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The Transformation of Things

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3.39  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Author of The September Sisters, Jillian Cantor has crafted a truly fantastic novel about a complicated life made even more complicated by betrayal, secrets, marital upheaval, and an unwanted gift of extrasensory perception. Enthralling and original women’s fiction from an exciting new voice, The Transformation of Things tells the story of a woman who, in glimpsing the int ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Kieran Walsh
Jan 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
So I'm hoping this book ends my trilogy of terrible books for the year. Where do I begin reviewing this one?
Good: Book took one day to read
Bad: will never get said day back
Good: It was raining outside so good opportunity to read (anything).
Bad: Missed opportunity to paint dining room.
I'm not even going to bother 'walk' through this one. Jennifer Levenworth was annoying and a suburban brat who just got lucky with some paranormal ability to experience other peoples' emotions. Oh wait, it was all a
...more
Crystal Starr Light
I'm not going into a plot summary, because the book provides a pretty good one. Instead, I'm going to say why I stopped reading at page 70 and why it wasn't for me.

After months of being a completist, of reading books until the very last page in the hopes that they improved (and many times finding myself disappointed at the final page), I've instituted a new rule:

+ Read a book to 25% approx (ending preferably at the start of a new chapter).

+ Evaluate whether the book is worth continuing. Maybe I'
...more
Jennifer Rayment
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Good Stuff

* One of the most unusual stories I have read this year -- in a good way that is
* Beautifully written story that has a nice flow to it
* Some light humour
* Great ending and nicely hopeful -- we know I like that in a book
* Lovely commentary on the stress of being a mother and some of the feelings that we have, that society frowns upon us talking about. Motherhood isn't for sissies people!!!!
* Interesting thoughts on the misconceptions we have of other people and the judgments w
...more
Mary
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Was he a man, dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was man? That's a key question in this book. Do we really choose our own destinies? I'd like to think we have something to do with it. It was hard at first to care about Jennifer and all she was going through. She seemed so distant from her husband, her family, her friends. But as the story picks up and things are not exactly what they seem, you root for her to figure out where she's going on her path in life. I enjoyed this s ...more
Kristina Hoagland
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2011
I really enjoyed this book. I read the entire book in one sitting. All I will say is that I was taken in with the story and led on a journey to a destination I didn't expect. Great read!
Carol Irvin
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
3 and 1/2 stars!! Review to come later....
Tasos Anastasopoulos
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ellen-s
That book was certainly nothing like I had expected it to be. Reading its plot I got fascinated by the main idea that was when we are really sure when are we dreaming and when we are facing reality. Could it be possible that what seems like reality is in fact our dreams and vice versa? For those of you who thought (like I did) that there would be a whole analysis how to make sure what actually takes place I am sorry to write but it was nothing but nothing like that.

The novel seems to belong in t
...more
Shonda
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Jen Levenworth is at the hair salon when she sees the breaking news story. Her husband Will, the youngest judge in Deerfield County, has been indicted on bribery charges. Shocked and embarrassed, Jen flies out of her chair with damp hair and races home to find Will.

Will is home when she arrives and looks beaten and distraught. A look that is uncharacteristic for him as he is always put together and everything is its place when he’s around. Seeing Will this way frightens Jen and she begins to won
...more
Stephanie
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
“The Transformation Of Things” is a haunting account of ordinary lives and the things that make us see them in a new light. Some Chick Lit novels are obvious to read. Not this one. The way that Jillian Cantor left me hanging every chapter was astounding. Real relationships are never as clean cut and definite as when they are portrayed in novels. However, throughout this novel I could never decide on the outcome of the main character’s relationship. Despite this, the ending left me blind sighted ...more
Sara
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, adult-fiction, loved
What an amazing book! Jen's a woman who seemingly has it all - her husband's a judge, they lives in the suburbs, she spends time lunching and playing tennis with the wives of other noteworthy people in town - but then her husband gets indicted for accepting a bribe, and her life begins to fall apart. Supposed friends shy away from her, her husband's life is changed, and she suddenly starts having vivid dreams that give her glimpses into the lives of those around her; she dreams that she's her hu ...more
Cheryl
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Jennifer Levenworth is at the hair salon when her life crumbles before her eyes. Jennifer’s husband Judge Will Levenworth has been charged with bribery. Jennifer rushes home to fine Will there. Will tells Jennifer that the charges are not true. He is innocent. Jennifer hopes Will is right because if found guilty, Will could be sentenced to up to twenty five years in prison.

Jennifer starts to crack under all the pressure of Will’s job on the line. Jennifer has a bad headache, only this headache
...more
Alisha Marie
The Transformation of Things was weird. Like, really, really weird. My thoughts on it are all over the place. I loved the premise, it was unusual and I loved that the author took a chance in doing something strange. It totally went in a way I would've never suspected and caught me completely by surprise. All good. However, as much as I love strange, I just couldn't connect with anything going on in the book.

I just felt very detached while reading this. I don't know if this was the author's inten
...more
Cleverly
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
t's not often you read a book and thoroughly enjoy it even though it left you scratching your head. I love Jillian Cantor's writing style she can master YA and Adult alike. I still don't know how to explain The Transformation of Things to someone with out spoiling it. So I am going to try....The characters all played fabulous catching roles. Each one had a specific reason even if it isn't the reason Jennifer(the main character) thought it was. Life comes quick and Transformations come in all sha ...more
Ben
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
The following review might be due to me not giving the book enough of a chance, or that I'm more used to the action/fantasy/suspense genres, but... While I found the first 5-7 chapters interesting, once I got to chapter 11, I got bored of the story. Another issue I had with the book, is that there seemed to be a lot of paragraphs with multiple sentences(in a single paragraph) starting with... "And then..." I don't mind it when authors use those words, but to have one sentence after the next star ...more
Rachel
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
After her husband, a judge, is indicted for accepting a bribe, Jennifer Levenworth's life begins to unravel. As tries to adjust, she begins to realize that she is getting a glimpse into the private lives of the people around her through her dreams.

I was expecting a little story about a woman dealing with adversity and working through troubles in her life and marriage. It ended up being a little deeper than that. The last few chapters brough a bit of surprise that I didn't see coming and I think
...more
Liz
Aug 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club, fiction, 2011
1 star. I kind of felt like I was reading an episode of Desperate Housewives, what with the suburban drama and the perfect-exterior-yet-crumbling-inside marriages and people. It was quite predictable and didn't move me... I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. And the ending?? Oh man, I guess I should give it points for giving me a laugh. I probably would have given the book two stars if it weren't for the ending.

Yeah, this just really isn't my kind of book. Sorry, book club!

Also, f-bomb alert.
Rhonda Rae Baker
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: healing, memoir, children
I loved this novel...the story premise was superbly written. Psychological twists, emotions, friendships, perceptions, and real life family drama. This is one that I will be reading again and even had to read the last two chapters when it turned around because I was taken by total surprise and shocked yet happy.

What if? What is reality? What are dreams? What is our subscious really trying to tell us sometimes? I'm going to seriously start writing down my dreams. I want to learn more about mysel
...more
Ml
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy, and finished it in two days. The Transformation of Things is the story of Jen Levenworth, wife of a recently disgraced judge who begins to have dreams about the secrets of her family and friends. She soon realizes that not everything is as she thought it to be, and begins to question her own choices and truths.

I highly recommend this book and will definitely be buying it as a gift for family and friends.
Carrie
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
This one went really fast, but I enjoyed the story and the premise was neat (she dreams and lives in her loved ones lives). You kinda see the twist at the end coming, but I definitely recommend it :-)
Beth
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I won an advanced copy of this book in a contest from the author. What a great read! This one really made me think. I can't wait for it to come out so I can share it with my book club. Great discussion questions in the back.
Yvette (hooked on the nook)
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
The imagination of Jillian Cantor is outstanding!! This was a compelling novel that will catch you by surprise when you least expect it. There is an excellent underlying question: Is reality a dream or are dreams our reality?
Colleen
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved it!
Josephine
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanne
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time with this novel, although I love Jillian Cantor's other books. I think the changes between wake and dreaming were too confusing and it was a bit too superficial in the 'girlie' parts, society women's prattle.
Jackie
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I didn't find the characters very compelling, but i stuck with it because what was happening to the main character was mysterious, and then I didn't understand the solution to the mystery. Oh well.
Jamie
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down!
Julie
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a thought provoking story and keeps you reading.
Becky
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Good story....easy reading
Marriage in trouble
Sandy
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bribery, indictment and disbarment, these three words seeped into the Levenworths household and changed the couple to Jen and Will overnight. It seems that being known by the last name is reserved for people in higher status or at least that is what Jen feels. The couple was living a glamorous lifestyle, the husband a young successful judge and the wife attempting to fit in among the other spouses when the charges made headlines. The only way out is to resign. As words spreads throughout the com ...more
Jean V. Naggar Literary
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Cantor creates convincing, likeable characters.” --Publishers Weekly

“Cantor puts a unique spin on this tale of a woman in transition.” --Booklist

"THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS is an elegant and involving page-turner about perception, truth and what's really true about each of our lives. Part mystery, part love story, part coming of age, it is a wonderful book. I could not stop reading!" —Barbara O'Neal, author of THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING

"A provocative novel that raises fascinating questions abou
...more
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Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from The University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels including the critically acclaimed THE HOURS COUNT & MARGOT. Her work has been translated into 10 languages, and has been featured as a Library Reads pick, and in People Magazine, O the Oprah Magazine, Glamour, and PopSugar among others. Up next: TH ...more