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Where Love Goes

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  322 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
From the author of To Die For comes this poignant, stirring, and occasionally hilarious story of a woman's attempt to remake her life after a searing divorce. Maynard's novel captures love as one approaches middle age in contemporary America.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
ebook, 348 pages
Published March 2nd 2011 by Vintage (first published April 27th 1993)
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Ok, all of the recent accolades for Joyce Maynard have been swirling around this grey cloud of memory, hesitantly recalling an unfortunate novel read by this author long ago...and as a result, abandoned until her latest book, Under the Influence, has been waving like a bright starter's flag here on GR. No clouds...

But yes, THIS was the Maynard novel that I did read. I was going through divorce myself. The novel did little to inspire my faith in the future, and it appears that I missed what was
Aug 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Claire is pushing forty, raising two teenagers and longs for romance and companionship. She is an extremely unlikable character. While she intends to make life perfect for her children, she has deep resentment of her ex-husband and an unhealthy obsession with a man who is so fake it's hard to believe she can't see it. Then she meets the "Man of her Dreams", a single father trying to raise his 8 year old daughter after her mother virtually abandons them. Their sexual passion is ridiculous teen ag ...more
Judy Franks
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have never disliked a book that I finished as much as the book. I hated every character. The theme was incredibly depressing. This author did nothing but share the worst of every possible scenario. I am middle-aged and I can say with certaintythat life and relationships are much more fulfilling. Does this author suffer from depression?
Jul 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Just the opposite of the previous book. I liked the characters, but I thought the writing was sloppy and unliterary. I did think the characters were very interesting people, and convincing as people, although their actions were truly bizarre. Do people really do this kind of stuff, and I am living in a delusional cloud of normalcy?
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 1996
My Original Notes (1996):

Very good, but depressing! I wonder how much of the details are autobiographical. I read Joyce Maynard's newsletter and a lot of what she's written (about her family and her divorce) sounds familiar in the plot of this book. I couldn't put the book down!

"A splendid, heartfelt novel... real enough to live in." ~ Pat Conroy

I could relate to a lot of what Maynard described, with regard to divorce and blended families.

My Current Thoughts:

I loved Maynard's Labor Day and The U
Amy Johnson
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me up late because I couldn't put it down until I found out "then what happened?". This was despite the fact that pretty much every character is fairly unlikable, and that includes a nine-year-old child! Told from multiple perspectives of two divorced people who fall in love and endure a passionate but challenging romance, and brief POVs of their three children who all have their own deep-seated issues.

Maynard captures some very moving and real feelings about love, loneliness, wa
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially, and periodically, this book seemed like it wanted to go the way of a romantic novel, which is NOT what I'm looking for in a Joyce Maynard novel. I want some depth, something worth thinking about. These characters were so unlikeable, irritating, unrealistic, unreasonable, thoughtless, self centered. I spent a great deal of time being angry with these characters from the very beginning. Who behaves that way?!

Ah, but wait. People do. Too many people do. Maybe we all do to some extent bu
The "Good Book"

This is my first Joyce Maynard book. I'm not eager to pick up another Maynard book nor am I unforgiving enough to think that all her books have been written along the same vein. It is more the case that this was an exhausting read that necessitates recovery time. The reader is assaulted by a persistent hopelessness that permeates the life of Claire, a 39 year old divorcee and mother of two. Claire's longings for requited love is familiar and universal; yet for Claire, the things h
This was a strange book--I felt like parts of it really held my interest, but others just completely dragged.

I didn't really connect with any of the characters, but I appreciated how realistically the author portrayed the merging of families. When Claire fell in love with Tim, she was ready to welcome his young daughter with open arms. But Ursula, the daughter, was just not an easy kid. The author made us sympathize with Ursula--I definitely felt bad that she was so awkward--but at the same tim
I purchased this book when I was at CCY in 1998, and read it then. I remember enjoying it, but I couldn't recall a thing about it when I came across the book on my shelves the other day. So I decided to reread it, figuring it'd be a quick read. It wasn't as quick as I thought - it's a pretty dense book - but I enjoyed it the second time around, as well. I just am frustrated that I felt like I was reading it for the first time! But what I really enjoyed were all the little snippets of pop culture ...more
I honestly don’t remember picking up this novel, but I’m making my way through the unread books on my shelves. That said, I didn’t really enjoy this book. The main character was annoying and I didn’t feel sympathy for her in her struggle to find love. While I appreciate the issues she raises about how complex love can be when you’re carrying the baggage of previous relationships (children, intimacy, emotional scarring, etc.), there is just a bit too much drama, making the storyline seem implausi ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I enjoy Joyce Maynard's writing style. She pulls me into her characters pretty quickly and I am interested to see what they do and why. Sometimes, though, she just doesn't tell me OR show me, and I left hanging, wondering what happened at a fairly pivotal moment. Later on, she will touch on it, almost as an aside, and I found that frustrating.

This book was interesting to me yet slightly brutal. Almost cynical.. don't look for happy endings and neat bows here, although cynics and realists everywh
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just give me a Joyce Marnard novel and I'm a happy camper. This story is no exception to that rule.

It's a story about divorced adults with children and how hard it can be to "blend" families. Do the children have a say in whom a parent might be attracted to? Does another adult have a say in how another family works or doesn't work? How do you intertwine two separate families into one? Is it worth it? What are the consequences for the children? What are the consequences for the adults? Once agai
Barbara Frank
I doubt I'll read any more of Maynard's books. Claire, a divorced Mom, makes more bad decisions than I can even count. She wants a man in her life and thinks she finds the right one but doesn't know how to begin to integrate him into her family. So instead she does psycho things like sneaks off to his apt in the middle of the night after her kids have gone to sleep-she does this every night. Felt no empathy for any of the characters except maybe her poor kids.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I felt for every one of the characters. One of the great things Joyce does in this novel is present you with several different points of view. While the reader mainly hears from Claire, they also get to see what the other characters are going through firsthand, which I love. One minute you absolutely hate one character, but then you see their side, and you sympathize with them. These characters all really came alive for me, and I was deeply moved by this book.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, love
This was recommended in THE WEEK, and felt like a promising addition to my 'love' series (The History of Love, The Map of Love, etc). In the end, most felt exaggerated and unlikely and sad. A LOL surprise at book's end was the music playlist of "lost love" songs the author listened to while writing - so much fun I almost liked the book!
Karen C
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very moving and touching book. Sad though. Not a hopeful book -- would probably make me think twice about marriage, children. Only issue is she does get crude in her writing. I don't think it's necessary to do that but the story was so well written that I can overlook that part. If you like deep, moving, touching books, I'd recommend it.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is like reading a train wreck. The people in it are so dysfunctional. But, like a train wreck, you have to keep looking. So it kept me going and I wanted to know what happens to them all in the end. The author writes some of the characters as so hard to like but, again, you keep going. I recommend it.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing, thought provoking story about a woman's brave attempt to remake her life after a divorce. The characters are definitely flawed and can make you cringe as well as smile. Can two families be blended without incident or escape unscathed? Is there a balance between domesticity and sexuality.
Ellie Syverud
so-so. I didnt really relate to the main character Claire or her choice of a love partner Tim and his emotionally damanged daughter Ursula, but it was an engaging story of trying to find love after divorce.
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book about love, families and blending both together. The two main characters try to have a relationship, while the 3 children between them do as much as they can to break them up. Love does not win in the end.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the character development in this book. I thought the first 2/3 were a bit melodramatic, and the last 1/3 went WAY to quickly, but overall, I enjoyed the story and REALLY wanted to know what happened to the characters.
Mary Ann
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book--great characters. I could relate to a lot of the things about dating that Maynard writes about here. The child, Ursula, is one of the most annoying people I have read about in a book.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm really liking Joyce Maynard lately but this one fell a little flat for me. There was one point while reading this I thought to myself "I don't like any of the characters in this novel!" which makes it hard to keep going. It could've been better but it could've been worse as well.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There aren't adjectives to describe how beautiful this book is. The premise is a simple concept, but it's exemplified in her remarkable writing. Maynard has more understanding of human emotion than any other work I have read.
Khris Sellin
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who has been single, dating, married, separated, divorced, dating someone w/bratty kids, being that someone w/bratty kids, trying to blend two families w/bratty kids, this book just hits the mark on so many levels. Funny at times and heartbreaking at others.
Angela Galli Richardson
Not one likeable character in the mix...hard to care when bad characters make bad choices with bad consequences. Yuck.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Could not even finish the book. it read like an adult whining about their divorced life.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a roller coaster of emotions. An enjoyable read.
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Joyce Maynard first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story “An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life” in 1973, when she was a freshman at Yale. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist whose “Domestic Affairs” column appeared in more than fifty papers nationwide, a regular contributor to NPR ...more
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