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2.95  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  37 reviews
An unforgettable novel about love–and the first work of fiction by the author of the groundbreaking nonfiction bestseller In a Different Voice

Kyra is an architect, involved in a project to design a new city. Andreas, a theater director, is staging an innovative production of the opera Tosca. Both have come through political upheaval and personal loss. Neither wants to fall
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Random House (first published January 1st 2008)
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2.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Oct 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Carol Gilligan had a big affect on me, years ago, with her book "In A Different Voice." So I thought I would give this a try. Not sure if it's the style, or what the characters were doing with their lives, but I just couldn't get into it.
Gabrielle Jarrett
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Actually, it was less than okay, but I take into account my subjective viewpoint and experience. Quite simply, I was bored. Before the days of Goodreads, I would've put it down after 100 pp. Now, I feel an obligation to finish and review. The writer's mantra: show don't tell. Gilligan not only told, she reported. In her reporting emotion, I felt a distance from mine. They were also bored. Too much of the old story: woman meets man, man leaves, woman deeply upset, man shows up, she believes him o ...more
Nan Kosky
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I picked this book up at a campground in Virginia and thought it would be a good read on the road. I seldom give up on a book, no matter how it is to get through. Well, after suffering through 84 pages, Kyra was left behind in Vermont. I tried, no way!!
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Story of relationships (women-men, women-women), music (opera), art, architecture, aesthetics, psychology and analysis. I found some of it nuanced and beautiful, some theorizing obscure, and the psychoanalysis and patient-analyst relationship elusive - as always. Loved much of the music and aesthetics.
Oct 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I just finished this novel. It is really unusual - it doesn't follow a simple narrative form which makes it intriguing. Most of all it addresses that most basic of questions - why do people who love each other mess up. I think the book is easier to understand if you've read Carol Gilligan's book "The Birth of Pleasure" because this novel plays out almost as a fictional account of the issues she raises in that non-fictional book.

How many books have you read in which the main characters are childr
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In the mid 80's, I met the author when she was teaching at Harvard and pushing the edges of gender studies. So smart, articulate, visionary, Gilligan's seminars and earlier research informed my work as an educator. This first novel reflects all those qualities and more. Literature, opera, architecture, history and art are seamlesslly woven throughout the novel that deals with almost unspeakable loss and love. I reread passages out loud for the sheer beauty of the words and writing, and many time ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I hadn't read any reviews of this - just found it on the browsing collection shelf at UNC's Undergraduate Library. I was disappointed, even with no knowledge of the book. Gilligan is an important writer, but this was a bit too obtuse at times -- I found some of the plot hard to follow. And the character's behavior was unexpected, but not quite in a good way. There was foreshadowing of a "horrible event" but the event didn't ring true to me. I read this book & thought I'd have understood it b ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know how I feel about this novel. Some parts I liked and the characters had some interesting views. But other parts went on a bit too long, and were less interesting to me, personally. For example, the discussions with Kyra's colleagues at the faculty, the lectures about architecture and design, the parts about Tosca and the other operas, literary references to plays I'm not familiar with, some parts with Greta. Still, I finished reading it, even though I'm good at abandoning book ...more
This fiction novel by Carol Gilligan, noted academician, researcher, and theorist in the development of Women and Girls, as well as in morality theory, is a first novel. It is a love story in the first half, a therapy story in the second. Gilligan uses her insightful work on inner and outer structures to weave a story about trauma, love, loss, and learning how to re-open the heart. I think this is a great read if you are a therapist or like minded, but its not for everyone. I thought the book ra ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Carol Gilligan is a brilliant woman who has written a better than average debut novel. I found the protagonist to be a fascinating woman and was especially interested in how beautifully Gilligan crafted descriptions of her career, daily life and traumatic history. The love story also was well drawn. I think that the passages about her therapy were overly complex for this novel (perhaps because I have read all Gilligan's scholarly writing my reaction to this was stronger and more critical than pe ...more
Mar 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, 2008
Although certain aspects of this book were interesting (e.g., learning a little bit about opera and architecture), I wasn't able to feel any sort of attachment to the protagonist. I couldn't relate to her and found her choices to be somewhat inexplicable and maddening which left me feeling less than sympathetic to her plight. I also thought that the description of the book created an expectation that was not delivered upon. The "shocking betrayal" wasn't overly shocking (in my opinion), and I fo ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, counseling
Hmmm... I chose to read this being at least somewhat familiar with In a Different Voice. I knew it didn't get the greatest of reviews, but since I generally don't put much stock in reviews, that really didn't bother me. Well, it was... ok. I think the main reason I read it was because I was curious about the counseling relationship alluded to on the book jacket. I feel like there are very few helpful fictional depictions of that therapeutic relationship. Don't know that this one qualifies, eithe ...more
Jun 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: g_fiction_genl
I didn't understand what Kyra's problem was, with Andreas nor with Greta. Then, to top it off, I felt like Gilligan was suggesting that what Kyra wanted within the therapist/client relationship was unquestionably the right thing. I disagree. I think what Kyra was demanding from the therapist/client relationship was based on her own insecurities, and Gilligan's development of a new relationship from that place was misdirected.
Apr 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
I didn't find this book to be a very enjoyable read. It was trying too hard to be profound and revolutionary. It was difficult to care about the main character; the plot was plodding; the "shocking betrayal" not that shocking, and the therapy sessions were vague and lame. It felt like the author wrote this book from the top down. If she was going to try her hand at fiction again, I recommend that she follow the basic writing advice: "Show, don't tell."
Leslie Angel
Sep 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Yes, the same Carol Gilligan of notable gender studies, which is why I picked it up. Love story, very internal in spite of some architecture and opera stuff. Nice read, not a wow, but that could just be me.
Kiandra Haaf
Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who really like analyzing relationships
Shelves: chick-lit
I wanted to like it becaused Eve Ensler gave it a great review. Maybe my life is just too vanilla in contrast to these was stories of love. One thing I liked was the interplay of Kyra and her therapist. The rest was pretty boring.
Sep 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is thinly written and the characters seem like projections or wish fulfillments. Gilligan wrote a book that challenged the reigning view of women's psychology, so I was curious to read her novel. There are ideas in the book but they aren't, I think, really embodied.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Molly M M
Random library stumble-upon. Molls, did you know Carol Gilligan wrote a fiction book???

(Also, the characters went to the Vienna Staatsoper. Major name-check points for my favorite place on Earth!)
May 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
My advice - don't read books by academics who write a novel just to promote their philosophy. The characters, the dialogue and the situations in this book were so contrived. Don't bother reading this one...
Suzanne Kreps
Mar 29, 2008 rated it liked it
The book is a meditation on evolving from loss and grief to an acceptance of love and life. The patient/therapist relationship was the most interesting part of the book for me. Gilligan is a lyrical writer.
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting more "scholarly" love story from a college professor who wrote In a Different Voice
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, read_partial
25% the way through and couldn't get into the characters. I might have another go at it another time, but for now left it.
Jean Mazzetta
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Massachusett island romance, very philosophical.
Kishwar Jaffer
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not so great as a novel but i could empathize more with the central character as I got further into the book. It did make me interested in reading her non-fiction works.
bryan boyer
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
The main character is a GSD prof. in the landscape which is interesting but everything else about it is not so great.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get past chapter two. The book is full of overt metaphors and symbols. And it takes place in an impossibly rich academic setting that I don't even want to allow myself to fantasize about.
May 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Beautifully written, but goes nowhere. I was drawn enough to the characters to care about them, and to suffer through some ponderous (but beautiful) prose, but the end left me cold.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
I started it but couldn't finish. I'm a huge fan of Gilligan's work in feminist psychology but perhaps she's too scholarly/intellectualizing and detached?? for romance.
Marie Mcglynn
Jun 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: life-s-too-short
Long-winded and uninteresting. I couldn't find any purpose. Ugh. I don't usually give up on books, but this one was just not worth the effort.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
probably slightly better than a 3...about communication, miscommunication...tragedy and hope...
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