McNeil's Reviews > Object Lessons

Object Lessons by Anna Quindlen
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Jul 02, 09

bookshelves: contemporary-adult-fiction
Read in July, 2009

I am surprised that I did not love this book more. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I was expecting to not be able to put it down. I was expecting one of those really easy to lose yourself in books. I had started another of her books a few months ago while I was waiting for someone in the library. I was really drawn into that book, and wished that I was at a point where it was practical for me to start reading another book. But I wasn't, so I left it in the library, thinking "when summer comes..."

I don't know if this book is just not as good as the one I dipped into before, or if the other would have been similarly uncaptivating.

This book is sort of the typical mid-life crisis of female protagonist that leaves the husband sort of bewildered--the sort of situation where after 20 years of marriage a wife thinks "hey, maybe there is more to life than just being a wife and mother? Maybe I have some identity as a human being besides those things?" Not like there is any wild abandon or anything like that at all, it's just the viewing of an awakening.

The awakening in this novel, however, is not limited to the wife. Much of the book is about her daughter growing into her own identity, as well. I liked the character of the daughter quite a lot.

Other subjects the book covers: Irish American bigotry (against those not Irish American); family power, dynamics, and coercion; death; duty; love.

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