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The Art of Seeing: A Novel
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The Art of Seeing: A Novel

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  26 reviews
As a child, the flamboyant, brooding, and beautiful Rozzie was always the star of her family -- especially in her younger sister Jemma's eyes. So when Rozzie takes up acting and, as a teenager, wins a part in a major motion picture, life changes irrevocably for both sisters. Rozzie is catapulted into the chaotic adult world of celebrity while Jemma travels to movie sets an ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Scribner (first published July 30th 2002)
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Feb 28, 2015 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
Ever since they were children, Jemma has looked up to her older sister, Rozzie, seeing her as a star. Flamboyant, brooding and beautiful, Rozzie may be destined to go far in her life, but for Jemma, Rozzie is still her sister - deeply loved and admired, and bound to be successful in whatever career she chooses. When Rozzie takes up acting and, as a teenager, lands a role in a major motion picture, life changes irrevocably for both sisters.

Rozzie is catapulted into the adult world of celebrity, a
Dai M
"The Art of Seeing," while not the best book, told a unique, and at times slightly touching, story. I am slightly partial to books focusing on sisters, so it scores there. I believe that McGovern captured the complexity of Rozzie and Jemma (and their relationship) with skill, but she did not really succeed in making it easy for the reader to feel compassion for them. Overall, I liked reading this book, but would not necessarily recommend it.
Paul Zerby
The Art of Seeing manages to take a very unique situation (younger sister growing up in the reflected light of a rising movie star) and deal very tellingly with universal elements of relationships within families and among friends. Beautifully and authenically written and a page turner. I recommend it to anyone who grew up in a family.
From the beginning, I could relate to it. It tells about two sisters, and the jealousy and petty arguments that come along with having a sibling to compare oneself to. You read about each one growing older and the obsticles they face, and although there are times where it seems predictable, you end the book feeling satisfied.
i really enjoyed this book and style in which it is written. very interesting and intriguing story of the older and younger sisters. they are quite alike in ways they cannot recognize and rely on each other more than they know.
LK Hunsaker
I wasn't always sure I was going to finish reading this one. I rarely don't finish a book I start, and I don't at all mind slow, pondering stories if there's enough of something to be worth it. At times, I thought there might be. Other times, I nearly set it aside and moved along.

What bothered me was the sparse, shallow writing style. We were told their story but I never felt in it and I never cared much about any of the characters. It was interesting how two different POVs were used for the two
Lauralee Summer
This is the second book I read by this author. Last year I first read her second book, Eye Contact, a murder mystery with autistic main characters (much more personal and heartfelt book than Curious Incident, Pei Pei, in case you wanted to do a comparison). I enjoyed this book (Art of Seeing) read it in a day and a half, and missed the characters after I finished, which to me means there has to be something good about the book. I don't want to give too much away, but like Eye Contact, it has an ...more
okay - I liked this book, but I did't LOVE it. Why - seemed trite. Strange concept. Okay, sister is going blind and the other sister takes advantage of the situation? Why? Not as though there was a good reason, not a lot of drama between the sisters to cause such animosity, or at least, the author didn't touch on any. not a big fan.
A book about family, sibling rivalry, blindness and maturing. Two sisters are drawn together by family ties and both struggle when one sister becomes a celebrity but is hiding a secret. The ebb and flow of sisterhood is at the forefront of the story. But the lives of each sister are fairly mundane. Not a terrific read.
Eileen Granfors
McGovern's second novel "The Art of Seeing" starts with an unusual premise for the average Josephine: what if your sister were suddenly a celebrity and you were the sister watching on?

For more about this book, see my review on under the title and my reviewer's name, EGranfors.
I had high expectations for this book since it was about a photography and that is my profession. I was let down. There was too much description in the book that left me wanting to know more. The climax was lacking. It really just kind of ended without me feeling like I had accomplished anything.
While I enjoyed this, it is another book that I read when I was too young to really understand it fully. But my mother read it before me, and so I picked it up because she said it was good. It was hard to put down, but I will have to re-read it to better appreciate what it has to offer.
This book was interesting to a point. The story wasn't difficult to follow, but the relationship between sisters seemed..strange. It was not plot-thickened, but a rather slow, somewhat enjoyable read.
Jul 23, 2011 Olivia added it
Being an only child, I found it enlightening to read about the relationship between Jemma and Rozzie. The style was good, and it took me the whole way through. The description was excellent.
i really loved cammie's second novel so i decided to read this. it was ok- a really quick read, but i just cant imagine having the relationship these two sisters had. totally depressing.
i'll admit. i read it because it was short. it ended up being a waste of time. the characters were totally undeveloped in what could have been an interesting story. phooey.
Krystle Garrison
great story about the strange relationship between sisters, and how they become closer throughout the one sisters struggles on going blind
An excellent read about sisters and the complexity of sibling rivalry and self-esteem. Interesting, a fast read.
It was an average book. Definitely a quick read. You ended up feeling sad for both sisters at the end.
Well-written, unique story. Didn't completely connect, probably because I didn't have a sister.
Kathy Juveli Hauck
Full of symbolism that even a simple gal like me could understand. I fell into the book right away.
Jul 02, 2008 Rhye is currently reading it
i'm getting kinda confused with all the time changes but i think i got the story.
While I enjoyed her broad use of diction, the ending lacked a little in my opinion.
Interesting relationship between two sisters, bordering on obsession.
beautiful, riveting, raw, lush.
loved this book
Brittany Grable
Brittany Grable marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Lauren marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.
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