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Preview — One True Thing by Anna Quindlen
One True Thing
From Anna Quindlen, bestselling author of Black and Blue, comes a novel of life, love and everyday acts of mercy.
--San Francisco Chronicle
From the Paperback edition....more
This book hit way too close to home for me on multiple levels. I lost my grandmother 3 years ago to Cancer, and my family moved into her home to help take care of her, eventually bringing in a nurse until we finally had to move her into hospice. I can't imagine going through this with my own parents and having these feelings and emotions illustrated so perfectly raw really took me to a whole new level of gratefulness.
Ellen comes home to take care of her mom (against her will) whi ...more
Ellen has reluctantly quit her successful ...more
You can read the synopsis for yourself, but in short Ellen Gulden is a Harvard-educated writer living in New York, on the cusp of greatness. Her father is a Lit. Professor and Ellen connects with him, more than her stay-at-home mother, Kate.
Kate is diagnosed with cancer, and with the urging of her father, Ellen leaves the city and moves home to help take care of her mother and the chores. The mind-numbing existence her mother leads quickly takes a toll ...more
To me, the best parts of the book are her descriptions. She paints very vivid word pictures. Once or twice during my most recent reading I was so take ...more
The book reminded me a little bit of The End of Your Life Book Club, although that was non-fiction and this is a work of fiction. But a young woman returns to the family home to take care of her mother as she undergoes cancer treatments and, in order to give her an "in" to her daughter's thoughts (they hadn't been very clo ...more
One True Thing is a powerful story about family, about life, about death; it leav ...more
Wow, I cried a lot in this book!
When a book has been made into a movie, I never prefer having the picture on the cover. Nevertheless, I still read this book :) The problem was, though, that I kept picturing the actors on the cover as the characters in the book, which bugged me. However, if you had to picture actors as the characters you were reading, the mom, dad and Ellen were not a problem as portrayed (there's only one son pictured on the cov ...more
Besides the difficult story line of a daughter taking care of her mother through final months of cancer, I was really moved by the relationship that was forged between mother and daughter during this time period.
I think Quindlen did a beautiful job of describing the struggle that many women endure (smart vs. sweet) and how we have trouble understanding one another. Women don't have to be either or. Sometimes, you can be strong enough to be both.
We can also learn to love and appreciate our... (sh ...more
""You" says Ellen Gulden's father, as he throws her stuff out on the porch after she suggests he "hire a nurse" to take care of her dying mother, "have a Harvard education, but you have no heart."
And so starts her journey back into her family (she quits her job in the big city), back to the mother she never really identified with. So starts her learning process--about human nature...not just about books, or concepts. So starts her lea ...more
The technique to invite the reader into the family by starting with Ellen in jail, and then going back to learn how she got there was unusual but effective. It is only after getting pas ...more
The stark, honest and at times brutal description of Kate's battle with cancer, and Ellen's battle with her reactions to her Mother's disease is heart-breakingly painful to read. Any woman who is, or has been, very close to their own Mother will find it difficult to stop themselves from putting E ...more
She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter with The New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at the New York Times. She left journalism in 1995 to become a full-time novelist. She currently writes a bi-weekly colu ...more
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It's hard. And it's hard to understand unless you're in it. And it's hard for you to understand now because of where you are and what you're feeling. But I wanted to say it...because I won't be able to say it when I need to, when it's one of those nights and you're locking the front door because of foolishness about romance, about how things are supposed to be. You can be hard, and you can be judgmental, and with those two things alone you can make a mess of your life the likes of which you won't believe. It's so much easier...the being happy. It's so much easier, to learn to love what you have instead of yearning always for what you're missing, or what you imagine you're missing. It's so much more peaceful.”