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A Map of the World (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – Dec 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books (Dec. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385720106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385720106
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,293,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A powerfully written, evocative tale of guilt, betrayal and the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

A powerfully written, evocative tale of guilt, betrayal and the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annie Oakley on 10 July 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot believe the hype surrounding this book. Although the premise was initially interesting, I found the character of Alice not only extremely irritating, but also utterly unsympathetic in her total self-absorbtion, and Howard a cipher, yet whose story still took up 8 chapters to tell. And as for the character of Theresa - she's just too good to be true. If the editor had done a better job this could have been quite a hard-hitting and moving short story, but as it is, I just could not emphathise with these characters. The fact that this quite short book of just over 400 pages took me about six months to read says it all I think.
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Format: Paperback
The Goodwins have never really felt accepted by the local Midwest community. When a child in Alice Goodwin`s care drowns, it appears to be the beginning of the drama. As the story unfolds we see how Alice`s life began unravelling some time before.
Set on farm in the summer, Hamilton`s exquisite prose uses the heat to fan the flames of the unfolding drama. Each person`s
pain is almost tangible,from the bewildered husband`s to the grieving friend`s. Its a story of isolation and self destruction. Alice Goodwin acts as her own judge and jury for the drowning death of the child and allows it to play out in public before a hostile community.
This is a great novel from start to finish. The reader is able to empathise with all the major characters and Hamilton`s skill at storytelling often leaves the reader feeling there is no way
now this can end well. The clarity and depth of the characters
are so well drawn they become people you know, people in your town or street.
Although the events of this story are dramatic is easy to become so involved one can see how life begins to unravel before you realise it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lin249@aol.com on 15 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
From the first paragaph, this book keeps you mesmerised, both with the story line,and the dexterity with which the author steers you through the emotional minefield and compelling drama as it unfolds. Jane Hamilton tackles difficult subjects like grief, guilt, torment,the nature of love and forgiveness with ease and confidence. Her insights and the beautifully crafted prose are breathtaking. I found people to identify with at every turn and I marvelled at the perception and sheer style of her writing. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This novel is utterly absorbing, as a portrait of how the world can be turned inside out for a person by the consequences of a random string of meaningless events. I won't go into the details of the plot here, but I will say that this book is beautifully written, with such clarity and vision that it makes the harrowing stuff even harder to stomach. The only duff point is that the way Theresa speaks sounds unrealistic. Can people really articulate their feelings so lucidly when under such stress? Theresa sounded suspiciously like a self-help manual for the recently bereaved, but that is my only complaint. This book made me realise how easy it is for things to go horrifically wrong for seemingly no reason, and it is not an easy read, but I would still recommend it. The ending is ambiguous enough that I put the book down hoping Alice and Howard would make it, but still not sure that they would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book which kept me hooked until the very end; be warned though - you get so involved with the characters that you find yourself feeling quite melancholy in sympathy with them. An excellent book though which I will receommend to all my friends.
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Format: Paperback
As you read this book you find yourself fighting to stop the inevitable happening, but know that you cannot, that you have no control over the events, that there, but for the grace of god, go you. The exquisite control the author exercises allows this to happen almost imperceptibly; by keeping the narrative sparse she manages to separate the victim from all those around her, isolating her in a way that makes her seem at times unsympathetic and at others a soul to be cherished. The book will not be to everyone's taste, it paints a picture that is all too close to the truth in our society today, where in some matters people are guilty until proven innocent and even after there is innocence has been proven they carry the stigma of the accusations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took a while to get into this book, but this was partly I think because I was reading a rather battered edition which rather put me off from the start! I liked the build up to the drama that starts the story, but found Alice, the main character, quite difficult to empathise with, which made the book more hard going. The story was mainly told from her viewpoint, with the middle section from her husband, Howard's. The setting is in America, and although the farm and its surroundings were in places beautifully described, and the intense heat at the beginning well conveyed, I didn't feel very connected to the whole place itself. The book was quite long and I skimmed the last part to finish it.
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