Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Defined by Others

Rate this book
A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.

An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of "fun" and "flirtation" with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.

Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

170 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 11, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

M.C.V. Egan

3 books377 followers
M.C.V. Egan is fluent in four languages, Spanish, English, French and Swedish. She lives in Delray Beach, Florida with her husband and son.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
18 (62%)
4 stars
8 (27%)
3 stars
2 (6%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
1 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
September 9, 2015
I am a YA Paranormal Reader, but from time to time, I have a tendency to step out of that comfort zone and read other genres and when it comes to MCV Egan, I jump to read her work as she releases it.

This story has as many layers as an onion. I am completely shocked at the 365 degree turn that this author as taken in writing this story compared to her other works that I have read. I really enjoyed the twisted plot and some of the humor that was built into this story. The characters are phenomenal and the book is very well written. I highly recommend reading this book and I know you will be just as addicted to this author's unique writing style as I am. I am anxious to read what this author has next in store for us.

The author provided me with a Paperback copy of the book for review purposes only. No remuneration was exchanged.
Profile Image for Wanda Hartzenberg.
Author 6 books69 followers
December 13, 2014
This book has so many layers an onion would blush. The reader meets two woman. Estranged for decades a funeral and husbands bring these two too each others door. The husbands binds them in misery. The funeral in a shared game. But the game is not innocent and the two woman initially set out to play Amanda's game for vastly different reasons. As their friendship grows so does the game and a new facet is introduced with the addition of a psychic in the form of Ann.

If your world is defined and owned moment by moment by words as is Ann then her general naiveté can be understood. As for Connie, her hurt run's deep and I guess no one in their right mind would cope let alone cope well with Connie's new life path.

I had little sympathy for any of the woman in the book after my first read through. I am simply not made this way. Only after some time lapse and then another read did I start to really reflect on what can only be described as a perfect storm for these two woman. As for the other 47 year old pretty entitled twits...well lets say I never once got teary eyed over their lot. After all they got invited into the game, they had a choice to say no....so did Ann and Connie I hear you say? No not really. Too much in their lives build up to some form of release. It is sad they did not pick the better more noble road but then we would not have a story too loose ourselves into now would we? Contemporary fiction with almost no love interest...the perfect book for me.

Profile Image for T..
Author 13 books565 followers
December 22, 2014
Defined By Others was a crazy ride -- like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You could see what was (potentially) going to happen, but you felt powerless to stop reading as events converged to a single disastrous point. This revelation is not a spoiler, as the author doesn't try to fool the reader into believing things end well; but, even with this knowledge, I had to keep watching as the lives of the protagonists (or in this case antagonists?) imploded due to their cruel machinations and interference in the lives of others. A great plot and intriguing characters.
Profile Image for Toi Thomas.
Author 16 books70 followers
July 10, 2015
This author has a way of intriguing me that always manages to entice me into reading outside my preferred genres.

Defined by Others, on the surface, is the tale of a mid-life crisis gone terribly wrong, but it’s actually much more than that. It tells the bounce back journey of Anne, a woman who likes to define moments in a single word, only now she’s a little speechless and unknowingly open to pursue other actions. She is after all trying to bounce back from learning that her husband is leaving her for a man, her father has just been hospitalized, and an old frenemy has just died- but not without leaving Anne a parting gift.

‘Manipulation’ is the single word that would define this book. It’s very dark, but glossed over with pretty wealthy people and little white lies, that turn black in the blink of an eye. That’s how the end comes at you. You see it coming the whole time, but when the “stuff” hits the fan, it catches you off guard- even with the metaphysical aspects in the story.

People often complain about the dangers of social media much in the same as they do the use of fire arms. I’m not going argue either case here, but as many would agree, it’s not the “weapon” it’s the user. Anne and her friend Connie take their old frenemy’s gift and turn Facebook into a weapon of mass emotional destruction. When they say misery loves company, they must be thinking of Anne and Connie- but is Anne really looking to destroy lives or is she simply hurting, lost, and confused?

I didn’t fall in love with any of these characters, but I did become enthralled in this story. The whole time I read it, I kept thinking, “There are crazy people out in the world just like this, for real. I’m so glad I don’t have this kind of drama in my life.” This book made me appreciate the small number of close friends I have and made me appreciate how wonderful my husband and family really are. One word to define my feeling for this book would be ‘grateful’, plus is was quite entertaining.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes to read Women’s Fiction or Contemporary fiction with a hard edge. This is purely an adult read, though it does not contain erotic material. It deals with mature concepts that young children will not understand and that hopefully teenagers aren’t currently dealing with (but consider the times we live in).
Profile Image for Gayathri Jayakumar.
Author 1 book23 followers
November 8, 2016
The modern world thrives in the cyberspace. One’s identity, connections and professional backgrounds have irreversibly shifted into the digital platform where the world comes together. Defined By Others bases this shifting platform of existence to weave away a yarn out of this new lifestyle. Society has just been digitalized!
Anne Guiles, and her friend Connie is about for a surprise when their menacing friend Amanda had been claimed and taken away by cancer. To relieve herself out of the pain and to make living more interesting, the already nosy Amanda utilizes the digital world, adding and deleting while researching to form a new digital reality for a few chosen friends and neighbors. She has trapped them on the hooks of cyber romance. This secret she hands over to Anne, who makes Connie her partner for crime as well. Both were victims to the homosexuality of their husbands and so the digital “game” as Amanda terms it comes to them as an entertainment. Augmented by the psychic powers that Anne is lately developing, the duo begins to enjoy this game. Each of their “victims”, as they term, lives trapped in the virtual reality that Connie manages and Anne, with her psychic abilities creates for them a real virtuality to go with it.
Each of us is defined by the society and people we belong with. The society moulds us into what we are. The book remembers to make this as the cherished theme where people are defined by what others think and say for and about us. With Anne being a woman of words defining each moment by a single word, the linguistic potential of the book is much enjoyable. The way the cyber personas affect the real world is unconditionally true as well. This is yet another eye-opener into the entrapping cyber world. The book is a word of caution to people who cannot differentiate between the real and the virtual world.

Simple yet apt vocabulary defines the book. However, what makes it readable is the fact that the characters mature over time. The initial enthusiasm for cyber intervention into the personal lives of others may sound entertaining, yet what pulls others out of the system will also pull us out one day. The theme is a thought-provoking one into the seriousness and serendipity of relations in and out of the cyber world; the mix might almost get us confused.
1 review45 followers
January 20, 2015
Ms. Egan has filled this book with all kinds of interesting scenarios that you would have never seen ten years ago. There is the case of the person going back to the funeral of a classmate that bullied her? Who does that? Then there is the case of the gay husbands, yep, you heard me right, husbands, more than one. Then there is the case of closing up the family home and inheriting a malicious cyber bullying game. This game goes horribly awry and lives are threatened and destroyed. All of this damage is done by playing with people's emotions. It is a tale of intrigue and malicious mischief. It is almost as if the game had taken on a life of it's own being passed from one bully's hands to another.
Now let's add a neurotic, not stable partner in crime and a pistol packing jealous wife from out West. This little tale moves swiftly from one nasty situation to another, you can almost feel the disasters about to happen. The persons playing the game see nothing wrong with what they are doing, they pretty much think they are harmless, or so they say. Ms. Egan has them define every serious situation with a particular word and by doing that and the choice of the words, it seems that subconsciously they know what they are doing is very, very wrong. Yet they continue to play. It is like they cannot help themselves. Even when a love interest shows up, the game is hidden from them.
This tale is very current and right in sync with the times. Reading this makes one think about how mean we can be to our fellow humans and still deny the fact of what we are actually doing. The story does have an interesting side effect. I find myself stopping several times a day and looking for just the right word to describe the situations I find myself involved in as I go about living my life. Maybe if we all did that, we would be a little more aware of what is going on in our lives without the constant denial. Who knows? Maybe Ms. Egan has started a trend...
Profile Image for Arpita Dash.
60 reviews11 followers
March 26, 2015
I was drawn towards this book due to its unique name. It was a quick read for an afternoon. The more I go deep into the story, the more I wanted to know what’ll happen next. The plot was simple yet eye catching and sole. Some books take you to their world, make you feel connected with the characters and leave a deep impression on you. This book is one of those kind. I didn’t want that story to end.

The author’s writing is crisp and brilliant. The author portrayed the characters of the story intriguingly. I felt somehow connected to Anne; due to her past trauma, crisis and the inheritance from her high school buddy Amanda, she committed some crimes and interferes in other lives. I found different shades of Anne in the story. This book leads you to an appalling and surprising end and will leave an imprint on your soul.

“Defined by others” is an amusing and beautiful book, that will take you to its tale about two mid forties women finding themselves in a world they created. They created some secrets and tangled in between that.

I would recommend it to those who love to read lost love, revenge, spiritual and friendship. This book gives you an idea about ‘sometimes what we picture about someone is not correct’. I would like to give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Christine bonner.
188 reviews4 followers
April 5, 2015
This book is about a group of school friends that have now grown up in their late 40's, have husbands and children . A friend had died and left Anne something in her will. Connie one of her friends and Anne take over the game that their friend had left Anne, it was a fake page on a social network about their girl friends, each one has a lover in cyber internet but and each one has a name of a superhero and his female side kick. Some of the things are funny and having you laughing like the cookies with a micky in them. Anne starts to get worried about Connie and the things she is doing. Each female on list is seeing Anne and asking her for help as they all think she can see there future. Connie and Anne are still getting over the shock that both their hubsand were in love with each other, and moved in together leaving Anne and Connie on there own. Anne was having fun with Peter a old friend, and would go of for a quickie in a motel. the book build up with all the ladies and you are waiting to see what happens and who finds out that it was Anne and Connie doing the stuff on the network. I enjoyed reading this book and cant wait for the next one to come out
Profile Image for Meghan.
2,246 reviews6 followers
February 27, 2015
Kept me guessing and on my toes the entire read. Playfully showed how technology and issues such as catfishing are not just for the teenage or YA audience. At times I thought I knew how it was going to end or the next twist, and while I was correct on a few aspects, I was not correct for the entire ending...which I love! This story shares about love, friendship, relationships, the idea of how the image we present may not be the actual story, and ties in how high school and certain moments in time can have a lasting impact.

You, if you are like me at all, will laugh, gasp and end up questioning what would I do in those situations? The intrigue, the play on catfishing and fantastic ability to discuss some serious issues in a captivating, humorous and enlightening way is just a hint of why you as a reader will enjoy this story greatly. The way the story came together was so clear in my mind it was like reading a movie or show. I could also see it as a play because of the comedic timing of certain lines, the intricate play on keeping people on certain pages, but still having the concern about who knows what.

full review at www.meghanvarner.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Victoria Dougherty.
Author 12 books322 followers
March 5, 2015
Anne is a piece of work.

I related to her - at first. She's a woman preoccupied with always finding the perfect word for a situation, observation, emotion. I get that.

When her husband runs screaming out of their fabulously appointed closet, her wordsmithing helps her make the adjustment from seemingly happy mother and wife, to middle aged divorcee. It also helps distance her from the pain and embarrassment of her circumstances. I get that, too. Middle age can be tough enough without the added slap of a busted-up marriage.

Ultimately, however, Anne's ability to separate pain from experience leaves her in a strange, hollow place. One lacking empathy, and wallowing in an overabundance of rationalization.

Anne, we discover, is dangerous.

Defined By Others is a deceptively dark book. That's what I liked so much about it. On the surface it's about life changes, reconnecting with friends, making sense of the past and taking the first shaky steps in planning a future after a devastating blow.

But it's also about casual cruelty, revenge, wasted lives, and wasted love. When I finished the book, I needed a drink.
Profile Image for Patti.
31 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2015
Compunction, exuberant, chaos, and optimism. What word truly defines you? Could it be a single word, or could it be a colorful array of words? "Defined by Others", by M.C.V. Egan takes you on a spiritual journey on what it truly means to define a moment, creating secrets, and what those secrets could cost you.
Anne, is a newly divorced woman, who just found out her husband is coming out of the closet(in a closet). With her new divorce, she heads to her hometown to attend an old friend's funeral. There she is given some "inheritance", which includes a very twisted and witty social mind game they like to call The Catfish Project. With the help of her friend Callie the two go down a road neither of the them thought they would end up, and they find out just who they really are meant to become.
"Defined by Others" is a beautiful, witty, heartfelt story of two women finding themselves in a world that once made sense, and is now turned upside down. If you are curious to know more about this game, then make sure to grab yourself a copy of this amazing tale.
Profile Image for Tami Adams.
35 reviews8 followers
March 12, 2015
First, I must say I have never read a Women's Fiction book before. I went into this book with my eyes closed about what to expect. My eyes are now open and forever grateful to MC for it. I enjoy the genre, but it isn't the type I will read often. This review, though, is about Defined By Others and not the genre. The plot is based on multiple topics that are completely relevant in today's society and through social media. The writing itself is incredible. MC pulls us into the main character's mind through a "biography" type read. It opened me to thinking about my life and who I am as a woman in today's society and how I interact with those on social media. The book overall leaves me with a sense of how I can represent and better myself as a woman and a person in general. Thank you, MC.
Profile Image for Hooked On Books.
1,887 reviews60 followers
April 9, 2015
Anne and Connie, two women in their 40's who went to school together now realise they have their situations in common and form a great bonding. When Anne receives a disturbing game that is left to her after the funeral of a school friend Amanda, she shares the game with Connie and they embark on a strange journey of deceipt.

This book was not at all what I was expecting, it was different and quite intriguing. Whilst initially I enjoyed the book, it was a great start, interesting and well written, as the storyline progressed it just wasn't really my cup of tea, it was full of lies and deceiving people. I think this book felt quite real and current with the social media aspect which for me made it feel wrong.
Profile Image for Clayton Graham.
Author 10 books292 followers
February 1, 2020
A ‘hit’ list from beyond the grave.
A surprise inheritance from an old school friend leads Anne Geyer into a strange and rather sick new world. Like a child with a new toy, she shares its secrets with friend Connie in an effort to add colour to their hard hit lives. Delving into the world of on-line aliases, the knowledge she receives in the ‘inheritance’ is dangerous and is tantamount to bullying and blackmail. And can lead to disaster. Dark, but full of little anecdotes like: “In Florida all buildings are cold; you always need a little sweater.” Well-written, if somewhat extreme, entertainment.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,889 reviews4 followers
July 23, 2015
I loved the cover of this book, which pulled me in with its bright vivid colors. The book itself is an extremely unique tale of friends who are mourning and carrying on the weird habits of their deceased friend. The story line was interesting, just needs a little polish. I wish we knew more about the women other than their happy sticks (joints). I should have known the ending based on how many times happy sticks were mentioned!!
Profile Image for Kasey Cocoa.
954 reviews39 followers
March 26, 2015
Intriguing from the first page. The characters felt honest and real with genuine issues and ways of dealing with everything that goes on in this book. For me it is a bit of a slow start with a few points where I could easily pause in my reading but never to the point where I could just walk away and not want to pick it back up. Overall it is a good read, one I believe most will enjoy and want to talk about. I received an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,279 reviews96 followers
August 14, 2020
Anne a 47 year-old woman’s husband has just left her for a man. After learning that a long lost friend of hers from her hometown in Florida has died and left her an inheritance Anne takes off to Florida to receive her inheritance and you know just go home for a little while, while she deals with a divorce.

Anne’s inheritance is not quite what she was expecting. No the inheritance was just a laptop and a video explaining about the inheritance. Anne’s friend Amanda has invited her to continue playing her little online game messing with other people’s lives.

The way I saw it was that after learning about Anne’s husband leaving her for a man played a big role in Amanda’s decision to invite Anne to play her game. I think that Amanda thought that playing this little online game would be sort of like a coping mechanism or some sort of therapy for Anne. Not that I agree with it but I do get the why behind it well sort of.

Anne reunites with another of her friends from high school, Connie who is herself dealing with divorce. Anne invites Connie to stay with her in her mother’s home. Anne invites Connie to play the game with her. Connie accepts.

I did make one connection with Anne and that is her connection with a word. I don’t have the same connection with a word as Anne does but I do love words. I love to read so therefore I love words. I remember telling a friend once that if I see a word I will read it. (There is a longer version of this story but I won’t bore you will the details now.)

What drew me to read Defined by Others was the author M.C.V. Egan and her writing. I am always up for reading one of her books actually I believe I have read all of her books now well with the exception of the revised edition of The Bridge of Deaths. I would recommend all of her books even if you don’t read that genre. So if you have not read one of M.C.V. Egan’s books what are you waiting for? Head on over to your favorite place to purchase books and start clicking.
Profile Image for Michael  Thal.
168 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2020
Do you have a secret? Most of us do. In the words of author MCV Egan, “If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.” To keep your secrets safe, keep them to yourself, for they give you power. And if you share your secret, “…it will destroy you!” Keep this in mind as you read Egan’s superbly written novel, Defined by Others.”

Written in the first person narrative, Anne Geyer tells her tale of betrayal and lies. At age 47, her husband Frank pulls a “Grace and Frankie” by coming out of the closet, from a closet, to let Anne know he’s leaving her for a man. Who turns out to be her high school friend, Connie’s husband, Mike.

Like on the Netflix blockbuster show, “Grace and Frankie,” Anne and Connie pull together to fight their depression and lost lives.

Meanwhile, a frenemy, Amanda, from Skvallerby High School, dies. She leaves Anne an organized social media game to meddle and spy on the lives of mutual acquaintances. Anne and Connie embrace the game in an attempt to escape their own reality, and the consequences could prove deadly.

Defined by Others is a 170-page novel exploring the darker side of relationships causing readers to pause and think of their own friendships and loves and how our treatment of others affects each of us in different ways.

The author’s characterization is authentic, the plot is excellent, and the dramatic climax unexpected and dramatic.

Defined by Others is an excellent read and provides an opportunity to wonder, “What would I have done if placed in Anne’s position?”
Profile Image for Sandra Lopez.
Author 3 books317 followers
April 15, 2020
“At forty-seven my perfectly organized life was suddenly disrupted, destroyed.” (11) Only one ideal word defined the moment: despondent. Even though the wake of a frenemy’s sudden death should make her feel alive, Anne still felt empty. “Enemies always attend the funeral of the fallen. It’s a way to show they’ve won.” (19)

Actually, Anne really didn’t have much against Amanda, especially since they haven’t spoken in over a decade. Still, it created a lot of questions for Anne. What defines us? Is there a word that defines certain moments? Throughout the book, that’s exactly what Anne does as she wagers with an unexpected inheritance and plays a little game.

The writing was clever and thought-provoking. The character seems to ponder the social hierarchy as she meddles and snoops around. I didn’t always understand the reasoning behind the characters’ motives. I mean, what was the whole point in all this?

Defined by Others certainly has a way of making the reader think, although the concepts can be widely varied.

A decent read.
Profile Image for Ray Flynt.
Author 18 books17 followers
June 14, 2020
Fascinating character study. The death of a woman she has known since childhood, creates a moment for Anne to pick up the pieces of her life recently shattered when her husband ran off with another man. Not my typical read, but I enjoyed the way the characters were crafted. A good look at life's complexities.
Profile Image for Julie Powell.
Author 67 books310 followers
March 9, 2023
I enjoyed this unusual story that focuses on relationships, betrayal and consequences. It's well-written with an easy flow. The characters fit nicely into the plot.

I don't give spoilers but will say that it's worth a look.
Profile Image for Julie.
103 reviews
August 1, 2020
Anne’s husband left, her parents are moving out of their home, and her high school friend died. She is at crossroads when she is “gifted” with her former friend Amanda’s “game.” It is a tale of adults cyber bullying other adults, which I found so disturbing and immature. The author kept “telling” instead of “showing” which just alienated me even more from the story. I really wanted to like this book, but I was continually disappointed by the poor writing and the soap opera story line. I had to force myself to finish it. Anne prided herself in knowing just the right word for every situation (which was annoying). My word for this book is juvenile.

My thanks to NetGalley for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Cristie Underwood.
2,275 reviews56 followers
March 24, 2019
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.