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The Good Works of Ayela Linde: A Novel in Stories
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The Good Works of Ayela Linde: A Novel in Stories

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From an O. Henry Prize-winner, this dazzling novel in stories marks the arrival of a powerfully original and beguiling new voice in American fiction. The linked stories that make up this spare and beautifully written novel follow the life of Ayela, the illegitimate daughter of a Mexican dressmaker, and create a portrait, composite yet intriguingly incomplete, that captures ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published May 10th 2006 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2006)
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I actually read this for a class on editing and publishing. So, the below is what I wrote by way of what I'd write for the back copy, were I given the chance. On the whole, I really liked the book -- it was engaging and full of vivid, vibrant images.


‘“There is nothing beautiful in this world.”’ This is one of the first lessons we learn from haunting, achingly lovely Ayela Linde, the dark-haired girl who laughs the loudest and longest and is always just out of reach of everyone in the small to
May 12, 2008 Courtney rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my sister
Recommended to Courtney by: annie miller
A novel in short stories. It sits somewhere in between Marquez and McCarthy in tone. I was both sickened and delighted.
Susan Emmet
I liked Forbes' technique of linking a series of short stories into a novel of sorts although perhaps the multitude of narrative voices cancels out the "novel" claim.
Seeing Ayela through the ears and ears and hearts of those close to - and far from - her is a fine way into seeing all the parts of her character. Haughty, impetuous, loving, distant, focused, adrift, loyal and beautiful, Ayela is the "illegitimate" daughter of a traveling man and a distant, absorbing mother. She marries Frederick L
George Ilsley
The writing is beautiful but can't help but question the format. Felt like the author had a couple of short stories and then decided to write more and make it into some kind of a novel. First person narratives can frustrate the reader, because they usually hide the narrator, rather than expose. So as a reader, I was often wondering, who is this now? A third person approach, from this obviously talented writer, could have turned this novel into something spectacular.
This one caught my eye because it was on sale, the blurb compares it to Amelie Poulain, plus I love the cover artist's work here and in general (this dude got me to buy a book more than once simply by making an awesome cover). However, the cover contains a typo (in the author's name!), and the reviews here are not that favorable, so maybe this wouldn't be a good purchase...
This could have been a good book but completely missed out of really focusing on the main character in detail. Story was told in shortstories instead of chapters by the view of different people that came in contact w main character, who seemed interesting but really never told you enough about her or led you anywhere. Very disappointing.
This was a fun book based in the border town of Texas, which I love. It's told in the style of "Yo," by Julia Alvarez. You learn about the life of a strong and mysterious woman from the perspective of everyone but herself. Fun and quick read.
This collection of linked short stories is set in a town on the U.S./Mexican border. The reader watches Ayela move through life, beginning in her wild teenage years and ending in her old age.
I wish Charlotte Forbes had more published work to read. I loved this book.
I did not particularly enjoy this book but perhaps someone else will.
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