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The Boy

3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  113 reviews
"Gorgeous, fiercely intelligent, deeply honest, and incredibly entertaining." ---Anne Lamott

Anna has always been a risk-taker and a free spirit, but now she is raising a young daughter on her own and she has to play it safe. Her twenty-something neighbor with the slow, easy smile is in no way part of Anna's plans. She resists temptation in every way she can, yet Anna is so
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
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New favorite thing: Wake up on a day with a windchill in the negatives, don fleece leisure wear, peek out the window while bagel toasts and say to self “Today I will read a book in its entirety.” Tramp knee-high boot slippers back upstairs to the bedroom, turn it to a radio station where the only lyrics you might hear will be sung in Italian by people with exquisite diaphragm control, slip between so-soft sheets purchased at awesome kiosk during the holiday season, fire up Kindle app on iPad and ...more
Lise *friends don't flag*
Goodreads: Hi Lise, A book on your To-Read shelf is now available!
Me: Not for $12 it ain't!!! WTH
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Collura
Anna is a real woman, not an imaginary "good" mother. She has a child, she is alone after a bitter relationship with her daughter's father, and now she longs for a life of her own. She commits the apparently unforgivable sin of falling in love, maybe even just lust, with a man. What? A woman, a mother, in lust? Because he is 20 and she is 42, this seems to make her a monster -- in the eyes of others, her own, her housekeeper's, even her therapist's. She struggles, no tangles, with the guilt, the ...more
Elizabeth Burns
The pendulum has swung the other way. At the height of the feminist movement, women who only wanted to stay at home and raise their children were ridiculed; they were abettors of the patriarchal system, living only half lives. We who were girls during the late 60s and 70s were told we could do anything and have everything. We could be not just teachers and nurses, but astronauts, doctors, lawyers and journalists. We could be mothers, too, as long as that role took second billing to our careers. ...more
There is so much to appreciate in "The Boy": rich dialogue, witty humor, and the way the seasons and the landscape are woven into the fabric of the story line. "The Boy" transported me to New Mexico- to clear air, mountains, sensuality, the Rio Grande, wide-open spaces, a vast sky and deep emotion. Santoro skillfully reveals the fierce love that is ever-present when coming to terms with difficult choices. Though some may say this story is about bad parenthood and addiction, Anna's journey is tha ...more
The Boy By Lara Santoro Anna lives with her little girl Eva in New Mexico. After bizarre snips of conversation with even more off the wall characters, Anna is described as a free spirit who has left her cheating ex husband who resides in England. After much difficulties in every area of her life Anna has decided to focus completely on her daughter who ironically takes care of her mother much more than the other way around. Until, The Boy. The Boy who is the twenty year old son of her good friend ...more
Brutally honest... I guess. Sexually riveting... not so much. A bit disorganized in its format of the story itself... YES! A mother who left her child with a nanny not because she had to work, but because she wanted to get away from her kid because she couldn't handle her infant crying anymore! As honest as that was, it wasn't enough to get me to enjoy the rest of the book. From the beginning, it jumped back and forth between the past and the present so many times that I felt dizzy and couldn't ...more
Sofia Lazaridou
I want to blame it on my sleepy brain because I got lost somewhere in the book.And not the good way lost,the bad one where you have no idea what the author wants to say or if she has something to say or what is happening to the characters.The Boy doesn't have a big role to the story.The babysitter/housekeeper/whatever is in a bigger part of the book.I will be damned if he said 10 lines in the book!The book focuses more on the daughter-mother relationship than the Jack-Anne one.Also why doesn't s ...more
Melissa Curtis

"Provocative, headlong, and utterly compelling, THE BOY is the story of a woman on the edge, torn between love and compulsion, desire and duty." It is exactly not this. It is the opposite. So boring, and all the sexy parts are just skipped over.

Also, the lady who reads out the audiobook was not the best. She gets a 2/5. Her male voices are horrible, and she lacked so much emotion in all of the reading.

Seriously. Do not waste your time.

Beautiful and heartbreaking. It is a quick read but you won't be able to stop thinking about it.
I'm not sure I understood what this book was trying to say. In its short 190 pages, THE BOY felt frenetic and disjointed, while employing biblical references, and also trying to invoke Anna Karenina (one of my favorite books). It was such a short novel, I'm not sure it all worked.

Centered around the very unlikable Anna, The Boy is just one of the many awful mistakes Anna makes in her life. Anna felt as if she had sacrificed her prime years for her now ex-husband and her young daughter, Eva, so
This book is so so bad. It is the height of conceit on the author's part.

She had NO story and just wanted to share her ridiculous obtuse metaphors describing the view out the car window and life in general- since no one would buy such drivel she wraps it up in a jacket blurb that is a scandalous and titillating robe- but I have news for you- the emperor is naked.

There are some VERY minor details thrown in that don't quite end up as a plot- barely a sentence here or there- so bad you can't even
Books She Reads


Once a free spirit who refused to be tied down, Anna is a forty-something single mother trying to put her life together after a bitter divorce. She crosses paths with a twenty-year-old neighbor who could not be more wrong for her—and her life suddenly has a new focus.

She is drawn to his youth, his easy grace, and his freedom from the constraints that rule her existence. Though she resists temptation in every way she can, Anna is soon engaged in a reckless and obsessive affair. The conseq
This book was totally not what I expected. It caught me off guard, and I felt like I was playing catch-up the entire time I read it. It isn’t a topic I have ever read written before, in this style or from this angle. There are so many stories, within stories, within stories, and the plot causes you to constantly question the characters motives and your own moral compass. At one point I wondered if I was smart enough to be reading it, often I questioned my emotional response to what was happen
Brooke Banks
Nov 22, 2012 Brooke Banks rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: contemporary fans, mature readers
I won this in a First Reads Giveaway.

I loved this book so much, every part of it. I was hooked in from the very first page and didn't couldn't put it down until after I had finished it; after I sat stunned for some time by the ending.

Even if you've read similar plots, I'd still suggest picking up this book. It's written so beautifully. It's practically poetic in starkly highlighting the deep, dark reality too many people experience, and too few admit. It's not a pleasant or happy story. It's a
Wanchee Wang
A single mother in her forties, Anna finds herself drawn to her neighbor’s son, a young man some twenty years her junior. Against her better judgment, she succumbs to the inexorable pull of an affair with him.

In the hands of a lesser writer, The Boy could have been nothing more than a titillating affair. Instead there are no titillating details à la Fifty Shades of Grey, just lots of descriptive prose that make us feel the longing that Anna feels: “Tight in her skin, hot in her head, she resolv
Milla Diaz
The title is misleading. I thought it was a romance story of an older woman & a younger man but it's mainly about the dysfunctional relationship between the mother & daughter. The 'boy' is merely a supporting character.

Did I like the book? Yes, very much so. The heroine is a divorced, single mom who is battling alcoholism and trying, unsuccessfully, to become a better parent. This book showed to me the sacrifices one makes in their personal & sexual freedom to become a better parent.
The book is made by several startlingly beautiful, sensuous, short, smart passages, like pearls among pebbles. Pretty pebbles. I was unmoved by the emotional arc and the characters left me cold but I liked the language, except maybe for the verbal tic, the dialogue tic, of repetition and interrogatives. I like that the father is never named (cf. Richard Strand) and that the boy is just "the boy," named out of necessity (not naming him would have been too deliberate an omission), denominated twic ...more
“Mercy” (“Il mio cuore riposava sul suo”, l’edizione italiana), esordio nella narrativa di Lara Santoro nel 2007, era zoppicante, a tratti irritante, ma riscattato da un magnifico personaggio, quello che dava il nome al romanzo, Mercy.
Questo “The boy” (“Fine estate”, l’edizione italiana) sembra essere la continuazione del primo (il sequel?). Non ricordo se anche lì la protagonista si chiamasse Anna, ma tutto sembra convergere per fare di questo il secondo episodi
This really isn't a novel about 'the boy', but he's a catalyst for Anna to reflect and change or not change. Good mommy? Bad mommy? You make the call, but she certainly is an unlikable character. The daughter in this story acts as the adult in this mother/daughter relationship and the ending was perfect.

I like stories where you can hardly keep your eyes open as the trains are about to collide at a high rate of speed.
If I could give 31/2 stars, I would have. I really liked this book but felt like I couldn't rate it higher because there wasn't really much to it. The actual story was deeply honest, provocative and moving. But it read like a fast, light read. I'm conflicted about the presentation of such heavy subject matter in such a superficial way, but I think I kind of like it.
Amy Nolasco
Hmm - short, fast read and the writing style is really compelling. I liked the writing quite a lot, but the main character is a drug addict/alcoholic mother who makes horrendously poor choices resulting in nothing good. Not really somebody you can root for because she really sucks...but I give it three stars because the writing was fascinating.
Mary Domito
Once I started,I could not put this book down. Lara Santoro writes with fast paced style of the best writers that say more with less. She writes with brutal honesty the feelings we have but don't talk about. Eons of ingrained civility colliding with our most primal desires. This book will stick with me for a long time.
Amy Rhodes
Brief and seductive but not credible...liked the language and its power to pull you in but too much melodrama results from what is, basically, a hackneyed premise. That said, it's short and well-written and engrossing so not a total loss.
How do you choose between being a mom and being a woman? Post-divorce Anna tumbles into a relationship with a much younger man and makes some devestatingly bad choices. It's brually honest about the price of motherhood.
Frances Kelly
Nov 14, 2012 Frances Kelly marked it as to-read
I just received this book as a FirstReads Giveaway. Will write a review when I've read it.
May 03, 2014 Lauren rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: rbc
wait. what? (to the lovely person who recommended this book, please avert your attention) It is possible that 2/3 of the pages of this book were missing which would explain a lot. However, I fear that isn't so. I didn't give a crap about any person or any event in this book at any point. The Boy himself is practically mentioned in passing, what the story really focuses on is… well, I'm not even sure. Nothing, really. The main character was useless and uninteresting and a piece of crap mother. Th ...more
Did not finish this one. Just could not care about the characters.
Great quick compelling read. Made me appreciate my life.
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