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A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

– tekijä: Jean Thompson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
904236,736 (3.5)4
"There's not a false note in this powerful, beautifully crafted exploration of the trade-offs in women's lives." --People From National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town. A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family--Evelyn, Laura, and Grace--as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making. Evelyn set aside her career to marry late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe's house, but can't seem to live up to her potential--whatever that might be. In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time--a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free? Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town--by choice or chance--Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 4 mainintaa

näyttää 4/4
Usually I'm not fond of contemporary stories featuring dysfunctional families; however, I did get pulled into this one. Focusing on three women -- the grandmother, Evelyn, who gave up hopes of becoming a professor; Laura, the daughter, whose marriage to a cold husband put her in the center of constant conflict; and Grace, the granddaughter, who is determined to be different than her mother and grandmother.

The majority of the story is told by Laura and Grace. Laura is the enabler constantly smoothing problems between her husband and son, Michael, who is addicted to drugs and is a struggling musician. The family treat Laura horribly until she get cancer when all gather round and support her. Grace finds herself soon taking the place of her mother in between the arguments of father and son. Her affair with an older weird man didn't seem necessary to me; however, I hung in there.

The ending of the book is sad, but very believable. None of the characters are especially likable, but the writing is good and the entire plot is ( )
  maryreinert | Jul 8, 2020 |
A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson is not about a plot but is a contemplation of women, the choices they make, and the reverberations of those choices through the generations. The choices most influential in their lives have to do with the men in their lives. I spend part of the time feeling sad for them and part of the time wanting to jolt them into action and make a different choice.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2019/09/a-cloud-in-shape-of-girl.html

Reviewed for NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Sep 9, 2019 |
2.5 I had a very negative reaction to this story. Don't get me wrong, the writing is extremely well done, but the book was just so, well for me, a Debbie downer. Three generations of women, unhappy families to the extreme. Nary a glimpse of joy. Never connected with the chsrscters, so I didn't feel sorry for the as did my wonderful reading partners, Esil and Angela. To me, they were like cardboard characters, so obvious and stereotypical. Unhappy, martyr like women, drugs alcohol, infidelity, surprise pregancies and illness. What more could be thrown in?

There were a few surprises near the end, and even a glimpse of hope that this cycle could be broken. I just had a hard time absorbing this much unhappiness. I loved her previous book, and will read her next because she is a fine writer. Plus, not everyone reacts the same way to a story, and you may be in s completely different reading mood. Best that in mind.

ARC from Netgalley. ( )
  Beamis12 | Oct 4, 2018 |
Women hold a family together. They plan the social activities and family gatherings, act as a buffer between butting heads, ease the high emotions of family conflict, and provide the meals for the family table that brings generations together.

It is not an easy job, or an easy life. Especially in families afflicted with personality disorders, addictions, mental illness, anger issues, conflict--or even with the usual garden variety issues common to all families.

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson is about three generations of women who have struggled with holding the family together even when their personal dreams are sacrificed for their family. The characters, Evelyn, Laura, and Grace, are vital and distinct while recalling to mind our own mothers and daughters.

It is a heartbreaking story that spans from WWII to the present, each generation of women hoping to find self-fulfillment and true love yet putting the interests of others first.

Each woman who reads this novel must ask herself in what way has she repeated her mother's life, in what ways has she sacrificed her dreams, and if it was worth it in the end. And do we make these choices out of societal or familial expectation or out of the love we have for our children?

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. ( )
  nancyadair | Aug 22, 2018 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"There's not a false note in this powerful, beautifully crafted exploration of the trade-offs in women's lives." --People From National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town. A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family--Evelyn, Laura, and Grace--as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making. Evelyn set aside her career to marry late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe's house, but can't seem to live up to her potential--whatever that might be. In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time--a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free? Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town--by choice or chance--Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.

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