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Love Always

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  320 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Lucy Spenser, the Miss Lonely hearts of a chic counter-cultural magazine, finds her unflappable Vermont life completely upended by her teenaged soap-opera-star niece, Nicole, and her hangers-on.
Paperback, 247 pages
Published June 12th 1986 by Vintage (first published May 12th 1985)
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Madeleine
Love Always did a lot of things well but it did a lot of things that annoyed me, too. And then sometimes it annoyed me because it did certain things too well, like perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of the 1980s. I bloody abhor the '80s, from its self-righteous excess to its synthesized music (which, blessedly, stayed far away from this novel) to its regrettable fashion choices to all of the other ways it was a reaction against the decade that preceded it, as is the nature of generational shifts, ...more
Monica
Nov 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: donation-pile
I would like to be more driven to read fiction, I sure collect enough of it.

I'm not exactly bowled over by the first tweny pages, it seems kind of vacuous, but I'll keep with it.

I've finished and I still say reading this book was almost torture for me. Supposedly it was meant to be this way -full of vacuous charachters: a closeted bisexual wife abandoning magazine publisher, the abandoned wife advice columnist, her sister, her mother and assorted aquaintences I didn't care enough about to keep t
...more
Carol Storm
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Lucy the heroine is supposed to "shimmer" but she comes across as cold and basically lifeless. Her inability to love is never really explained, but we're meant to understand it's not her fault because . . . well just because. On the other hand, boyfriend Hildon is ultimately dismissed as a "cad" but Beattie never really gives him a chance, or explains why the stunning Lucy can't do any better. People who are meant to be tragic come across as grotesque, and people meant to be funny come across as ...more
Michelle
Feb 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
“A master chronicler of our life and times." —Newsday

"A very funny book. . . . If Jane Austen had been crossed with Oscar Wilde and re-crossed with the early Evelyn Waugh, and the result plonked down among the semi-beautiful people of late 20th-century media-fringe America . . . the outcome might have been something like this." —Margaret Atwood

"Ferociously funny." —The Los Angeles Times

"Beattie's new novel, her third, is a gratifying surprise. Love Always will be welcomed by the large and loyal
...more
Peter
I was uncertain what Beattie felt about these characters. Were they laughably pathetic and self-centered, or were they sadly deluded and lost? Ultimately I guess they were both, but also very human and sympathetic. The end where Lucy and Jane’s mother is remembering when her daughters were children is very heart-felt and tender. The men, of course, don’t come off too well in this story—they are mostly absent or drone-like, except for the wimpy writer guy, who is so pathetic he needs to give up h ...more
Aaron Marks
fun little book. was able to be 'straightforward and realist' [ie, didn't have any overt 'tricks'] while still keeping my attention, making me think / laugh consistently.

reminded me of lorie moore's novel 'who will run the frog hospital', in form more than theme.

for the most part, each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character -- some characters get 2 or 3 chapters -- and i think this is why the book didn't ultimately do anything amazing for me. each character had an interesting sto
...more
Unbridled
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
First Beattie. Found her prose capable but less than stimulating and found many of her metaphoric efforts to be clumsy. She does have a storytelling talent. Her main characters are developed with skill and the story moves along at an easy clip. The book works when it combs through the textures of its main characters, but it also seems to throw away its gains for a compromised net effect. The humor was mild and tepid, consistently at play, and nothing to shake you out of the narrative. Overall I ...more
Victoria Grusing
Jan 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I love books. I read every word. Rarely do I not finish a book as it makes me feel like the book has won. This was a book that I had to force myself to read and actually skimmed through pages. All the characters were shallow. There was no lesson to be learned from the book. It made me feel that I had wasted the part of my life spent reading the book. It is amazing that it was allowed to be published when there are probably many better writers. Sorry to Ms. Beattie; but I will probably not try an ...more
Scott E
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
Generally enjoy this kind of story, multiple interrelated characters with no real protagonist and many story lines. This is the first of Beattie's novels that I've read. I'm a big fan of her short stories, of which she is a master. Unfortunately, Love Always didn't last for me throughout. May give it another shot down the road. Rating: 3.4
David
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some great moments in this one, but I got left a little cold in when they were put together. I either missed the totality, or it didn't do much for me. The book sprawled a bit for being short and I just wondered where we were going, because it seemed like it should be somewhere. It was probably just me, but it was disappointing since I liked it so much on a moment level.
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Ann Beattie (born September 8, 1947) is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She holds an undergraduate degree from Americ ...more
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