The Center of Everything
In Laura Moriarty's extraordinary first novel, a young girl tries to make sense of an unruly world spinning around her. Growing up with a single mother who is chronically out of work and dating a married man, 10-year old Evelyn Bucknow learns early how to fend for herself.
Offering an affecting portrayal of...more
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By the end of the story, she seems to be more at peace with this dichotomy, realizing she is not the center of everything. Moriarty doesn't spell out what happens because just like in real life, the future is uncertain. However, I believe the imagery of the shadows disappearing on the sidewalk reflects how Evelyn's self centeredness, which is constant conflict with other perspectives throughout the story, is disappearing too. (less)
As one goodreads reviewer said, it's a book you find yourself reflecting on even when you aren't reading it. I often found myself thinking about Evelyn while at work, driving in the car, or cooking dinner. Because it is a coming-of-age story set in the 1980's I was able to relate to the political and pop culture references, making Evelyn even more dear to my heart.
I was satisfied with the ending but was sad to say goodbye. Although I wouldn't classify this as "chick lit," I thin ...more
This book could have been saved for me easily: if something, ANYTHING, happened to the narrator, instead of her simply watching things unf ...more
The cast of characters drives the piece when the plot meanders. We have the free-spirited woman who never learns from her mistakes until she is trapped by them in Evelyn's mothe ...more
A must read in my opinion. The only drawback (and the reason I gave it 4 stars) is that in the end it doesn't "gel": all the threads of the story don't really come together in a climax - which is the way a good story should always be. This stays a "slice of lif ...more
My complaint is the redundancy of failed relationships and failed marriages for virtually all the characters. The only happy marriages are on the fringe and you don't get to know those couples. It feels unbalanced. Apparently Moriarty is trying to make a point.
The theme of the "center of everything," from ...more
It is incredible, absorbing, emotionally ladened, spot on with perception, strong in character development, terrifically written, endearing, warm, sad, yet joyous and, at times, humorous.
This is the debut of Laura Moriarty and I'll be sure to read her next books.
Ten year old Evelyn Bucknow lives smack dab in the center of the United States in Kerrville, Kansas. Analogo ...more
Evelyn's journey through the 80' ...more
I was out
on a bathroom pass once
and saw Travis Rowley
walking through the empty hallways,
his fingers running up and down
the locks of lockers,
like someone who plays piano
and doesn't need to look at the keys.
My mother says that
when Mrs. Rowley is mean,
which is generally the case,
it is really because she is just unhappy,
and who could blame her
with a husband like that,
and Travis al ...more
A completely satisfying coming-of-age novel that manages to give you exactly what you expect from the genre, while always feeling freshly insightful. Ten-year-old Evelyn lives in Kansas, which she has been raised to believe is the exact center of the universe. ...more
I've tried other books by Laura Moriarty but so far, the only one I really enjoyed was her book, The Chaperone. This one has possibilities. It is told from the point of view of a young girl and includes her telling of her endless experiences as an adolescent and a young adult.
After a while, I got tired of the tone of the book, told by an adolescent girl, detailing all her adolescent observations in ...more
She reads the best books, I swear. I will always trust her judgement!
This book is about Eveyln Bucknow, a young girl, who deems her self unpretty, at the age of 10 - A misfit of sorts, with not very many friends, wild hair and tired eyes, and a young mother.
Eveyln and her mom are on the border of being desperately poor, with her mom taking hand-out from a local man, who gives her a job and a car. Then... as Evelyn grows up, so do ...more
I thought Moriarty did a fine job of getting inside the head of someone at these various points along the way; struggling with beliefs and values and belonging (and longing). It rang true for me even though I didn't always sha ...more
The subject matter of this book isn't normally the sort of thing that would attract me -- irresponsible mother with two kids, one of whom is developmentally disabled; child narrator -- but the excellent w ...more
If you must have high action and high drama, don't read this book, then pan it. But if you want a funny, well-pace literary novel, pick this one up.
I loved how real the characters and story felt, even though fictional license is used.
I highly recommend
I really, really enjoyed this book. It's still with me two days later, so passes my main test of a great read. I loved Eleanor. It is impossible not to root for her. It felt real, honest and rare. Never overdone, which would have been easy to do. I think I applaud the author's restraint most of all; she just let the story be.