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Lucky in the Corner
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Lucky in the Corner

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  235 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Nora and Fern are just like any other mother and daughter - their relationship is tumultuous, marked by brooding silences and curt exchanges. For Nora, Fern is an enigma - incomprehensible, unfindable. Fern has never really forgiven her mother for leaving her marriage to live with her lover, Jeanne. Their story is a contemporary one, in which mothering is a mapless journey ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 22nd 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 483)
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Jan 17, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've now read this book three times, which is almost unheard of for me. There are so many good books out there, who has time to keep rereading one of them, no matter how wonderful? But something truly resonated for me in Lucky in the Corner. The fact that most of us in life try to do the right thing and we succeed or fail at various times, in varying ways. And there is reward and forgiveness in both. We don't fail as human beings just because we fail to be wise in all our actions. There is a lot ...more
This book wasn't nearly as good as Aquamarine. Kind of a disappointment. The main character's mother was slutty, and somehow this was excused by the author and the other characters in the book. None of the characters were particularly likable, and the tone of the entire novel was a little dark and depressing. But it was interesting enough to keep me reading it, which is the only reason I gave it 3 stars. Had it sucked even 1 iota more than it did, it would have lost that 3rd star before it knew ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Faith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just when I was despairing that so little good literary lesbian fiction gets published in the United States, I met up with Carol Anshaw. This novel is perfection. It has an intriguing beginning, a pitch-perfect ending, a baby with personality, a dog with personality, 2 likeable men, lesbians with interesting problems, and a character who's part of an underacknowledged faction of the LGBT community: the straight adult child of a lesbian couple. Also, this is the best depiction of non-creepy sexua ...more
May 08, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one. I'd read a bunch of good reviews and it won an award for being good lesbian-based fiction. While the character of Nora is someone you tend to be judgemental over you can understand her plight of never truly being satisfied in a relationship and once things get relatively stable she gets antsy and therefore must self-destruct. The reader empathizes with Fern over feeling a sort of abandonment by her mother because she's never really exposed her ...more
Erika Nerdypants
This was a book about relationships. Mothers, daughters, lovers, siblings and friends, no one escapes Anshaw's very perceptive scrutiny. I loved the characters in this book, particularly the protagonists, Fern and Nora. Although this novel is not really plot driven, apart from the opening scene events unfold almost ploddingly slow, it is a wonderful character study, and concerns itself much more with how events affect the people experiencing them. I found the interweaving of the past which Ansha ...more
Sep 06, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, hard to describe about a mother and daughter in an unconventional family to say the least.
I found their relationship interesting and actually could relate to their disconnect with each other. I think the mother/daughter relationship can be such a complicated one full of push and pull. You love each other and cant stand each other at the same time.
I think Anshaw truly understands, her characters are real people and the story is very poignant.
Mar 17, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq
I liked the way that Anshaw handled the issue of infidelity - and more generally, secrets - in this novel. She weaves this theme throughout the different characters' lives, including in the flashbacks to their earlier, younger days. She doesn't choose sides, but is pretty fair to everyone involved.

Anshaw also bring us to a satisfyingly dense climax, but the resolution of this final drama leaves the reader with little closure. What will happen to Nora and Jeanne? I suppose we just have to extrapo
Oct 08, 2014 Barb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle, nope
By page 89, nothing has really happened, except maybe the mother has had a one-nighter, but maybe not. I loved Anshaw's story in Best American Short Stories 2012 or 13 (can't remember which), but this book doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
Carrie Rzeppa
I enjoyed the quirky characters and the ongoing ups-and-downs between Fern and her mother, but the book felt unfinished to me.
Jun 30, 2014 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the only word I can use to describe it is this - execrable.
Mar 23, 2009 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm turning into a Carol Anshaw fan.
Lucky in the Corner is a puzzling title, since none of the characters seem like luck is the main force in their lives, not even the dog named Lucky. Instead, the characters are real and plausible and interesting, doing things and interacting with each other in ways that make sense but aren't predicable. There's a strong plot, moving from A to B through moments of crisis, but since I prefer character to plot, it's not that important to me. I prefer the
Jun 25, 2008 Liesl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book based on Nancy Pearl's recommendation on NPR. I love her enthusiasm when discussing books and find myself catching her excitement. However, I was dissappointed when actually reading this. It had a potentially interesting plotline that never gelled for me and, while plot is not everything, it did not have much else to prop it up such as character development or prose. I would not recommend this book and would not reread it.
Aug 21, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book when researching books with dogs/about dogs for work. I have been reading a lot of non-fiction and thought a nice, light read would be fun. I did like it, but can't give it a good review because the first half was so slow. The second have was quite good, but you have to get through the first half to get to it. And, Lucky (the dog) wasn't in as much of the book as I had hoped. I also just may not be as interested in light fiction as I used to...
Aug 09, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Understated and full of shadows...Nora and Fern are not your typical mother and daughter. Nora is a lesbian and has had a number of liasons. Now, her current partner Jeanne provides more stability, but Fern is a teen, and nothing is easy. Lucky is the dog who factors just a little bit in the book (should have been more!)The story takes it's twists and turns. Nothing is held back. I'd love to see more by Anshaw who is a marvelous storyteller.
Nov 28, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
It took me a long time to read this one. I definitely liked it better the more I got into it, but the plot is generally meandering. The characters seem like people you would actually meet in your everyday life, and I think I wanted more activity, more confrontations, more escaping if that is what the character is going to do. Lovely writing, but the story wasn't my favorite by this author.
Mistinguette Smith
Marvelously executed prose and fully realized characters with complexities, subjectivities and weaknesses just slightly more interesting than real life. I would read this again just for her great use of language and her elevation of snark to a literary level. Can't wait to read more by this author.
Aug 13, 2007 Tomi-Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
This is such a wonderful little book. Lucky is a dog. I heard about it from that librarian Nany Pearl they sometimes interview on Morning Edition on NPR. All her suggestions are great, by the way. It's a coming of age novel about a young girl and her dog. Read it.
Mary Ayres
Jul 27, 2012 Mary Ayres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept feeling ambivalent about this book - which I think shows that it has power. You can't help but get so annoyed with Nora - maybe pissed is a better word. I really liked Fern's development. I wanted more of Lucky.
Jun 12, 2012 Drgail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into the characters; all flawed, all utterly believable, all loveable, all beautifully intertwined.
Mar 06, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars. Well written...especially since classified as lesbian fiction, which is often unreadable.
Oct 28, 2011 Elena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An unlikeable heroine an unsurprising outcome. A mess to clean up. Not so much.
Jessica Seaton
Nov 28, 2013 Jessica Seaton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light non- taxing read. Good to read to relax during an intense period.
Patti Demarco
Enjoyable read. Would like to read another book by this author
Shonna Froebel
Jun 23, 2013 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Really good.
Coming of age and mother-daughter relationships
Oct 10, 2010 TJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too much. Maybe too overwrought. Not worth the effort.
Jun 23, 2010 D'etta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent writer, good characters, great book
Katie M.
Mar 17, 2010 Katie M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, 2009
Meh. Incredibly mediocre lesbian novel.
Jun 25, 2009 Justyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A damned fine read.
Apr 02, 2007 Toby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Carol Anshaw (born March 1946) is an American novelist and short story writer. Her books include Lucky in the Corner, Seven Moves and Aquamarine. Her stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories in 1994 and 1998. She acquired her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts (1992). She has won a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, an NEA Grant, an Illinoi ...more
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