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Starting from Square Two (Red Dress Ink (Numbered Paperback)) Paperback – Mar 2004

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Red Dress Ink (Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373250525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373250523
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 12.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,061,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Gert Healy thought she was finished with dating. She thought she's never again have to worry about what to wear and what to say and whether she was pretty enough. She thought that she'd be picking out strollers and booties for the children she and her husband were planning to have. Instead, she's mourning his loss and coming to terms with being a widow at twenty nine. It's back to square one on everything. Well, actually she's done it all before. Square two, then. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Starting from Square Two" by Carrin Lissen is about Gert Henly a twenty-eight year old widow, now starting to date again. On one date she meets Todd, a younger man. This a great book about starting over and yet not forgetting past loves. Ms. Lissen does a great job with characterization with the pain that Gert feels about moving on. The only reason that I didn't give it five stars, is that the character of Erika,was just over the top and seem to take away from the story.
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Format: Paperback
Gert Healy the main character in Caren Lissner "Starting from Square Two"is a young woman at cross road. At twenty-eight, she finding herself onceagain back on the dating scene after the death of her husband. One nighton the town, she meets Todd a younger man who she really like.
This isa great RBI book, Ms. Lissner gives the grown-up emotions to the reader.The only reason that I didn't give "Starting from Sqaure Two" was that theErika character was over the top.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x97e2387c) out of 5 stars 28 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97a68324) out of 5 stars Change is difficult but necessary 16 Mar. 2004
By Sarah Ackerman - Published on
Format: Paperback
The theme of this page turning gem of a novel, by author Caren Lissner, is change and the consequences brought about by it. For a plot summary, simply read the description above. I found myself wiping tears from my eyes at the end of the book not from over sentimentality but due to Lissner's ability to get her point across simply and poignantly, without being overly wordy. First off all, this book is too beautifully written to be placed in the romance section. I hardly consider it a typical 'romance' novel. The concept of 'change' is frequently a topic I read about but rarely do I find it written about in such a universal way that it can connect to a wide array of women. I loved the metaphor of Todd working on a train and studing history (past connecting with present and constant movement, etc.) and the fact that while change is often difficult, painful, and hard to accept, it is a part of life, necessary and unavoidable and good in fact can come from it even when one least expects it. I love the comparisons between generations (if we were women in the 50s and 60s we all would have married our college sweethearts whether or not it would have ended happily or not)...rather like Laura in The Hours. Women have choices now, like we see in character of Erika, which only causes a entirely different type of pain. Do these choices allow us freedom, or only cause us more confusion and unanswered wonders?
I found the character of Erika extremely compelling and she was with whom I most identified with. I loved reading the lack of understanding between Gert and Erika and towards the end how Gert came to almost empathasize with Erika's situation. When an ex boyfriend cuts you out of their life (even when the breakup is on your part) and the only contact you have with him is an abprupt and cold e-mail or info from the new girlfriend's website it is like a death and hence you have to mourn the loss, as I believe Erika learned. While this is very different from Gert's loss, Gert came to understand that everyone's pain is in fact, painful to them, and I liked seeing her slowly shed her judgements. The Gert/Hallie relationship was also very well developed and kept in tune with the theme of change. Hallie was nicely created and the dynamic between the three women was very realistic. The references to 9/11 are subtle, are go along with the theme of change. The world is changing along with us and we must keep up or die trying. I found this novel comforting in many ways. Life goes on, regardless of tragedy. Like an unstoppable treadmill, we all must tread through and learn to find to see the good in things. This book is certainly a fantastic place to start.
Overall, I thought the book was truly phenomenal. I loved the mix of seriousness and humor and the message was hopeful and positive.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9add4504) out of 5 stars Hits the nail on the head, sensitive but still fun 21 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is fun to read even though it's partly about a sensitive subject. It also has alot to say about singlehood and couplehood. I read the author's other book Carrie Pilby, and this is very different from that one, but it's still smart.
In the book, Gert Healy lost her husband Marc a year and a half ago. Her friends, who have been single for a long time, think it's time to take her out in New York City to get back into the dating arena. But she met her husband, Marc, in college, so she has no clue what dating is like out of school. She thinks her friends have always whined over nothing. But she also finds it hard to imagine dating anyone new. She goes along with her friends only because she thinks it might be good to get out of the house.
I won't spoil all of the things that happen next, but the book says alot about how you should be able to get over someone at your own rate. A character who was very interesting was Gert's friend Erika, who is obsessive about an ex-boyfriend she still cares about. Even if she goes too far, she says she can't help it, and it's an interesting look at how people get closure on things. I enjoyed reading it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9add4414) out of 5 stars Poignant tale of moving on after losing your first love 20 Jun. 2005
By Tracy Vest - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gert never thought she'd have to date again, but her world came crashing down when her husband Marc is killed in a car accident. Wracked with survivor guilt, she reluctantly bar hops with her single friends who try to teach her the ins and outs of dating. The only problem is that Gert hasn't been on a date in almost ten years. She's also struggling with the disintegration of her relationship with Marc's family - when he died, her role in their family ceased to exist.

On her first outing, she meets Todd and they hit it off, much to the dismay of her friends. Apparently their rules state you cannot date the first guy you meet. Soon her friend Hallie is asking to be set up with his friend. Gert's relationship with Todd is sweet - the polar opposite of Marc. As they get closer, she realizes that she must eventually tell him about Marc. When she finally does, he appears understanding, and then slowly seems to drift away (but perhaps it is all in her mind).

Meanwhile, Erika is stalking former boyfriend Ben and his wife. She dumped Ben in college, and after three months, decided he was her soul mate. Of course, he found another soul mate, married her, and now has a second baby on the way. Ben's wife is so happy that she has created a webpage that Erika becomes obsessed with, which eventually takes it's toll on Erika's sanity.

The story is heart wrenching, particularly Gert's moments of reflective solitude, her participation in grief counseling comprised primarily of young widows from the 9/11 tragedy (Marc died a few days prior), and the feeling that while her friends mean well, they really don't have a clue what she's going through. Notht ekind of friends a widow would want to surround herself with. Another book with a similar theme is "Good Grief" by Lolly Winston.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97c05ba0) out of 5 stars sweet and deep 14 May 2004
By david - Published on
Format: Paperback
There's a lot to like in this appealing novel about a young window getting back into the social swing. Gert, the main character was very likable and wise. And her maniacal sidekicks are very page-turnable, in a cover-your-eyes, "she just did what?!" kind of way. But what I liked best was the hopeful vibe of the novel, which approached a tough and sad break in a sweet and positive way. Nice. Tough to pull off, too. But it's done here.
I also commend readings by Caren Lissner (so - full disclosure - I've been to one, and I met her!). Witty, dry, extemporaneous. If you're in an area where she has one, you should go.
Did I have a beef? Well, maybe one. Todd, a potential love interest, seemed a little indistinct to me. But that might be me - I like characters with plenty of edgy qualities! Overall, though - highly recommended!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97c059d8) out of 5 stars Another great one by Red Dress Ink 27 Mar. 2004
By Carley - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was very touching. If you have ever loved anyone it touches you and make the book very believable and relatable. I found myself laughing and crying at the memories that Gert has through the book. I loved how along with the seriousness of her own tragedy she manages to get into funny situations with Halie and Erika. Red Dress Ink has turned up to be a great find and I can't wait for more :)
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