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Preview — Name All the Animals by Alison Smith
Name All the Animals: A Memoir
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Anyone from a family that has trouble reaching out to each other will be touched by the insular, lonely ways that Alison and her parents suffer from Roy's loss. Alison's slide into anorexia (weirdly overlooked by h ...more
Alison not only has to try to overcome her immense grief, but also has to deal with the fact that the roles in her family almost reverse. Her parents are just as distraught as Ali ...more
But they’re on the brink of disaster, and, almost immediately, it happens: one day in late July the boy, eighteen, dies in a fiery automobile crash. Nothing will ever be the same. They become secretive, walled off their separate grieving, as the accident’s aftershocks go on and on. Alison Smith, who was fifteen when her brother Roy d ...more
yeah, i'm a little biased against nonfiction, and that may have something to do with it, but this chick is just not a very good writer. she uses the same descriptive phrases over and over, which is really sloppy, and the book is poorly structured. that said, i did sympathize with her. if there was a half-star option i probably would've given this book two and a h ...more
In some editions, the book’s subtitle is A Memoir of the Child Left Behind–and that’s what Alison Smith was. When she was fifteen, the ...more
Alison and her brother Roy were so close, despite their 2.5 years difference in age, that her mother called them "AlRoy". When Royden dies in a car crash, Alison is caught in a spiritual conundrum. Their entire family are highly bound in the Catholic religion and Alison is in wonder where and when her brother will return to her. In the process, Alison must also experience he ...more
The time frame takes Alison through her last three years of high school at a Catholic Girls' school in New York state and include her first romance.
were as close as siblings can be
when they were children. Suddenly,
at eighteen, Roy is killed in a
terrible automobile accident. His
loss to the family is like an
enormous black hole, sucking
all the other members of the family
into never-never land.
This is the first book I've ever
received from a book publisher and
I was terrified I would hate it and
have to pan it. (sigh of relief)
Not a chance here. Alison Smith is
an excellent storyteller, with a
At times, I found Alison Smith to be infuriating in her writing style. I can't explain exactly what set me off, I was just rubbed the wrong way. Such a tiny, almost insignificant problem though. Overall, this story was a unique coming-of-age tale intertwined with grief. Grief in the loss of her broth ...more
Wrapped in grief, it is the life story of a sister who lost her brother tragically in a car accident. From her side, we see how tragedy affects the entire family. How as "all the parents have left" her life is formidably changed forever. Sh ...more
Smith’s memoir starts out chronicling the aftermath of her brother’s tragic death—her parents’ immense grief, the newspaper articles detailing the gruesome crash, her own struggle to find her place in the world. It’s not until Alison is sent to a ...more
At home, Alison and her parents sleepwalk in shifts. Alison hoards food for her lost brother, hides in the backyard fort they built together, and waits for him ...more
If Alison Smith failed to make any of the three legs of the story stand convincingly, the whole book would’ve toppled over. An ...more
The book is about a young girl whose brother (I think Roy is 17 or 18 and about to leave for college) is killed in a car accident. The book deals with the aftermath of the accident and the impact it has on her and her family.
This is the first time I've read a book where someone ...more
The title refers to Adam in the Garden of Eden, an apt metaphor for Smith's imperfect, even devastating, coming of age. Critics loved this first memoir, heavy in themes but subtle in presentation. Although Smith focuses primarily on herself, her relationship with Roy--and, through vivid memories, Roy himself--form the narrative's backdrop. Some passages verge on the maudlin. Smith saves food for Roy, cherishes his old sneakers, and communes with him at night. Yet she describes her life without R...more
I guess the memoir was supposed to truly focus on the author's handling of her brother's death. And in that case...it does a great job, especially the question and answer section at the end of the book. But her sexuality begins to play an enormous role and there doesn't seem to be any explanation of how she and ...more
I might give it another try when I've been away from the memoir genre for a while, and maybe then it will seem fresher.
|My Story Book Club: Reading Schedule for Name All the Animals||1||7||Jun 14, 2012 08:52AM|
|My Story Book Club: Name All the Animals Reading for June 2-8||1||2||Jun 03, 2012 11:10AM|
|My Story Book Club: * Flash Fiction Contest for June- Theme: Animals||1||11||Apr 30, 2012 10:42PM|