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Matters of Chance: A Novel
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Matters of Chance: A Novel

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Matters of Chance is a glorious, aptivating novel about Morgan and Maude Shurtliff, who fall in love and marry in the years before World WarII. Unable to have children of their own, Morgan and Maude adopt twin girls. The four go home to their beautiful house in the country outside ofNew York City and begin to settle into what they hope will be a long and happy life. When t ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 26th 1998 by Harper Perennial (first published 1997)
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Best Fiction about Adoption
129th out of 177 books — 153 voters
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8th out of 38 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 182)
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Apr 09, 2009 Diane rated it did not like it
Shelves: world-war-ii, fiction
Expectations are dangerous when it comes to books. I loved "The All of It" by Haien and was looking forward to reading this one. It is awful and the awfulness is made worse because I expected it to be good.

The book is so incredibly trite that I can hardly believe I read it all the way through. I hate rich people, but rich people who buy their moral obligations and exhibit no sign of growth and live up to every stereotype possible and are still "nice" are particularly hateful.

Worst of all, this
Nov 22, 2015 Jan rated it did not like it
What a soap-fest! The only part I enjoyed was the ruminative telling of the men surviving the torpedo sinking of their ship. After reading the rest of this schlocky tale of implausible ease of life, I wished the author had just written a novella from an expansion of the WWII Naval experiences.
Jan 11, 2015 Pat rated it it was ok
pretty story, life too perfect, no REAL conflict and yet so many opportunities to get in depth. But well written. Haien is a word smith.
Aug 19, 2014 Mintzis added it
Shelves: aborted
Gave up. The book didn't go anywhere and didn't have anything to say on the way to nowhere. Amazingly different than her book "the all of it."
Nov 08, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
Finished last's a sophisticated, old world kind of book. Jeannette Haien is masterful - between The All of It and this book, one might think they are very different, and they are in many ways, but her character development is wonderful.
Feb 20, 2010 Saire rated it really liked it
I'd have given it 5 stars if (hm, no spoilers) something hadn't made me upset, but that was on me; a really fabulous book, beautifully written, wonderfully drawn characters...really reflects how much of life is mainly made up of...matters of chance.
Oct 12, 2011 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, timeless love story . Or really, a series of romances. I was really surprised to discover that this came out in 1997--it has the feel of a much older story. Character development is superb.
Jul 13, 2009 Carole is currently reading it
I am reading this book because of having read and enjoyed "The All of It" (A delightful Irish tale). So far this book is a good read about World War II and very likable, decent people.
Jul 16, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok
Interesting book... interesting writing style.
After 400+ pages, I'm still not just sure what the reader is to get from this book?
Dec 30, 2008 Florence rated it liked it
A long saga of an affluent family. Some moments were enjoyable including the WWII years. Some of it was tedious.
Monica Garvey
Jul 20, 2015 Monica Garvey rated it really liked it
I feel like I've just walked out of a beautiful and long black and white film from the mid-fifties.
Mar 17, 2014 Lynelle rated it really liked it
WW2 America portrayed, through the lives of the characters, with great compassion and authenticity.
May 02, 2010 Julia rated it it was ok
This is nicely written, but a bit slow. I didn't find a lot to love about the characters either.
Kathleen Cummings
Nov 05, 2011 Kathleen Cummings rated it really liked it
Very different from Haien's first novel, THE ALL OF IT, but I loved it almost as much.
Feb 15, 2010 Ruthie added it
late and great personal friend; loved loved this book
Jul 20, 2010 Isabel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Diese deutsche Übersetzung ist so unendlich schlecht!
Sep 26, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
wonder family saga that goes from 1940s to 1960s.
Sep 13, 2012 Bev rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-this-book
I loved this book.
Damaris marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Mary Beth
Mary Beth rated it it was ok
Jan 30, 2016
Diane marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2016
Beny marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2016
Marilou rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2015
Louise added it
Dec 26, 2015
Annie marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2015
Kay Law
Kay Law rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2015
Julie marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2015
Judy rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2015
Carrah Clayton
Carrah Clayton rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2016
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