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Living Room: A Novel
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Living Room: A Novel

3.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The follow-up to her highly praised debut story collection, The First Hurt, Rachel Sherman’s Living Room is a beautiful and disarmingly direct portrait of a family in trouble. With the tone of a modern-day Jewish The Ice Storm set in Long Island, imbued with Alice Munro’s fascination with personal history, Living Room is a deep exploration of the ripple effects of mental i ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Grove Press, Open City Books
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(showing 1-30 of 154)
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Jun 01, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok
A story told from three different perspectives, spanning three generations, this book was just OK. Even though the daughter ends up in the hospital, the mother faces sexual ambiguity and questions about where her life went off track, and the grandmother dies... it felt like nothing really happened.

Where Rachel really dropped the ball was voice. The three female characters were so different, yet their seperate chapters were all writen in the same style, with the same attitude. I feel like she ha
Jun 10, 2009 eb rated it really liked it
The ability to write in an unsentimental, truthful way sounds like a prerequisite, something you'd have to get good at to publish novels, but in fact, hardly anyone can do it. Rachel Sherman can. This novel about three women (a grandmother, a daughter-in-law, a high school kid), contains so much truth it almost hurts to read it. I could have done with a *little* bit less of the grandma crawling around on the floor; I dreaded her chapters after a while. But I was fascinated by Livia and her chips ...more
May 26, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Another book review for the Saroyan Prize. This book had potential.

This novel, set in Long Island, tells the tale of three generations of women, all with a certain level of social dysfunctionality. As the novel shifts back and forth from the perspectives of each woman, you can see the flaws and strengths of each character as reflected by the other characters. The author does a passable job at capturing the voices of these three women all at different stages of life -- the moping teenager, the un
Aug 20, 2010 Gene rated it really liked it
I won this book at a fiction reading, at which Rachel Sherman was reading, by answering a question about The Breakfast Club: What does Ally Sheedy's character reply when Emilio Esteves' character asks what her parents do to her? And the answer, of course, is, "They ignore me." So free book, woo!

I enjoyed Rachel's reading at the event, and very much enjoyed this novel, which is about real people and their real problems. The story is told with much humor and clear-eyed insight, with a refreshing l
Apr 10, 2010 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Great title.

But this book didn't have any life. The characters are flat and so obviously assembled, not complex or mysterious human beings. It felt almost like a worksheet novel to me. Each character has her list of qualities (Livia = unsatisfied housewife; eating disorder) and is duly assigned her conflict (attracted to lesbian client) and moves through the arc that her conflict demands, and yet these things don't add up to anything remotely interesting. It was so predictable that I began to d
I'm halfway through the book & feel guilty for giving up since I've already invested time to finish half of it. I rarely give up on a book; however, I just don't care about any of these people. Grandma lays on the floor all day, mom is unhappy & has an eating disorder, & the teenage girl is going teenage girl stuff. I just don't care & none of these people are interesting. I'm not invested in what happens to them which is too bad because this book could have been so much more.
Johanna DeBiase
Jul 02, 2012 Johanna DeBiase rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. The characters are average women dealing with the complexities that occur at different stages of life. I was easily drawn into their dramas as the author did a good job of trusting the reader to draw their own conclusions, instead of over-explaining or sentimentalizing the story. Just as in real life, things don't simply conclude, but instead, begin to evolve and I was content to let the characters go, certain that things were changing for them for the better.
Jan 08, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
I liked this book. It's about 3 women; a mom, her daughter and her mother in-law. They are all dealing with their place in life and while the mom's character was completely unlikable, the story was engaging and interesting. Headie, the grandma is at the end of her life, Abby, the daughter is a teen dealing with adolescent issues, and Livia the mom, is just pathetic all the way around.
Nov 27, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
I thought it was a slow read not very gripping, but easy to read. The characters in the book were also very sad from the grandmother who was dying with many regrets, to the mother with her ongoing depression, and the adolescent daughter who was just alone going through her teenage years with this weird foreign young adult au pair in the house. I would not recommend it.
Nov 28, 2009 Marjanne rated it liked it
I liked this novel though I can't quite pinpoint why. The characters were complex and matured throughout the novel. I liked the way the three lead female characters set each other apart, but also tied into each other as well. In ways this book was difficult to read, but the author kept my interest and I was curious to see what happened with each character.
Apr 25, 2010 Jennifer rated it did not like it
I hate reading a book and getting some what involved in the characters(even though they are quite boring) and not getting any sort of resolution. The stories had no conclusion, the story got vauge in the end, ie, what happened in the woods, was the mom a lesbian? Dissapointed in this read.
Feb 13, 2010 Amy rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book but didn't. I put it down after 125 pages or so. I found too much of it too silly, in particular the way Sherman wrote about the old character, who rolls around on her floor, noticing ants.
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 11, 2012 Sue Kozlowski rated it liked it
Good. On Long Island. Grandmother - old and dying. Lives alone. Son Jeremy married to Livia who secretly binge eats. Daughter Abby drinks too much.
Dysmonia Kuiper
Jan 10, 2013 Dysmonia Kuiper rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-352
A book about a bunch of miserable women connected by familial obligation. Not chick lit. As a miserable woman, I could relate.
Kady Bone
Nov 23, 2009 Kady Bone rated it did not like it
Reading this was a total waste of time. How do some books get published?
Apr 13, 2010 Jen rated it liked it
Interesting characters (2 out of 3 of them) but a really scattered ending
Jan 31, 2010 Jess rated it did not like it
maybe a 1.5
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Jason Rasmussen
May 17, 2010 Jason Rasmussen rated it liked it
Ice Storm-esque
Mary sipp rigby
May 27, 2010 Mary sipp rigby rated it liked it
so so
Bernadette rated it liked it
May 18, 2016
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Robin Bacigalupo rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2015
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