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sitting practice
 
by
Caroline Adderson
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sitting practice

3.03 of 5 stars 3.03  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  41 reviews
It only takes a moment for your life to be changed forever—as the characters of this darkly comic novel discover early on. The fateful moment for the newlyweds Ross and Iliana comes with the freak automobile accident that leaves Iliana paralyzed, Ross grief-stricken, and both of them struggling to come to terms with a married life nothing like they originally had in mind....more
Published (first published 2003)
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Jasmine
I guess this woman is Canadian based on the fact the book begins in Vancouver and is written in a different tone than I have run into before. Wikipedia says I am right she is from Alberta.

I have learned from my recent pondering and reading that Americans and English people have different dispositions. Americans expect everything to come about and turn out perfectly. English people expect everything to be shit in the end. And from this book I would say Canadians expect everything to be shit but...more
Stephanie
I didn't like it much. It was well written, but I just didn't care about these people all that much. (I kept thinking Ross, QUIT WHINING)

Anyhow, obviously well done characters as I really felt like I KNEW them. Sad situation - happy couple. in a car, tennis ball rolling around on the floor, he asks her to get it, she does (had to unbuckle to do so) and a truck comes along and BLAM! Their lives are irrevocably changed. And Ross blames himself for the accident...

Good reminder to enjoy the now as w...more
Lisa
This book is a realistic portrayal of what happens to a couple when one of them has a spinal cord injury. It wasn't as depressing as I thought it would be, and the book doesn't focus on the injury so much as how it transforms the couple. It does so in unpredictable ways. The book is interesting but there are parts I didn't like. The author occasionally flashes back to earlier scenes in Iliana & Ross's relationship, yet skips over some key ones. Ross's twin sister Bonnie, a major character, i...more
Laura
Ross and Iliana are newlyweds who suddenly have to deal with Iliana, an athlete, being paralyzed by a car accident and needing to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The book is fantastic and shows both character's points of views. The only problem with it is that Bonnie, Ross' twin sister, annoys the crap out of me, as do most of Ross' ex girlfriends. Who really wears white to someone else's wedding? That's just rude. (this is a comment on the characters, not on the writing of the charac...more
Shawn
There is no sweet and sticky sugar-coating with this novel.
It is real and down to earth and you're not going to hold a soft spot in your heart for either of the flawed protagonists.
They are certainly not heroes, but they are not bad people either. They are everyday people like you and me.
The story went back and forth for me. I found some parts to be very riveting, while other parts did not hold my attention that much.
It's a 3 1/2 star book for me.
Not outstanding. But a very decent read.
Rhlibrary
What do you do when the unthinkable happens? When your life is suddenly, irrevocably altered from the one you thought was all planned out? Ross and Iliana go from happy newlyweds to car crash victims in the blink of an eye. With Iliana now paralyzed and Ross stricken with guilt, we are with them as they cycle through anger, grief, and resentment until they are ultimately, slowly able to adjust to their altered lives with grace and even humor. An emotionally riveting novel that at times left me t...more
Ruth Seeley
In yet another example of weird reading synchronicity, I had just finished reading a friend's memoir of the car accident that devastated her life for many years as well as that of the baby she was carrying when I came across this novel. My perspective on it is therefore, perhaps, a little warped. But this is a fascinating account of a life-altering event and how individuals respond to it. And from what my friend said in her memoir (and from what I know from personal experience after watching my...more
Nicole Engard
Sitting Practice was an interesting story of the trials a marriage faces when tragedy strikes. That said, there were few surprises in this story. I felt for the characters, but wasn't attached to them as I have been in other books. I was moved by the trials the main characters faced, but not to the point of cheering them on the right path. The book itself was written in such a way that I could feel myself in the settings and sometimes even see the characters interacting. Adderson has a lovely wr...more
Andrew Hall
I loved this book. The way the story was told really gave an insught into the minds of the two main characters.
Coleen
10/8/08 - Mixed feelings about this one. While the storyline had good potential, I never really felt like I "knew" the characters very well and even after finishing the novel, I wasn't sure what the purpose of the story was. It did venture off in ways I wasn't expecting, and that made it interesting. But something just didn't settle well...it seemed disjointed at times & the short flashback sections didn't seem to fulfill an adequate purpose. But there were parts of this novel that were inte...more
Darin
This book was a somewhat satisfying read, although I never could buy into the changes in the characters. I guess the trauma could lead to such behavior, but I never felt the author justified it through the prose. The story did keep me reading to find out what would happen, but in the end nothing really stands out as memorable. Okay, at best.
Salma El-Shafie
An enjoyable book, I liked that the author got into the significant events right away, from the very beginning of the book. It deals with a newly weds' accident and how it changes their lives, both of them, even though only one iwas physically affected, the psychological damage and guilt that the other spouse felt was the real cause for their problems.i loved the details, not only were the scenes visually described, but the author would describe how things felt. loved the details.
Julie
Perhaps the most accurate book I've read that includes activities of daily living for a person in a wheelchair, and it was also an interesting story!

The protagonist is really Ross, the husband, we don't get quite as in-depth with Iliana (who is the wheelchair user). I loved the small details of their life, Canada, his work, etc.

The end came a hair too quickly for me, but that was more of a desire for the story to keep going than any fault in the writing. Good stuff!
Alison
Picked this up at the library without knowing anything about it and was pleasantly surprised. The first novel for Adderson, it is a story of two newlyweds who get in a car accident. The woman is paralyzed (happens on first page- calm down) and the plot revolves around her dealing with life in a wheelchair and how it affects her marriage. Sounds depressing and it parts of it are but it is also compelling and funny. A real page turner- I really liked it.
Judith
this is a great read----a newlywed ends up in a wheelchair shortly after the wedding, and her husband, who idolizes her, is one of those guys who is squeamish at the sight of blood or other bodily fluids, so he feels guilty and repulsed and still adores her. the author gives everyone's perspective, so i ended up empathizing with all the characters. also, there is a lot of interesting food talk in this book, which i thoroughly enjoyed.
Roxy
I read this book because of the title - I have been taking a meditation class, so the title appealed to me. While the novel starts off strong with a car accident changing the lines of newlyweds in a split second, it seems to go on and on, with the characters fairly writhing in their misery until the end, when they are still miserable, but somehow ok with it. Interesting writing, but like most Can Lit, not exactly uplifting.
Melissa
This was an amazing book about the realities of tragedy and how a young married couple cope with their ideals of the perfect marriage gone horribly wrong. I loved this book for so many reasons, most of which have to deal with the authors raw outpour of emotions from each of the characters, all flawed but hopeful in their own way. I especially loved the ending.
Lori
What a painful, lovely book.

I'll be looking for Adderson's other novels. She opens a window for us, so we can peer in and see all the ugliness and occasional beauty of day-to-day relationships. It's not sugar coated, but it's not glorified grime, either.

It's a breath of mountain air. But the smog is underneath.
Amy
I got about 150 pages in before I gave up and stopped reading. I'm mad I wasted 150 pages on this book. So not worth it. The story line would be a good one if maybe it was written by someone else. This story is all over the place and I was just done. Not worth my time. There are too many good books out there.
Bachyboy
Ross loves Iliana but two weeks after they have married, he is driving her home, takes his eyes off the road and crashes. She is left in a wheelchair and the rest of the story deals with the way they cope with the accident. It is an interesting look at relationships under strain and I liked the Canadian setting.
Kim
I really enjoyed this book and the way it was written. I just love how the author drew out the details and went back to things a little later on to wrap them up. I don't often say this, but I would love to see more about what the author would like to see happen for this couple.
Becky Schulman
Wanted to like this book, but after finishing it, not
really sure that I did. It probably would have worked
better as a short story/novella. Didn't like 2 of the
main characters which didn't help. Ended up feeling like
assigned reading.
Catherine
Although the subject matter is grim (newly married bride becomes paralyzed shortly after wedding) this book is great - manages to bring a light touch to a serious matter. Lots of humor, great dialogue.
Sarah
I had high hopes for this one - the description seemed very intriguing. Unfortunately I just couldn't get into this novel. I felt like the author skipped around too much and I found myself skimming pages.
Becca
Only gave it 1 star because I actually finished it. Picked it up at the library and I thought it would be a lot more interesting than it turned out to be- and most of the characters are so annoying.
Monica
Hmmm... 2 stars or 3 stars? I liked it, but found it kind of annoying at times (some of the character development and characters' choices), and did skim parts of it. Interesting, though.
Lisa
I really hated this book, but I committed to finishing it. I didn't think that it moved very quickly and the fact that the author skipped over the couple's move frustrated me. Not recommended.
Sue
Good. Ross and Ilianna get married and live in Vancover. They get in a car accident and she is paralyzed. Move to Vancover island. Their life is not what they pictured.
Sarah
I really didn't like this book at all. I made myself finish it so I could find out what happened. The story is weird and the writing is bad in my opinion.
Nancy
This book was about a woman who has a spinal cord injury soon after she marries. It captured some of the adjustment issues very well. I enjoyed it.
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Caroline Adderson grew up in Alberta. After traveling around Canada, she moved to B.C. to go to university and has mostly lived there ever since. She started writing seriously after university, eventually going on to write two internationally published novels (A History of Forgetting and Sitting Practice) and two collections of short stories for adults (Bad Imaginings and Pleased To Meet You). Whe...more
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“The golden rule of business is supply and demand. I venture to say that this is also the rule of happiness. When a balance is achieved between our desires and another's willingness to satisfy them, the result is a sympathetic, mutually rewarding relationship. (...) a thriving economy of love.' - character Mike Lambeth” 4 likes
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