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One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
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One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
For two quietly unhappy years, linguist Claire Gallagher has been living deep in the New Hampshire woods, enduring a polite but strained marriage to a highly respected scientist. Once a determined overachiever and academic star in her own right, she now spends her days avoiding her stalled dissertation and creating EZ crossword puzzles. But for all Claire's knowledge of ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Gallery Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 22, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
The linguistics were exquisite and often witty, the content sophisticated, the character development very good. Good insights and expressions. But. I didn't really like it. One reader said it was blah and that's how it came across--proving that the parts do not equal the sum. Basically a blah and depressing-type (not really depressing) book with a negative outlook and uninspired message. The book was as dreary as the main character's marriage and the rainy Ireland landscape--this time proving, I ...more
Siobhan Fallon
Feb 25, 2010 Siobhan Fallon rated it really liked it
A story about Claire, a linguistics PhD student, who leaves her husband in their snow bound cottage and heads to Ireland to reassess her life. The language is everything you want from a narrator who creates crossword puzzles, beautiful and loaded with double meanings and puns, and the scenes of Irish life will make you yearn for the Emerald Isle. But the backstory of Claire's relationship with her difficult, sickly mother and her erractic sister will having you making amends with all the people ...more
Jul 30, 2010 Jules rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, purchased
As a lover of words myself, I really enjoyed that Claire was so firmly entrenched in the world of words and their meanings. I liked that she was constantly running it through her head when a word came up and the definitions were those that described her life and her situation.

The main reason I bought it (at the thrift store) was that I liked the author's "Getting Over Jack Wagner". Of course, the fact that the book was set in Ireland sold me completely. Great descriptions of scenery and I want t
Oct 15, 2012 Bandit rated it liked it
This book was not my usual fare, but the author came highly recommended to me. I can see why, Juska can write and well if this book is any indication...the problem with it though was that just about nothing happened. Just a slice of life story about a disfunctional (is there really any other kind worth writing about) family. It's more serious and sincere and deeper than chicklit as the cover might mislead, but to me it lacked the excitement of pure escapism, fun, adventure, page turning wow ...more
Marisa McClellan
Apr 08, 2008 Marisa McClellan rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2008
I've been in something of a reading slump over the past few months. I picked up my copy of this book back in the fall and late last week it caught my eye on my shelf. Determined to finally read something I sat down with it and dug in. While I never fell too deeply into it, it was an interesting and satisfying story and it felt good to read a book (as opposed to newspapers, magazines or the internet) again.
Oct 23, 2012 Abby rated it it was ok
It felt... lacking. The ending didn't feel like an ending at all.

Also, I didn't see any point to it. I mean, it was merely narrating, not storytelling. It was a description, a documentation of sorts of the week in Ireland the lead had and of her flashbacks, but there was nothing more to it. It was a little too depressing.

I liked the words though. At least, the character was being consistent in being a lover of language.
Jul 20, 2016 Manie rated it did not like it
I tried hard to finish this book but when I figured out that I dreaded having to read it, I knew it was time to give up. I'm an avid reader, usually getting to a book the minute I can, no matter if I am not likening it much. So to find out that I actually was avoiding reading because of this book, well, I just gave up. I hate giving up on books especially since I have liked another of this author's work, but I refuse to give up reading!
Jul 21, 2012 Jerry rated it it was amazing
It would be impossible for me not to love a novel that mentions midnight mass at Saint Cecilias (memories of driving up Jeannes Street - "Saint Cecilia Pray For Us" emblazoned along the top of that off-white wall) but all goofiness aside, Elise Juska understands family better that any twenty of the current experts; and to think I lived in the same building as her sister for years and never appreciated the nuance of that old neighborhood the way I do after reading her novel.
Dec 15, 2011 Meg rated it liked it
I don't know why, but this book took me forever to get through....I love all things linguistic...and Ireland...and I guess I hoped too much. I can't really remember how it ends...which explains how blah it is. :(

A book about a girl who runs away from her marriage to Ireland for her sister's wedding.
Jul 16, 2008 Brianne rated it liked it
Nice story, not cutesy like most books of this genre tend to be. The story takes place in IRELAND, so that's basically why I bought it and was pleasantly surprised by it's not-to-cuteness. Quick read and really enjoyable.
Jun 27, 2009 Shannon rated it it was ok
This was a difficult book for me to get into. I read it during a camping trip and maybe I just kept getting interupted, but I think the character development left something to be desired. I couldn't get attached to any of the characters enough to care what happened to them. Bummer.
Jul 31, 2008 Jadine rated it liked it
I think I liked this book just a tad bit less than Jack Wagner, but still found Juska to be a good study of character. I think she writes women very well, especially their nuerosis, and I think she gets the men right as well. Her stories are a satsifying length.
Barb Lawrence
Mar 11, 2009 Barb Lawrence rated it really liked it
I found this at the 99-cent store tonight, and figured...why not?

Later: Wow, what a pleasant surprise. This book is so much of things I love: superstitions, introspection, dissecting words. I really enjoyed it.
Dec 13, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
I liked it. Maybe a case of right book at the right time? Claire's marriage ending as I have just experienced the end of a three-year relationship.
Apr 17, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
loved this book...Juska has a great way of having a conversation with the reader instead of just pouring details down a reader's throat. I want to go to Ireland now.
Crystal rated it liked it
Aug 21, 2011
Carly rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2010
Maggie rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2008
Mandy rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2007
Chelsea rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2011
Shannon rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2012
Heather rated it it was ok
Sep 11, 2008
Bookmommy rated it liked it
May 09, 2014
Kaitlyn Burg
Kaitlyn Burg rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2013
Brenda Delgado Gallagher
Brenda Delgado Gallagher rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2011
J rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2012
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2009
Maggie rated it it was ok
Aug 13, 2010
Kathy rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2010
Teresa White
Teresa White rated it liked it
May 22, 2015
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Elise Juska's novel The Blessings was released by Grand Central Publishing in Spring 2014. The book was selected for Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers series, featured on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List," and named one of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2014. The paperback was released in late May 2015.

Juska's short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Rev
More about Elise Juska...

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