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And She Was
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And She Was

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  466 ratings  ·  104 reviews
There are places that can remake you -- slippery, gray places. Places that hold their secrets in the fog and whisper them on the wind. And when Brandy, a floundering, trashy, Latin-spewing cocktail waitress, finds herself drifting across the line between the ordinary world and just such a place, something fearsome and beautiful happens. Something changes.

Sweeping across ce
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by William Morrow
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 873)
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Katie
Sometimes all you need to stop being a fast & easy broad is the mummified digit of an old whale hunter.
Debby
"You may not be familiar with the kind of places where bars are considered attractions. Where the best place to be, the only place, is the worst place. But I understood." Yup. I understand.

"Thad and I were used to sitting in bars together. We both came easy to bar-stool intimacy. Having a boyfriend who is equally matched when it comes to mingling is essential for spending long afternoons at the bar." Bar stool intimacy, just one turn on the road to my heart, it's true.

"Latrinealia, or the art of
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Kim
I almost didn't read this book. I started reading it and wasn't sure I wanted to read a story about a trashy character with a seamy lifestyle. But I perservered about 6 more lines and was hooked. The history is captivating, and Brandy is one of those self-imposed unloveables that you can't help but love. This book ties together ancient secrets and present day soul searching in a way that keeps you turning pages just to see what will happen next. Loved it!
sculptcha
3.5 stars. i only read this because my grandma was aleut and lived on dutch...until the US government put them all in internment camps 'for their own protection' while they spied on japan, and where they were forced to live in abandoned fish canning factories on the mainland and give up their ways of life, where many died, and the survivors came back home to their island ransacked and looted by american troops, but i digress.

it's chick-lit-y on the surface, and i guess at its core as well, but d
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Ariel Uppstrom
This was an interesting book. I just randomly picked it up off the shelf at the library and gave it a shot.

The main character, Brandy, tends to simply follow where a man she's interested in goes. The current man has led her to an isolated Aleutian town in Alaska. She picks up a job as a cocktail waitress and attempts to get comfortable in a strange place. However, as she begins to learn who the people are, she begins to uncover odd practices among the Aleut women. This story is woven alongside
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Brandee
Mar 18, 2008 Brandee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: especially Alaskans and those interested.
Recommended to Brandee by: Sarah Stern
I borrowed this from my friend sarah a year ago and I just finally finished it. Wonderful story, makes you want to go live in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska for a while. And yet, scares you off at the same time. It's about a girl named Brandy who follows her fisherman boyfriend out to Dutch Harbor/Unalaska (the tip island of the Aleutian Chain) for no reason other than she has no where else to go and is used to following a man. The book tells her story, she's the daughter of a 'drunk and a slut' who is l ...more
Carol
Not an easy book for me to get into or continue through, but rewarding all the same. To say the premise of the book is that a woman named Brandy waits on the Aleutian Islands for a man to return from fishing is too simplistic, although that is the plot of the book. Sadly, it has been the plot of too many women's lives. Brandy is rootless but has absorbed much in her wanderings up and down the west coast of North America. She is often drunk and horny, and does not seem interested in actually putt ...more
Leslie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Lewis
At first, I was expecting the worst of this book. The narrator/main character is a sort of good-time girl, drifting from man to man on a sea of bad jobs and drugs, and paragraphs like the following are how we are meant to get to know Brandy:
"When I say I'm blond I mean that I'm really blond, the the color is real and that it's very blond. The color of loose women and trailer trash. It's the kind of hair that demands a sleazy respect. I didn't realize how much I'd let my hair control me, define m
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Janet
In recounting the roles of women through the years in the Aleutian islands, one is forced to confront the expectations of women in our society today. I had a friend who was very much like the narrator of the book in that she defined herself in terms of the man she was currently dating, so I could relate to those scenes where she agonizes over her failure to direct her own life.
One little gem is buried in the end of the book - the description of wind and what feelings it stirs up brought back won
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Mary
Haunting! The contrast and yet the connection between a blonde named Brandy and the brave Aleut women who were central to the story was alluring. I loved this book, but it was not like anything I have ever read. I would say give it a try, and give it time to grab you!
Jill
Excellent. This is a book and story you want to keep reading. I want more from this author!
James
Full review to come later. Quick take: Highly recommend, particularly if one or more of the following interest you: The Last Frontier (specifically the Aleutian islands chain); the history of the native Aleut people through conquest, assimilation, and struggle for cultural survival; an interesting 30-something woman who's reached a critical juncture in her life mostly by happenstance; the mid 80s milieu of booze & drugs, casual sex, and adrenaline that was Dutch Harbor-based commercial fishi ...more
Ruth
304 pages.

Like the comic books that animate and inspire it, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is both larger than life and of it too. Complete with golems and magic and miraculous escapes and evil nemeses and even hand-to-hand Antarctic battle, it pursues the most important questions of love and war, dreams and art, across pages brimming with longing and hope. Samuel Klayman--self-described little man, city boy, and Jew--first meets Josef Kavalier when his mother shoves him aside in
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melydia
Brandy is a young woman who drifts through life, moving from man to man, following each wherever he takes her. At the start of this book she has just followed the latest all the way to Dutch, a tiny town on the Aleutian Island of Unalaska. Intertwined with her story is that of several generations of Aleutian women, each sacrificing so that her people may live. The first half of the book is kind of slow, paddling around in shallow waters to thoroughly set the scene. After that it picks up, both t ...more
RABComet
Cindy Dyson's And She Was is amongst the most profound and astounding writing I have read so far this year. She has a crisp, clear writing style, but she also has a story that gets under your skin. I felt, at the end, like I had just come out of a sweat lodge and sweat lodges are scary for me, I get taken to the edge and miraculously, when I don’t die, I get returned cleansed, new, restored.
She really gets and relays the sensuality and the angst of what it is for a woman, for a human being, to f
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Jennifer
Oct 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks about the challenges of being a woman
Recommended to Jennifer by: Powell's Bookstore (a while ago)
In the mid-1980's, Brandy (a blonde-haired, tight jeans-wearning, cocktail waitress) avoids her demons by once again following a man but this time to a place much further (both physically and metaphorically) than she could have imagined--the Aleutian Islands of Alaska's Bering Sea. She comes to Unalaska Island with Thad, a commerical fisherman, but it's what happens when Thad is out at sea that begins to change Brandy. Though she quickly falls into a familiar pattern--fending off drunks while wo ...more
Alicia
When I was at the library this book jumped out at me because of the title. Being a Talking Heads fan, I immediately thought of the song, so I decided to get it even though it was not in my plan. I ended up liking it for the most part, although at times I felt that the writer was trying too hard to be, well, a writer. Some of the reflections she has the main character doing about herself seem sort of forced. There is also this piece about being the stereotypical blonde, which I though would play ...more
Jenn
This book is an interesting blend of history and fiction. I always dig books about women and their role in society, their ability to function without or in spite of men, and their internal strength an dpower. And that's sort of what this book was about. It's also about a woman who finds herself--by freeing herself of men and finding her own inner power and strength and self--something all women should aspire to. "A woman's courage is often mistaken for insanity." I think, in part, I respond well ...more
Michelle
I don't even know where to start with this book... It's about a thirty-something woman, Brandy, in the 80s who follows her newest boyfriend to Dutch Harbor, AK (think site of 'Deadliest Catch'). A professional cocktail waitress, she's naturally blond, from a broken home and tries to never think about the future. But then she starts learning more about the history of the Aleut people, especially the women, and begins to discover many dark and compelling truths.
Brandy also learns more about herse
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Sharon Gausch
The premise of this book sounded intriguing and I really expected to like it. For me the two stories didn't work though, and I found myself slogging through to get to the end, hoping it would pull together in a satisfying way. Unfortunately it never did--I never engaged with any of the characters, the back and forth between past and present never meshed, and by halfway through I just felt like, "who cares...".
Monica
Haunting but captivating, this tale of women who try to keep their native Aleut community together was a rare find. "it doesn't get easier. Never easy enough to see through the fathomless gray. To live with intention, in the force of our own will, is the most essential and most dangerous thing we will ever do. It is the act that makes us fully human".
Emily
If you have watched and enjoy the show Dexter, you would probably enjoy this book. The book goes back and forth in time between Brandy, the current day character, and different generations of Aluet women. The story focuses on how mothers will do what needs to be done to ensure the survival of the next generation. It also focuses on how Brandy has to decide if she will do what is necessary to save herself. You might not agree with all of the choices and actions, but it is hard to disagree with th ...more
Lisa Eirene
This book was weird. There were times I really enjoyed the "current" story line and the characters and wanted more of that--then there were times where I enjoyed the history story line. Except I never felt like the two intersected. Not really sure what was going on with this book.
Jodi
If you haven't guessed, I like historical fiction. This book was good, but I from the first few pages I had a pretty good idea where it was headed. I'm conflicted, because the story, and the people are not predictable. This is a story about the Aleuts -- from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. How often do see books about the Aleuts? I enjoyed the way the story moved back and forth through time telling the stories of several generations of Aleut women. I found the character, Brandy, predictable. Sh ...more
Mary Drew
I'm barely halfway into this book and it's holding my attention because of the voice and character of Brandy - someone I would probably think I didn't want to know in real life. I can tell that she is going to change in some way because of being in Dutch Harbor, but I don't yet know why or how. The flashbacks to the days of the Russian conquest of Unalaska are well done - they draw me in and I want to know more about what happens to the Aleuts and Brandy.

Finished it today (a 3-day read). I liked
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Christine
I loved the setting of this book, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands. This is also the setting of one of my favorite shows, "Deadliest Catch," on The Discovery Channel. The main character works at a bar which actually exists although has since changed owners and undergone a name change. Set in the present, there is an incredible back story filled with historical accounts of how women fared in the at times punishing climate of this area in the Bering Sea. After reading it I began searc ...more
Laura
I really enjoyed this book! If there was a 1/2 star rating, I'd give it 4.5 stars. The author has an amazing way with words and crafts vivid descriptions of the Aleut people and culture. I also enjoyed the way that the story alternates between the past and the 1980s. For anyone who enjoys historical fiction or learning about another culture, this book is for you! I didn't want it to end and had a hard time putting it down--I even stayed up late to read it, which really says something because I h ...more
Susan
I know a lot of people really liked this book. I just really didn't. The main character, Brandy, is an underachieving woman who it seems takes drugs and hooks up with men. She follows one man to a remote Alaskan island, where she gets a job as a cocktail waitress and takes more drugs. She comes to interat with an Alaskan legend about mummies and actually ends up finding herself. I didn't really take a liking to any of the characters, and found parts of the book rather gross. I don't know why I f ...more
Jill
I enjoyed the back and forth of the settings of the 1960s and the history of the Aleut women she was studying. This is a good example of a 'finding yourself' story with the heroine consciously choosing to change her behavior and her life for the better. I was fascinated at the way the women in the small villages back in the 1700s fought for their survival and even went against their traditions to keep themselves and their children from starvation and extinction. Over all, it was a good read and ...more
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