful novels in a row. The more I read, the more finicky it seems I am becoming. Well, what initially drew me to this novel were the realistic characters that Julia Glass brings to life within the first few chapters. Greenie is a woman a bit lost in her sedated marriage. Walter, my favorite of the characters, is candid and quirky and someone I knew I could be friends with. He struggles in his search to find love. Saga is a sweet and naive character that needs to find he ...more
Belinda
Who are you? Are you the same person you were when you were 17? Has being married changed you in a fundamental sense? Has parenthood? Has love or the lack of? These are the undercurrents of themes Julia Glass embroiders around her characters in "The Whole World Over," which is a great follow-up to "The Three Junes."

In TWWO, Glass builds storylines around a handful of Manhattanites who are loosely connected through acquaintances and proximity in their neighborhood. In many ways, the cast of chara
...more
Penny
A novel by the author of "Three Junes," and for which I traded a Vanity Fair and "The Stone Diaries" so I'd have it for plane reading back from the Congo. As with "Three Junes," Julia Glass has created a story of interlocking characters all pursuing happiness as best they can. Glass is talented at creating likable people facing identifiable crises: I went from story to story rooting for the people involved (main characters: Greenie the pastry chef, her depressed psychotherapist husband Alan whom ...more
Sherrie
Jul 18, 2007 Sherrie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cry as* white people.
It took me a long time to finish this book (2 times out of library). A story that begins in Greenwich Village. Greenie Duquette has a small bakery in the West Village that supplies pastries to restaurants, including that of her gay friend Walter. When Walter recommends Greenie to the governor of New Mexico, she seizes the chance to become the his pastry chef and to take a break from her marriage, a psychiatrist with a whole other set of problems. Taking their four-year-old son, George, with her, ...more
Abby
bleh. what an annoying pile of drivel. what a disappointing read by the author of Three Junes, a book I very much loved! gah! i was just so utterly disinterested in the characters in this book and even less interested in what they were going to do next - probably nothing - oh, wait, maybe they'll mull and think and wring their hands and still do nothing or maybe they'll actually do something and.... still, nothing will happen as a result.

the real icing on the cake was my realization in the last
...more
Lorraine
I could give this book a three or a four star rating depending on the time of day or the month, or the year. It takes place in New York and New Mexico. Greenie (Charlotte Greenway Duquette) is a pastry chef married to Alan, a failing psychotherapist, for 10 years. They have a four-year old son whom they both adore. Greenie is unsure of her marriage and is enticed to take a job as the New Mexiocan governor's pastry chef in Sante Fe. Governor Ray McCrae is a "big" character, perhaps overblown, but ...more
Rachel
Once again Julia Glass won me over with her characters. I loved her previous novel, Three Junes, and The Whole World Over, was just as great.

The Whole World Over follows four characters. Greenie and Alan are a married couple going through a rough patch; Saga is learning to become independent again after a bad accident; and Walter is going through the agonies of raising a teenage nephew. Their lives all interconnect at points but their stories are independent.

Julia Glass' novels are always chara
...more
Courtenay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn
This was the most wonderful book. Julia Glass writes lyrical, evocative, and yet precise prose, the type I most love. Here is an excerpt from the book (not representative of the plot but rather her style) that I have read over and over again, risking a library fine:

"When she fed him during the day, her body felt as if it had been made to ensconce a nursing baby the way a saddle was molded to carry a rider--the crevice between her thighs a perfect seat for George's bottom, her waist calibrated to
...more
Ric
Julia Glass' book "The Whole World Over" celebrates/honors relationships with family and friends in age of post 9/11. Taking place a year and half before 9/11, Glass weaves together a tale about Greenie and Alan, a couple with one son, whose marriage is on the rocks; Walter, a sassy gay restaurateur and Greenie's best friend; and Saga, a drifting woman who loves animals and has suffered from a terrible accident. Fenno McLeod, the center of the triptych of "Three Junes," appears throughout this n ...more
Angie
My friend Kelly said she liked the "real world" feel of this book, and I agree. I especially liked how Glass was able to write about all different kinds of people with sympathy and an even hand: a southwestern Republican governor/rancher, a gay New York restaurant owner, environmental activists, ranch cooks and cowboys, New York liberals, a brain-injured animal rescuer, a doddering old professor, a Wall Street stock trader, spinster sisters, people in happy committed relationships, people in unh ...more
Christine
I am on page 393 of this 507-page book and the only reason I'm finishing it is because I kept reading, thinking maybe the story would go somewhere...where it should go?? In the trash, fireplace or any similar place!! The storyline is all over the place, the characters and their dialogue is ANNOYING (brought me back to when I used to see episodes of Dawson's Creek and thought, who the hell talks like that!) and the writing style is just plain stupid (for lack of a better term). This is the worst ...more
Michelle
I enjoy these books but just enough. They are well written, personal/interpersonal stories, with settings in interesting places like Scotland and NYC.
Kellyjane
I like the "real world" feel of this book. None of the characters really know how they are supposed to act when situations come up that throw their lives into disarray. Glass follows several characters through a time period when they have to make decisions that will change the course of life and love - and none of the characters is perfect. It is a bit annoying at points to switch between characters, a device I have never loved, but it kept me reading (and guessing!). Glass has talent for explor ...more
Brad
I like the way Julia Glass writes. She envelops you in her characters such that you feel closer to the story than just reading words on a page. Three Junes, her first book, was a delight. It had all the elements of a good book, and even though, I wondered at times where she was going, she tied it together well in the end. The Whole World Over had the same good character development and writing style, but had a less satisfying plot--it wandered a bit and left me with an ending I was indifferent t ...more
Katrin
Why was this book even written?
I slogged through all 500 pages and still have no idea! The friend who loaned it to me found it pleasant reading and really liked the author's other book, Three Junes - obviously that's the one to read.
The story wandered all over the place, and I didn't care about any of the characters or the foolish choices they made.
I didn't hate it - just found it a waste of time.
K.
Katie
I found the book to be a little slow in the beginning, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. This is the second novel I've read by Glass and I think she does a really good job developing her plot lines and her characters. She brings Fenno McLeod back in this book (main character in her first novel Three Junes). The ending was subtly surprising - I was not expecting Greenie to make the decision she did.
Julia
I am only a quarter of the way into this book and already I am hooked. It has as heroine a chef and her psychologist husband (serious depressed) Add a governor of a western state and several gay couples and it all adds up to new and interesting fiction reading. Add restaurant owner and a 4 year old boy to the mix. It feels like reading about real life, with all its weird connections and events.
Bindiya
The most striking thing to me about this book is Julia Glass's writing. Her prose is beautiful - descriptive without being long-winded, paced neither at breakneck speed nor meandering along tortuously. As the story progresses, there are generous sprinklings of past events that help to flesh up her characters. She artfully weaves the past into the present and leaves you wanting to learn about the future of a rather unique group of individuals.

Without giving away too much I will say that the endin
...more
Stacy Brown
This is the first book I've read by this author and I'm not sure if I'll try another. I actually stopped reading the book half way through so that I could read another book and a novella that had become available from my local library. This is not normal behavior for me. Usually, I get so wrapped up in a story that I have to reach the end, or at the very least I push myself through, even though I might be struggling with a story.

The concept of this story, the everyday lives and struggles of peo
...more
Brandee
I mostly enjoyed this book, which had some similar threads as "A Widowers's Tale", another Julia Glass book which I loved. I can't quite figure out her "style"...but what she does for me is somehow take modern stories about family/life/love/work and make it smart and complex but totally clean. There's no craziness, rampant sex, violence, gimmicky weirdness, or hysterical emotion and I guess that feels like a breath of fresh air sometimes. The thing is, she stays on "the high road" without compro ...more
Pam
Anothe one that had me hooked from moment one. This tells the intesecting stories of several characters in various stages of their lives. It's about love, friendship, the choices that we make in our lives, and the things that happen to is that we don't choose. It makes you think. Well, it made me think anyway....
Lisa
Sure the stories tie together, but so loosely it was hard to remember why we cared as we changed stories. And George, the precocious little son? Annoyed the crap out of me. To the point where it really impacted my impression of the book.
Jane
Really liked this. Lots of what appear to be separate characters, but we eventually see how their lives are entwined. My only criticism is that it goes on a bit long and the ending felt rushed for some of the characters.
Jennifer
I believe this was the second time I started this book; I just couldn't get into it the first time. But this time I made it through. I enjoyed reading about Emily/Saga and her adventures - she's a little damaged , but still independent and passionate. I didn't enjoy as much Greenie, and she is the first character introduced. I generally enjoy strong female protagonists, but she and I just didn't click... I don't care for nicknames... I can't eat traditional baked goods.... her marriage has gone ...more
Nelda Brangwin
Greenie Duquette is a New Yorker through and through. She loves her dessert company, and her husband and son. As her career takes off, her psychiatrist husband's starts to disintegrate. When the loud self-confident governor New Mexico offers her the job of the governor's mansion executive chef, she and her young son head to Santa Fe. As in the THREE JUNES, this is a story about middle aged anxieties and problems and as she works to resolve the problems in her personal life, including a old boyfr ...more
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Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes , which won the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction, and The Whole World Over . She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, including the Tobias Wolff Award and the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal ...more
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