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My Old Sweetheart

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  144 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In this mesmerizing novel, Susanna Moore displays a naturalist's eye for the landscape of her native Hawaii and an uncanny sensitivity to the despairing love between mothers and daughters. Lily Shields grows up amid the fragrance of night-jasmine and burning sugar cane, and the heady atmosphere of her mother's madness. For if Anna Shields is an island unto herself--fragile ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published July 29th 1997 by Vintage (first published 1982)
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Hawaii by James A. MichenerMoloka'i by Alan BrennertHonolulu by Alan BrennertLiquid Comfort - A Surf Story by Cheryl Lee PetroBlood Orchids by Toby Neal
27th out of 80 books — 79 voters
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Bonds Between Mothers and Daughters
135th out of 146 books — 33 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 10, 2009 Alisa rated it liked it
After the first few pages, I really really really wanted to live in Hawaii.

By the end of the book, I wasn't so sure.
Mar 12, 2011 Featherbooks rated it really liked it
Although I read this many years ago, it's evocative descriptions of Hawaii and growing up there stay with me and it remains one of my all-time favorites. As so perfectly described it in her 1/27/2011 review:
I always think as I read a book like My Old Sweetheart that I want to read many more books like this. Spell-binding and measured books with a store of quietly held revelations kept in reserve, that make me gasp a little, novels that countenance no interruption and make
Ian Rogers
Jan 27, 2014 Ian Rogers rated it liked it
I hadn't heard of Susanna Moore before but a friend gifted me some of her books - I was pleasantly surprised. This story was one of those complicated tales of a family unravelled, taking place over decades with lots of jumps between remembered and current contexts but avoided the dreariness common to this kind of family epic. Touching, real, and honest in tone. Thoroughly enjoyable - I will read more by this author.
Apr 21, 2015 Deanne rated it it was ok
While Susanna Moore is a talented writer, she leaves too much of the story in her head.
Mar 23, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing
It was an interesting story of love and loss.
Sally Kenney
Jun 17, 2012 Sally Kenney rated it liked it
I liked this better than Sleeping Beauties. Very sad about both mother and father. Hawaii setting interesting.
Feb 26, 2012 Lynn rated it it was ok
Moore is a good story-teller but the story here was too scattered to be meaningful.
Aug 07, 2012 Hayley rated it really liked it
Some stop you dead in your tracks writing...
Amy Tate
Jan 09, 2010 Amy Tate rated it it was amazing
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Susanna Moore is the author of the novels One Last Look, In the Cut, The Whiteness of Bones, Sleeping Beauties, and My Old Sweetheart, which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her nonfiction travel book, I Myself Have Seen It, was published by the National Geographic Society in ...more
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