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The Art of Seeing

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  34 reviews
As a child, the flamboyant, brooding, and beautiful Rozzie was always the star of her family -- especially in her younger sister Jemma's eyes. So when Rozzie takes up acting and, as a teenager, wins a part in a major motion picture, life changes irrevocably for both sisters. Rozzie is catapulted into the chaotic adult world of celebrity while Jemma travels to movie sets an ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Scribner (first published July 30th 2002)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  283 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i really enjoyed this book and style in which it is written. very interesting and intriguing story of the older and younger sisters. they are quite alike in ways they cannot recognize and rely on each other more than they know.
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
Ever since they were children, Jemma has looked up to her older sister, Rozzie, seeing her as a star. Flamboyant, brooding and beautiful, Rozzie may be destined to go far in her life, but for Jemma, Rozzie is still her sister - deeply loved and admired, and bound to be successful in whatever career she chooses. When Rozzie takes up acting and, as a teenager, lands a role in a major motion picture, life changes irrevocably for both sisters.

Rozzie is catapulted into the adult world of celebrity, a
LK Hunsaker
Dec 25, 2010 rated it liked it
I wasn't always sure I was going to finish reading this one. I rarely don't finish a book I start, and I don't at all mind slow, pondering stories if there's enough of something to be worth it. At times, I thought there might be. Other times, I nearly set it aside and moved along.

What bothered me was the sparse, shallow writing style. We were told their story but I never felt in it and I never cared much about any of the characters. It was interesting how two different POVs were used for the two
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it
"The Art of Seeing," while not the best book, told a unique, and at times slightly touching, story. I am slightly partial to books focusing on sisters, so it scores there. I believe that McGovern captured the complexity of Rozzie and Jemma (and their relationship) with skill, but she did not really succeed in making it easy for the reader to feel compassion for them. Overall, I liked reading this book, but would not necessarily recommend it. ...more
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
From the beginning, I could relate to it. It tells about two sisters, and the jealousy and petty arguments that come along with having a sibling to compare oneself to. You read about each one growing older and the obsticles they face, and although there are times where it seems predictable, you end the book feeling satisfied.
Paul Zerby
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Art of Seeing manages to take a very unique situation (younger sister growing up in the reflected light of a rising movie star) and deal very tellingly with universal elements of relationships within families and among friends. Beautifully and authenically written and a page turner. I recommend it to anyone who grew up in a family.
May 19, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was interesting to a point. The story wasn't difficult to follow, but the relationship between sisters seemed..strange. It was not plot-thickened, but a rather slow, somewhat enjoyable read. ...more
Caleb Lail
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this is a pretty darn well-observed book. The characters are almost tooooo rounded out and the prose is welcoming and human. I think the only reason it gets a four is that the pacing is a bit off. It’s not that it gets slow in spots, but some are more high-emotional than others, and it’s scattershot when they appear.
I feel like I’ve learned a good bit more about blindness and ritsy, celebrity stuff. Oh, photography too! It’s not insanely well-researched, but well enough to sound c
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. About 2 sisters, and vision and well, seeing. Made me miss my sister, even though our relationship is more placid and (much!) less tormented than that of the sisters in the book.
Marcia Shimshak
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It wasn’t as good as I expected and was disappointing.
Feb 19, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Library free shelf Jan. 2020
Lauralee Summer
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I read by this author. Last year I first read her second book, Eye Contact, a murder mystery with autistic main characters (much more personal and heartfelt book than Curious Incident, Pei Pei, in case you wanted to do a comparison). I enjoyed this book (Art of Seeing) read it in a day and a half, and missed the characters after I finished, which to me means there has to be something good about the book. I don't want to give too much away, but like Eye Contact, it has an ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
A book about family, sibling rivalry, blindness and maturing. Two sisters are drawn together by family ties and both struggle when one sister becomes a celebrity but is hiding a secret. The ebb and flow of sisterhood is at the forefront of the story. But the lives of each sister are fairly mundane. Not a terrific read.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
okay - I liked this book, but I did't LOVE it. Why - seemed trite. Strange concept. Okay, sister is going blind and the other sister takes advantage of the situation? Why? Not as though there was a good reason, not a lot of drama between the sisters to cause such animosity, or at least, the author didn't touch on any. not a big fan. ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this, it is another book that I read when I was too young to really understand it fully. But my mother read it before me, and so I picked it up because she said it was good. It was hard to put down, but I will have to re-read it to better appreciate what it has to offer.
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this book since it was about a photography and that is my profession. I was let down. There was too much description in the book that left me wanting to know more. The climax was lacking. It really just kind of ended without me feeling like I had accomplished anything.
Dalesha R
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I gave this book 2 stars because I couldn't really enjoy it.
There was no action… It felt too long for me.
However I did like the sister aspect of it. I have a sister/2 sisters so I could understand where both sisters or coming from
Jessica Brooks
Really liked this. Characters started out young and went into their twenties. Appreciated the growth of both sisters, and the road they both traveled to get to the ending. Lots of intersecting and crossovers and trial and error and learning. Cammie is definitely a favorite!
Kathy Hauck
Jun 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Full of symbolism that even a simple gal like me could understand. I fell into the book right away.
May 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
i'll admit. i read it because it was short. it ended up being a waste of time. the characters were totally undeveloped in what could have been an interesting story. phooey. ...more
i really loved cammie's second novel so i decided to read this. it was ok- a really quick read, but i just cant imagine having the relationship these two sisters had. totally depressing. ...more
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
beautiful, riveting, raw, lush.
Jul 02, 2008 is currently reading it
i'm getting kinda confused with all the time changes but i think i got the story. ...more
Mar 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-09
While I enjoyed her broad use of diction, the ending lacked a little in my opinion.
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read about sisters and the complexity of sibling rivalry and self-esteem. Interesting, a fast read.
Krystle Garrison
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
great story about the strange relationship between sisters, and how they become closer throughout the one sisters struggles on going blind
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was an average book. Definitely a quick read. You ended up feeling sad for both sisters at the end.
Olivia Loving
Being an only child, I found it enlightening to read about the relationship between Jemma and Rozzie. The style was good, and it took me the whole way through. The description was excellent.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting relationship between two sisters, bordering on obsession.
Jaime W
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyable. Finished it quickly. I enjoyed a story about sisters and their relationship--but they examined it SO deeply. More than I do with my own sisters. But I still liked it.
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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.

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