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Dear Fang, With Love: A novel – tekijä:…
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Dear Fang, With Love: A novel (vuoden 2016 painos)

– tekijä: Rufi Thorpe (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1255171,162 (3.7)8
Lucas and Katya were boarding school seniors when they decided to have a baby. Seventeen years later, and after a decade of absence, Lucas is newly involved in his daughter Vera's life. But after Vera suffers a terrifying psychotic break at a high school party Lucas takes her to Vilnius, Lithuania, his grandmother's homeland, for the summer. As he uncovers a secret about his grandmother, a Home Army rebel who escaped Stutthof, Vera searches for answers to Lucas's past mistakes and her own uncertain future.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Maureen_McCombs
Teoksen nimi:Dear Fang, With Love: A novel
Kirjailijat:Rufi Thorpe (Tekijä)
Info:Knopf (2016), 320 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):*****
Avainsanoja:to-read

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Dear Fang, With Love (tekijä: Rufi Thorpe)

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» Katso myös 8 mainintaa

näyttää 5/5
Lots of things to like: the setting of Vilnius, Lithuania, and learning about some of its history, Thorpe’s voice for both the father and daughter characters who alternate as narrators (the latter through her emails), and the exploration of mental illness. There are aspects of the story that seem too contrived (e.g. finding the grandson of the family matriarch) and others which are disturbing (e.g. the celebration of the “rape birthday” and the philosophical musings on consent), but to her credit, Thorpe doesn’t offer easy resolution on more the one plot line. A near miss for a higher rating, and interested in more from this author.

Quotes:
On civilization, from Warner Herzog:
“Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.”

And this one:
“The idea that we are rational and in control of our actions is a recent and temporary delusion. For most of history, we have totally been murdering each other. We are just violent animals. We like to hurt each other. It feeds some part of our nature. And so we will find any excuse to do it. Sometimes it is greed, like with slavery or with the colonization of America. But sometimes we can kill people for hardly any reason at all.”

On Lithuania:
“There used to be a saying that in Vilnius the facades were Russian, the interiors were Polish, the streets were Jewish, and the ghosts were Lithuanian.”

“Vilnius itself was named after the River Vilnia, of course, though the exact location of the town had been chosen for spiritual reasons. It was built on a sacred pagan site where people came to communicate with the dead. The word Vilnia was etymologically related in Lithuanian to the words for ‘the departed,’ ‘ripple,’ and ‘devil.’”

“Darius told us about Napoleon’s campaign on Moscow (big fat disaster, like major, major cock-up in the deep doo-doo) that ended in 40,000 French soldiers descending on Vilnius only to push people out of their homes, steal all their food, and die anyway, because they were so starved they weren’t able to digest the food. They even broke into the university and ate the jars of organs preserved in alcohol. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW HUNGRY YOU HAVE TO BE TO DO THAT? More French soldiers died in Vilnius than there were inhabitants of the city, and it was winter, so there was no way to bury them because the ground was crazy frozen. So naturally people began stacking the dead soldiers around buildings as a layer of extra insulation. Holes in the walls of the hospital were stuffed with hands, feet, heads, trunks, whatever would fit. For real, Fang, For real. The spring brought a terrible thaw and … wait for it … plague! Which, I mean, duh, but still.” ( )
2 ääni gbill | Oct 13, 2020 |
This book gets an A+ from me for its realistic portrayal of all its characters and their interactions with one another. 17-year old Vera is one of the few relatable teen characters I've read. She possesses the ridiculous self-righteousness of a teen just as much as she is deeply introspective in a way that a human on the cusp of adulthood can be. ( )
  wildrequiem | Jun 14, 2017 |
Dear Fang, With Love
by Rufi Thorpe (Goodreads Author)
1135467
Featherbooks's review Sep 03, 2016 · edit
really liked it
Read from August 18 to September 03, 2016

"Our family had been jumbled by history by war, by falling and rising regimes, by escapes across the world, by drives through orange groves and trips to Disneyland and the slow poison of sugary flowers on supermarket cakes."

Thorpe's new novel (despite the awful cover) is even better than her first, The Girls from Corona del Mar, which was four stars for me. Teen parents, Lucas and Katya decide to have a baby, Vera, who Katya raises on her own while Lucas seeks his own way, attending college, teaching, without seeing his daughter. Seventeen years later, Lucas takes Vera on a history tour of Vilnius, Lithuania where his Jewish grandmother was born and escaped after hiding in the forest during the war, Vera's recent diagnosis of bipolar disease is questioned as the two of them explore the ancient city and their own relationship while alternating chapters reveal the emails Vera sends home to her Samoan boyfriend, Fang.

Thorpe describes Vilnius, a place I never even dreamed of wanting to visit but now I do. She takes us on a tour of the city and through the characters, we explore lives and history of Jewish survivors. Grim and intense descriptions of mental illness and the doctors and medication to try to turn it around made me count my blessings. I loved the characters, especially Judith and Susan and impossibly thick Johnny Depp and unwitting Daniel.I had trouble picturing Lucas but I never tired of his struggles, trying to be a father, trying to curb his drinking.

Favorite quotes:

Vera, about the concert singer:
"the singer was an incredibly short fat little man who was shaped just like a teapot, only he was wearing a tuxedo....his voice..was like bronze and chocolate melted together and flung through the air in spangles...like something stretched impossibly taut, a piece of silk against the sky, and then something that sags, soft and dead, the belly of a shot fox, the clicking jaw of a dying mink."

Susan, in her fifties:
"It's different when you're my age. All the available men are fish that have already been thrown back. Everyone has gotten divorced. They have years of bad habits and resentments built up and you have to try to find someone who is fucked up in the exact matching, complementary way to your own fucked-up-ness. It's very tiring. Excruciating, really. And all the men who want to date me are in their sixties, all the guys my own age are dating thirty-year-olds, and it's like dating Mr. Rogers, I swear to God."

Lucas, who teaches English:
"What I have always loved most about literature was the way it eased my own loneliness. Even as my mother's son, at my most awkward and chubby and sunburned, sure I would never have a girlfriend, there was always Shakespeare. There was the possibility of having one's most opaque yearnings and vague intimations transformed before one's eyes in to the beautiful forms of perfectly expressed thought." ( )
  featherbooks | Sep 3, 2016 |
This book is one of the reasons I love to read. I was completely transported to a place (Lithuania) that I will probably never visit. Thorpe did such a masterful job of recreating Vilnius, right down to the farmer's cheese and wine that I felt like I was there. Her character development was amazing. These were all people that you could know in your everyday life but at the same time were so layered and nuanced that you want to keep reading so you can find out a little bit more about them as the pages turn. The relationships and the circumstances were very believable. Vera was a hoot (that's all I am going to say so I don't give anything away). The history both present-day, close past and WWII past was incredibly interesting and I loved this book! Thank you to my gals, Diane and Alena for reading it first so I could judge from their reactions how I might feel about this book! I so rarely do that - ha! Great book- definitely recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 29, 2016 |
There is something so compelling yet accessible in this journey of a father and daughter. Late into his daughter's life, Lucas tries to forge a relationship with this young girl who is having, what looks to be a psychotic breakdown. His family lore, his grandmother and her stories of survival during the war lead Lucas to suggest a trip to Vilnius, Lithuania in an attempt to find his roots but also to give his daughter Vera a change of scenery.

Lucas is a wonderful, caring person, his daughter Vera a very intelligent and creative young lady, and in Vilnius much will be found and a bond forged from necessity. Narrated by Lucas and alternated with Vera's letters home to Fang, the reader learns of the disintegration of Vera's mental state. The writing is fantastic and their journey endearing. In Vilnius, Lucas will discover his past but also his future. Loved seeing and learning the facts of Vilnius, enjoyed the glimpses of humor and loved seeing how the relationship changes and grows between Vera and her father.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jun 20, 2016 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Meaning
--When I die, I will see the lining of the world. The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset. The true meaning, ready to be decoded. What never added up will add up, What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
--And if there is no lining to the world? If a thrush on a bush is not a sign, But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day Make no sense following each other? And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
--Even if that is so, there will remain A word wakened by lips that perish, A tireless messenger who runs and runs Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies, And calls out, protests, screams.  ---CZESLAW MILOSZ
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For Sam
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Dear Fang, At this moment, we are mental twins.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Now she was sixteen, and I was gradually coming to the conclusion that waiting for a teenage girl to want to be friends with her father was like waiting for a cat to want to take a swim.
Vera and Kat were painted in bright acrylics, and I was in washed-out watercolor.  They could barely see me.  I was like a ghost wandering through their world.
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
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Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Lucas and Katya were boarding school seniors when they decided to have a baby. Seventeen years later, and after a decade of absence, Lucas is newly involved in his daughter Vera's life. But after Vera suffers a terrifying psychotic break at a high school party Lucas takes her to Vilnius, Lithuania, his grandmother's homeland, for the summer. As he uncovers a secret about his grandmother, a Home Army rebel who escaped Stutthof, Vera searches for answers to Lucas's past mistakes and her own uncertain future.

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