So Long at the Fair
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So Long at the Fair

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2.76 of 5 stars 2.76  ·  rating details  ·  503 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Is it possible to be in love with two women at the same time? This is a question Jon has been asking himself frequently these days. He's loved his wife Ginny since the days when a chance encounter in the halls of their high school would leave him unable to speak. But recently Jon has found himself bewitched by Freddi, his colleague at the ad agency, where late-night brains...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,105)
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Amanda
I was going to skip this review completely, give the book one star, and leave it at that. But as I generally don’t give horrible reviews, I thought I might as well have a low opinion for once. Keep in mind that this is, of course, my own opinion, as I’ve noticed many people really enjoyed this book. However, it did nothing for me as far as entertainment.

The story spans only one day and is told from several different character points of view. The two main characters are the married couple of Jon...more
Melissa
I wanted to love this book - I had such high expectations for it! I read 2 very positive reviews for it in major publications, I had it on hold at the library for months, read positive reviews for it on Amazon, I figured it must be good. It wasn't. It was ok… which is frustrating because it could have been great.

The books takes place in the span of 1 day with lots of flash backs telling the back story of how the main characters met and also telling a story from 1963 that involved their parents...more
Sandie
This mercurial story of love and adultery in a small Wisconsin town spans the course of three decades and serves as undeniable proof positive that people don't always learn from their mistakes or the mistakes of others.

Two stories, inextricably linked, are related to the reader in alternating chapters. Each of the plotlines is character driven and telegraphs a sense of foreboding. Agilely pivoting between one fateful night in 1963 and a single hot July day some thirty years later, Schwartz deft...more
emi Bevacqua
I don't have much to say about this book... I liked that it's set in Madison, WI since I went to school there and recognized a lot of the setting. But, I'm just not impressed with Christina Schwarz the author.
This story is about a couple having marital problems, he's having an affair at work. It turns out their parents knew each other growing up, and they were all involved in some kind of dastardly scheme which is only vaguely hinted at before the book flips back to present day, where descripti...more
Elaine
The main story in So Long at the Fair takes place over the course of one Saturday in the lives of Jon and Ginny, a married couple who had been high school sweethearts. Their relationship has stagnated and Jon is having an affair with a co-worker, which has progressed to the point where Jon must make his choice between the two women. Jon begins his day hoping to re-ignite his passion for Ginny during a day-long road trip to a nearby county fair, but ends up stomping off in anger to spend the day...more
Heidi
I am so disappointed. Partly I can understand that it's hard for a new author to come in at the top (Drowning Ruth was on the Oprah bookclub and show) and try to sustain that level of success but this book was completely disappointing. It's as though the book ended BEFORE the climax and it leaves you wondering why you wasted the time to read half of a story. I even thought that maybe she was being rushed to get this book into publishing so she just ended it maybe even thinking that this will pro...more
Cheryl
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was very well written, interesting characters, and she does a brilliant job of weaving the past and present together and bringing everything together. I however hate it when books leave an open ending. A large event happens and that is how the book ends. I want to know how the characters react to that event, what happens to everyone after. Some people I'm sure don't mind it when books leave off like that, but I really don't. So good writing, good book, h...more
Melissa
At the end, I was only somewhat clear about how the characters related to each other. There was this Ethan character who was not connected in any way but just use as a plot device. He was the most interesting character.

The end of the book was not satisfying. Sure, I can deduce what was going to happen to those people (whoever they are), but it still was not a satisfying conclusion.

Drowning Ruth was much more gripping. I don't know if I would read this author again, based on this book.

As for the...more
Gretchen
This was an interesting read; the author wove together current events with events in the past. The current "event" is an affair the husband is having, with the wife not knowing about it. I liked how the author kept my attention, but there is one character I just didn't think fit the story. I never understood why that character was part of the life of another character. The ending was not very satisfying, although I must say I didn't know how the author could give a good resolution. All in all, i...more
Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars A very long day..., June 22, 2009

This review is from: So Long at the Fair: A Novel (Hardcover)
Although Schwarz's forte is usually in her character development that carries the story, this novel lags as far as having a really gripping and interesting plot. We never quite get to plumb the depths of the characters' motivations or thoughts as the story evolves, briefly sizzles, and then sputters to an unsatisfying conclusion.

The events of this novel take place on a single July da...more
Nelly
Gosh, this was quite disappointing. I mean, it was good, the concept is good, I liked the style and all, but the ending... Maybe I just didn't get it?

I like Christina Schwarz, which is weird because she writes in that contemplative way that usually bores me about such novels, but her stories are so well imagined and executed that I enjoy reading them. I liked the way this spanned several generations - although I kept forgetting the names of the secondary and tertiary characters and getting confu...more
Louise
Story Description:

Knopf Doubelday|January 10, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-385-51029-5

The bestselling author of Drowning Ruth returns to the small-town Wisconsin she so brilliantly evoked with this gripping novel about love, marriage, and adultery.

In the summer of 1963 a plot for revenge destroys a career, a friendship, and a family. The consequences of the scandalous event continue to reverberate, touching the next generation. Thirty years later, over the course of one day, Jon struggles to deci...more
Heather
So Long at the Fair is the story of pivotal day in the Life of Jon and Ginny. The couple are high school sweethearts who found their connection due to a devastating accident and have been married for several years. Ginny is a lovable pack rat whose gardening business is beginning to flourish, while Jon is a typical type-A advertising executive, driven and focused on Freddi, a woman outside of their marriage. The novel frames an intense day when Jon must decide whether to abandon his fledgling af...more
Libraryscat
Thank you to Doubleday for the opportunity to read and review this galley. [return][return]Author Christina Schwarz, who also wrote Drowning Ruth, tells the story of a marriage and an affair. Jon and Ginny struggle with the minutiae of their relationship, while each of them also struggles with the past which has shaped their future. Two things make their lives even more difficult � Ginny is trying to get pregnant and Jon is having an affair with a co-worker. While this might be enough drama for...more
Clare
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
I read this because I liked her book Drowning Ruth so much, but I was disappointed. I think this book could have been much better with a lot of revision. The short chapters from 40 years earlier interrupt the story and don't reveal much. The one major reveal could have been handled in a different way. I love interesting structure, but there needs to be a reason for it. Other than these interludes from the past, the book is a fairly straightforward story about a marriage that's in trouble, but no...more
Amy (amyb2332)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathyg
It was just ok. Nothing great. Sort of confusing with the back and forth in time. I had to keep flipping back pages to remember what had happened to the characters in the past to make sense of it. Just did not do it for me.
Michelle Stie
Having just finished this novel, I admit to feeling frustrated. Schwarz's writing is pretty to read, which made the book pleasant. However, the characters reflected every cliche possible: the long-suffering and clueless wife, the equally long-suffering and clueless mistress, the cad, and long-suffering, shrewish woman who's desire for revenge ruins lives. I think that Marie's character could have been the most interesting, but she never was fully developed, nor was her quest to get even with the...more
Lana Poole
Read this book several years ago. It held me to the end but it was no "drowing ruth" - some of the characters were bland.
Marie
Do you ever have really high expectations and feel frustrated that a book doesn't meet them? Do you ever feel like an author with high expectations put on them feels like they have to make their work complicated in order to catch people's attention. [return][return]That's how I felt about this book. I really wanted to like it and struggled through the whole book. But I found the characters hard to like and the storyline difficult to follow. I like mystery in the storyline and even a little heads...more
Julia
I really enjoyed Schwarz's first 2 books, but this one not so much. I believe the story line itself had lots of potential, but the way Schwarz wove the past and the present together just left me confused. There were too many characters and I couldn't keep them straight nor how they were related when the story took a leap into the past. A novel, read for entertainment shouldn't be this hard to figure out. I have not given up on Schwarz, and would read her next book, but if she plays this trick ag...more
Janet
There are many stories going on at the same time but all, as are the characters, related in many ways. Schwarz writes as if she knows these people & is just retelling their stories. There are no false moments, no exaggerations for the sake of moving the story forward, no side stories that distract - it's an honest, believable story with honest, believable people. At first I wanted more from the ending - I wanted to follow these people into their futures - I wanted to know they would be OK. I...more
Julie
Forgettable story of family secrets and marital affairs.
Sheri
A marriage in trouble.
From one chapter to the next, I had no idea who these new characters were that show up in the story. Very confusing, and unenjoyable, don't waste your dime.
Cam
Sep 10, 2008 Cam added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I really enjoyed reading, "Drowning Ruth" this book was written by the same author, and the reason I decided to read it. I found the story really hard to follow and I had a hard time keeping the characters straight. I really didn't like the end, infact, I'm not even sure what really happened, but I'm not interested enough to re-read it! I just thought this was hard to follow. "Drowning Ruth" was also confusing at times, but I really enjoyed that book. I do enjoy her descriptions and such, but th...more
Kristin
+ The story took place over the span of one day which I thought was interesting and clever.
+/- I liked reading the different perspectives, and the beginning of the book held my attention. But then I started having trouble keeping track of who was dating who, and who was cheating...especially in the flashbacks!
- I started losing interest in the middle of the book and read quickly just to see what would happen in the end! I was a bit disappointed with the ending and felt like issues were left unre...more
Elisa M
Good character development, and a good plot....although I found it hard at times to keep straight how the past related to the present. Also, like others before me, I found the ending somewhat unsatisfying. At first I liked the ambiguity, as it allows the reader to create their own ending. When I thought about it later, it felt more like a cop-out to me- like maybe the author wasn't quite sure where she wanted it to go, so she just kind of left it hanging. I'm still not sure where I stand on that...more
Sandra
I looked forward to this book so very much because I really loved Drowning Ruth. This was a big disappointment. Some of the narrative was great, but the whole thing did not hang together. I kept going back to pick up things I thought I had missed. When you get to the end (not that I would recommend going that far), you may wonder what in the world happened for the last two hundred pages. I welcome someone else's perspective -- maybe I have missed something.
Sarka
I still can't decide if I loved it or hated it hahaha. Bloody Contemporary Authors hahaha. I didn't flow with this one. Didn't really have the energy to read it full pelt and yet, The story had me Very intricate literature where you can lose track if you don't pay attention but very clever writing to sum it all up. Think I need one of my usual Genres now hahaha. But I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5. Maybe 4 on a generous day hahahaha.
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“She and Jon had been startled and a little frighented by his misery. What happened when you were married, she realized, was that, although you began as two independent people, you eventually grew in certain ways to accommodate your partner's weaknesses and let other parts of you atrophy in deference to his strengths. It was a fine system as long as it endured, but if you extricated yourself from it you couldn't help but be, a least for a time, deformed.” 2 likes
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