Ms. B's Reviews > A Map of the World

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
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's review
Aug 21, 2012

liked it
Read in September, 2008

The Goodwins, Howard, Alice, and their little girls, Emma and Claire, live on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Although suspiciously regarded by their neighbors as "that hippie couple" because of their well-educated, urban background, Howard and Alice believe they have found a source of emotional strength in the farm, he tending the barn while Alice works as a nurse in the local elementary school. But their peaceful life is shattered one day when a neighbor's two-year-old daughter drowns in the Goodwins' pond while under Alice's care. Tormented by the accident, Alice descends even further into darkness when she is accused of sexually abusing of a student at the elementary school. Soon, Alice is arrested, incarcerated, and as good as convicted in the eyes of a suspicious community. As a child, Alice designed her own map of the world to find her bearings. Now, as an adult, she must find her way again, through a maze of lies, doubt and ill will.

My Opinion:
This was a hard book for me to keep reading. The first half was a bit slow for me. But, the second half picked up. I cannot imagine how I would be in either situation. I don’t know if I myself would have it in my heart to forgive. Or if the situation was reversed if I would ever be able to forgive myself! It was amazing to see how things can just crumble and fall completely apart without a moment notice. Life is never certain and every day is truly a gift. I think I was between 2 and 3 stars. The guy’s version gave it that 3rd star.

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