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Margarettown
 
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Gabrielle Zevin
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Margarettown

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  118 reviews
"Margarettown...is a person, a place, a love story. It could be about anyone - you, your parents, your best friends. But it's not. It's about a woman called Margaret Towne, and a man who falls in love with her." "The day he meets Maggie for the first time is the day he understands what it is to be in love. Deeply, wildly, terminally in love. What he doesn't know is that lo...more
Published (first published May 25th 2005)
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Jane
Ah... this book was perfect for me right now, it seemed. Just one part-Margarette Towne's daughter ends up being named Jane. And near the end, N. gives her advice; it seems as it is written to me. It says:
"I wish i could tell you to always follow your heart, but i think it is bad advice. You have a heart, yes, it is true, but also a brain and also a soul. I've come to believe that we love with our brains as much as our hearts. Real Love is not just instinct, but intent...... From year to year,...more
Taryn Pierson
Have you ever seen Life is Beautiful? It's an Italian film set during the Holocaust, and it stars Roberto Benigni, the guy who said he wanted to “kiss everybody” when he accepted his Oscar for Best Actor for the role.

It's absolutely magical, which may sound like a strange thing to say about a movie set primarily in a concentration camp, but that's what happens when someone as effusive and whimsical as Benigni is involved. He plays a man named Guido who is taken to Auschwitz along with his wife a...more
Christine Deken
Can I give this book five stars for every person whom has ever occupied "Christinetown"? If I could, I would. This book was so many things, and all of them were beautiful. It is a love story, it is a story of self-discovery, and it is a story of how we see others. Love, I have learned from this book and hope to learn from life, is not about loving just one person; it is about loving every person that one has been and every person they will become.
Dolors
An unconventional tale of love, life and death. But specially of love.
You could say this is another story of an ordinary couple who fall in and out of love, as we all do sometime in life.
Or you could say this is a unique tale of an extraordinary woman, who is five different women at the same time, and who dies because she is eighty-seven or thirty-five.
A cursed woman or a blessed one, because she is loved, deeply and intensely loved by her husband, the narrator of the story.
His voice is steady a...more
Raya
What a neat, bizarre little book this was. Margarettown is actually a letter from father to daughter, telling the tale of how he meets her mother, Margaret, and his life thereafter. I loved the blurred lines between fable and reality, where you wonder if the narrator is being imaginative, a little deluded, or just trying to compensate for the aspects of Margaret he couldn’t understand. There is a deep sadness and regret in his remembering and retelling, tinged with a sense of humor and hope that...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Despite how rather bizzare it was, I actually really enjoyed this read. I've only read Elsewhere by Zevin before and whilst I enjoyed it, I didn't love it, but I thought I'd give this one a go. Unfortunately, I was confused before I even started the book - by reading the blurb, I think anyone would agree, it looks like it must require a lot of concentration and re-reading. However, once I sat back and got into it, it really wasn't that difficult. Though it's not fully explained, if you don't loo...more
Hirondelle
Not quite sure what I think of this, this might be one of those books which needs to ripen in the reader´s mind. It´s a very different in style than her other two novels, much more surreal and non linear. The story might be magical realism, or just a very unreliable narrator telling a story . It´s so quotable, and moving in parts, a book I will definitely keep to reread one day ( or just find some bits of writing which seemed wise or right). But I found the beginning hard to follow, felt this bo...more
Carrie Foster
I can't help but imagine this book as a Wes Anderson film. I mean come on, there's already a character with an eye patch! This was a fun, fast read that was surprisingly thought-provoking. I tabbed several pages because I identified so strongly with Zevin's prose.

"To go to sleep and wake up next to the same person for the rest of your life, to stay even when you long to go- these are the real rituals of love."
Lisa
I applaud the author's creativity. She's a great storyteller. I love how she wrote so creatively about the different people we all have inside us. If we could more easily see all those different aspects of our personalities when relating to others, the world would be a different place.

Also, we all struggle to love our spouse, who also offers a range of different sides to their personality, some which we like much better than others. Yet we must deal with the whole person, even the parts we don't...more
Suzie Q
Another book by Zevin that I read in 2 days and was very very clever. This book explores the city of people we have living within us as we hit different times in out lives and as we change grow and mature.
Margaret and N specifically fall in love in their college time she as a student and he as a T.A.

She is different than she was as a girl or even as a teen and will be different as a woman and middle aged and older and elderly. The person you choose to be with has to learn to love all or nothin...more
Judy Lindow
I was captivated all the way through the book. Relationships are the warp and the weft of Margarettown and central to it all is the kismet of enduring love in all is beauty, quirky twists and turns, sadness and redemption. It's a lush, unpredictable journey where mystery is exemplified through analogy and antidote and the holes and ground surface are as fallible as life itself. This book spoke worlds to me!

We and and the ones we love house many versions of ourselves - manifestations of different...more
Gianna
Margarettown
Gabrielle Zevin
304pp
Miramax Books
1401359965


What if you fell in love with a woman, and when you fell in love with her it ment you had to be in love with many other woman. N(we never learn his full name) falls in love with Maggie tha first minute he meets her. Love at first sight much. Well this novel is the typical boy meets girl story but there is so much more to it then a little love story.

In the novel Margaretton by Gabrielle Zervin We are taken on a long journey filled with romanc...more
Carrie Middleton
From the synopsis, I thought I was picking up a book that was going to be an artsy metaphor about how people change over time. That's probably what it wanted to be, but it wasn't.

It started out well enough, though I found that the characters spoke in a very unnatural, Fred Astaire movie sort of way, and the titular Margaret was some sort of manic pixie dream girl gone wrong from the getgo.

The book eventually drops the metaphor and goes the fairytale route: there are quite literally several diff...more
Sarah
Jul 10, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: the library
i found this book a little bizarre. it was good. and it had an interesting concept, which i can't really explain without giving a lot of the interesting stuff away. but the concept is sort of silly at the same time. all the same it's a great, easy read. no real work involved to get into the character development or storyline. it wraps you in almost immediately and you're eager enough to come back for more, to see what happens next.
but i must warn that it was a little weird at parts. not really o...more
Hallie
Well, now I totally get what Hirondelle and Emmaco said about this being an extraordinarily difficult book to pin down -- both in terms of the kind of book it is (fantastic or just the whimsical story-telling of the unreliable narrator?) and of my own response.

It was certainly easier to follow after the first section was over, but it was later that I had to put it aside for a little. Not boredom or inability to follow but just discomfort. (Hate being so close to married couple's characters and...more
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Encruzilhadas Literárias
Confesso que sou suspeita porque gosto bastante da escrita de Gabrielle Zevin. Gosto da maneira como ela pega em situações completamente normais (ou já conhecidas) e lhes dá o seu próprio encanto, as conta à sua maneira. Quando peguei em Margarettown tive duas reacções, primeira, porque raio tinham colando os autocolantes do preço sobre o M e o N do título que obviamente os tinha descolorado e, segundo, que raio de linha para captar a atenção.

Hoje em dia acredito que a capa de um livro é muito i...more
YoSafBridg
In Margarettown Gabrielle Zevin writes with a vaguely Nabokovian flavour that i can't quite place (i'm thinking maybe an earlier King, Queen, Knave Nabokov not an accomplished Lolita voice, but Nobovovian, nonetheless) but i know i absolutely love. Margaret M. Towne (Maggie for short) comes from a town in upstate New York called Margerttown (oddly enough, an ex-boyfriend of mine came from a town in upstate New York called Margaretteville...anyway...) where she lives in a house called Margaron wi...more
Sarah Sammis
"The name Margaret derives from the Greek word margaron, which means pearl. ... Margaret has more nicknames than any other female name in the English language. " (p. 60). Margarettown by Garbrielle Zevin takes this fact literarily, in the form of Maggie and her many selves.

Narrated mostly by N. to his daughter Jane, Margarettown is the story of his romance and marriage to a remarkable woman named Margaret Towne. He knew her as Maggie but if her story is to be believed, she is also Old Margaret,...more
Maggie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
This is the story of three people really: Margaret Towne, her lover who becomes her husband, and their daughter Jane Young. N (the husband) tells most of the story as a memoir to his daughter when he is dying of either brain cancer or some illness he caught in Tahiti. Margaret may have been one woman or five; she may have also died of natural causes or by suicide. And the way N tells the story, you can never be sure if he was blinded by love or by death. Then Jane's voice enters the frame, and s...more
Shelley
Mar 08, 2008 Shelley rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
While I normally really enjoy Zevin's books, this one was well... just weird! I found the concept of Margaret splitting into six different women (literally) to be original, but strange. It seemed like the main characters did everything they could to NOT be happy with each other... cheating, lying, etc. Add to that the fact that the man was writing a letter about their love story to be left behind for their 9 year-old daughter after both of the parents' premature deaths. The letter would have bee...more
Kristin
What an interesting book... Zevin certainly doesn't adhere to one writing style or genre. In fact, I would have trouble classifying this book. To summarize the story, I feel, would give away too much of the plot. Needless to say, the story had me captivated and I read the book within a few hours.

Two interesting points to ponder that the novel brought up for me. One, different versions of one's name for various life stages. I've always been Kristin. I can't imagine myself with any other name. Yet...more
Leila
I'm not 100% sure what to say about this book. It isn't that I didn't enjoy it--I did. But possibly it was too fragmented and meta-fiction-esque to hold my complete interest. There were good sections, like the early, more cohesive narrative about N. and Maggie, and the last section, about Jane. But in the middle there is a lot of strangeness that feels like experimentation for experimentation's sake. Was it necessary to tell us that the narrator is making most of it up? That he's unreliable? I t...more
Diane
I liked AJ Fikry so I sought out more of Zevin's work. This one was fun - quirky and entertaining and a novel novel :-) I appreciated how creatively she approached the facets of the character known as variations on the theme of Margaret and how that worked in conveying the arc of a life and relationship. Good one.
Julie
This was really unusual for a YA book in that there was all sorts of ambiguity. The narrator, N., tells about his relationship with Maggie. He meets her when he is her T.A. in a philosophy class, which seems normal enough, but then they go to her home upstate. There he meets 4 women (May, Mia, Marge, and Old Margaret) who at first appear to be her relatives, but then are revealed to be Maggie at various ages. Is this real, or is this some elaborate metaphor for the different personalities that w...more
Shannon
My only fault with this book is that I think the editing could have been tighter. Other then that, it was a sharp, honest look at intimacy and love. The author also used the interplay between whimsical fantasy and reality to explore how we cope with and explain depression and sadness. Excellent storytelling.
Erin Dale
After having just finished "The Storied Life of AJ Fikry" I thought this book by the same author would be similar. This is Gabrielle Zevins first book. All I can say is it was very strange and different from her other book. Just not as good and I'm not even sure I understood it all.
Dana
N falls madly in love with Margaret Towne while a grad student. When he goes to visit her family in Margarettown he finds several women named Margaret: May, a little girl, Mia, a sullen teenager, Marge, a cynical middle-aged woman, Greta a 50ish woman who has committed suicide and Marge, old and full of advice.

The first half of the book describes N's and Margaret's love and the struggle of N to understand all the variations of Margaret. The second half belongs to Jane their daughter reading her...more
W.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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A good book? Or a good read? 1 16 Mar 21, 2008 08:45PM  
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Gabrielle Zevin has published six novels. Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was on Entertainment Weekly's Must List and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Every day newspaper articles chronicle families battered by the recession, circling the drain in unemployment and debt or scra...more
More about Gabrielle Zevin...
Elsewhere Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1) Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)

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“There's a pleasure to loving someone even when you know there's no chance in them loving you back. The pain I felt let me know I was still alive.” 118 likes
“Sometimes things seem so unbearable in the middle of the night, don't they? In the middle of the night, we're all such children.” 34 likes
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