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Ithaca

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For 39 years, Daisy Turner has been a professor’s wife, typing his notes and helping out. The centerpiece of her life is a weekly community dinner she hosts—one that always features soup. When her husband drops dead, Daisy has nothing to hold onto except, perhaps, the soup. Then, suddenly, Daisy finds herself entangled with a man whose wife is disabled, mothering a young a ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Storywell
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4.05  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  23 reviews


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Emily
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Susan Fish presents a novel that is both soulful and timely. At its core is Daisy, a 50-something-year-old resident of Ithaca, who is dealing with the loss of her husband by re-discovering herself and that which surrounds her. Daisy has spent most of her life as a wife and for many years has devoted her Wednesdays to hosting friends and family for a soup-based dinner. As a widow, she is forced to confront the reality that her life had become an appendage to her husband’s. She struggles with cont ...more
smcinty
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The story of Daisy and her collection of friends was a compelling read. It kept me interested and pondering the choices I would have made in a similar situation. The characters were believable, if a little predictable. The story was told just as Daisy herself would have a appreciated, unpretentious but with a few surprises here and there. The imagery was beautiful and although I have never been to Ithaca I feel as though I could roll into town and find my way around. Weaving throughout the grief ...more
Carolyn
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've just finished reading Ithaca by Susan Fish and must say that I appreciated it. Different from other books I've read lately. Very reflective and I'd never heard of the term fracking. I learned something new. I like the book.

Alison
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
quite an interesting book - all the chapters are titled by soup (but there aren't any recipes!! darn)
Kerry Clare
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Since we’re talking soup—or at least we will be—I’d like to offer the literary ingredients that I’d put to use were I cooking up a novel like Susan Fish’s Ithaca (which I loved). First, half a stack of Barbara Pym novels, since Pym is the original chronicler of the unknown fascinating inner-lives of lonely middle-aged women, particularly those who type indices for academic men. Next, toss in a novel or two by Wallace Stegner, or at least All the Little Live Things and Crossing to Safety, for the ...more
Lindy
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ithaca is a story about soup, fracking, and fifty-nine year old Daisy Turner who has recently lost her husband. A curious combination. And yet, somehow it works. And not only does it work but months after reading Ithaca, the characters, the plot, and even the details remained with me – a rare staying power – surely one of the hallmarks of good writing.

Daisy is a woman who devoted her life to others – to her son now living overseas, to her late husband and his career as a geology professor, and
...more
Katie O'Rourke
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Susan Fish's new novel, a woman who has let herself be defined by her family life is suddenly widowed and is forced to learn a new way to live. When Daisy's geologist professor husband drops dead of a heart attack she feels like her solid, sedentary life has been fracked. The spring of his passing also marks a change in her community. Anti-fracking signs appear on the roadside and Daisy finds herself wondering about them.

Where once Daisy kept herself apart, even in the weekly suppers she host
...more
Mike Steinborn
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I bought a copy of "Ithaca" for several reasons: mostly because I thought it was a foodie book, but also because it was for sale in a local tea shop where my wife and I were trying out some of their fare (making it easy to leaf through and buy) and because it was written by a local author. It turned out to not actually be a foodie book (like, for instance, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is), but I was nevertheless not disappointed. In fact, as you can see by the rating I gave it, it's one of the bes ...more
Elaine Mansfield
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The first lines of Susan Fish’s Ithaca pulled me in. “Help out. Those were the magic words that had colored my whole existence. You could always count on Daisy to help out.” Daisy was once a comfortably dependent faculty wife, but as a widow, she sees life from new angles and searches for understanding and connection. Seeking and questioning are appropriate activities for Ithaca, NY, the upstate New York town where the book takes place.

Fish’s descriptions of Ithaca and its surroundings are convi
...more
Janet Sketchley
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
When your life revolves around your husband and his work, what do you do when you have to start over? Alone?

Ithaca is a coming-of-age story—for a 59-year-old woman. Daisy Turner's husband, Arthur, was a professor at Cornell University. She typed his notes and kept his home. And made soup for a crowd every Wednesday.

They married young, and Daisy found fulfillment as a wife and mother. Now her son works overseas, and she's a widow. And most of her friends are really Arthur's friends.

She finds hers
...more
Jenna Lee
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
First, I'd like to say that I probably wouldn't have ever read this book at all if a quiz on it wasn't worth 5% of my grade in my Women's Studies course. It wasn't a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination, but it also wasn't good enough to compare to the AMAZING books I'm so used to devouring (with my eyes of course).

I really liked the strong female characters, I felt like they were well developed and interesting. I loved Daisy and Carmel especially. I liked the way the characters beca
...more
Madison
Official disclosure: I got this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks guys!

I don't usually read books like Ithaca. Usually I read books that would be called exciting, thrilling, high-adrenaline. Ithaca is none of those, but it was nonetheless a surprising retreat. Ithaca made me feel like I was in a small town, even on my NYC subway commute. I kept thinking of my grandparents and the town they live in. Things are slow and quiet, ordinary and simple, but I'm drawn in by the prospect
...more
Susan B
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
I enjoyed this book. Susan writes well, and I don't just say that because I'm acquainted with her. To the best of my knowledge she's never been a widow, so I was interested to see how she'd handle the subject of widowhood. She did so admirably. And while I knew a teensy bit about fracking before I picked up the novel, I wanted to know more. It's not a topic often covered in fiction, so that was intriguing as well. Susan discusses it in enough detail that the reader gets the gist of what fracking ...more
emma wk
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
i was privileged enough to receive an early copy of this for free through goodreads first reads on my previous account, and found ithaca to be a warm, pleasant (like a good bowl of soup) experience. it's down-to-earth and not overly ambitious in its message, and sticks with me as something that you can pick up on a lazy day between more demanding reads to come out of the end pleasantly refreshed. susan fish hit some platinum quality inner monologue in daisy jane's voice, and if i were to come ac ...more
Johanna
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
A perfect recipe for a satisfying and fulfilling read. A soupcon of romance to balance the bitter taste of grief. A global issue to give full bodied flavour. A spice of inner tension to dance deliciously on the tongue. Allowed to simmer slowly and lovingly to develop all the flavours. I was hooked from the first taste and the story continues to linger on like a good bowl of soup on a cold day. I was sorry to see the bottom of the bowl.
Leslie Bamford
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Daisy Jane from "Ithaca" lives on in my head now that I have finished this wonderful book. I LOVED IT!!! Susan Fish has written a VERY GOOD BOOK, I congratulate her, it is wonderfully written and I predict she will become one of our best Canadian writers if she keeps writing like that. I absolutely loved the way she ended the book, it was perfect.
Jilanna
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Susan Fish's story about life, marriage, grieving, fracking, responsibilities, soup is insightful and authentic. It might not be for everyone, but I think Fish has important things to say and we should listen.

I am going to reflect on this story for a long time.

[Book 56 for 2014]
Samuel
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
This was quite a delightful novel, portraying the experiences of a middle-aged woman who has been suddenly widowed. She has most of her life obtained her identity through her professor husband. The story unfolds as she finds herself. There is not spectacular drama, but the story feels "true."
Angie Muir
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed Ithaca. It is a book that will stick with me for years to come.
Lisa Shuh
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's so lovely to read a book that makes you feel that the author fully understands her characters. These people are real and normal...
Ray Charbonneau
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A picture of a woman struggling to adjust to abrupt changes in her life, told with a warm generosity of spirit.
Kayo
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely. Really enjoyed it. Now that Im getting older, I like characters that are a bit more mature.
Meredith
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book, drawing parallels between our lives and that of geologic formations. I know want to visit Ithaca and have a wonderful bowl of hot soup.
Susan Ladan
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2016
lisa
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Apr 17, 2017
Adam
rated it it was ok
Mar 28, 2015
Sharon Schmidt
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2014
Stephanie Burgess
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Sep 17, 2017
Judy Neudoerffer
rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2014
Sarah Szymanski
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Mar 19, 2015
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Ithaca Soup Recipes 1 6 Oct 09, 2014 12:48PM  

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Susan Fish is a writer and editor (storywell.ca) in Waterloo, ON Canada. She loves to cook, walk her dog, spend time with her husband and three kids and speak about herself in the third person.
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