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The Button Collector Paperback – 29 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PageSpring Publishing (29 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939403081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939403087
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JulieB on 4 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Like many crafters, I have a big jar of buttons sitting on the shelf in my study. Until now, if I've given them any thought at all, I've thought of buttons as decorative and useful. However, a new novel has made me look at them in a different light.
I was privileged to be sent an advance copy of `The Button Collector' by Elizabeth Jennings. The novel begins when the central character, Caroline, visits a flea market and comes across a stall selling jars of buttons in a myriad of colours. When the stall holder asks if she'd like to buy a jar, Caroline replies "I have one already". Caroline's jar of buttons, inherited from her mother, is sitting on the back shelf of her study, hidden behind old yearbooks. That night, unable to sleep, Caroline takes the jar down from the shelf and tips out the buttons. As a result, memories, many of them buried for a long time, start to come to the surface.
Each chapter begins by describing a button from the jar and the item of clothing that it came from or the reason it was bought. Each recollection is the starting point for a vividly described episode in the complicated history of Caroline's family. The events described stretch from 1935 to 1996, although most occur in the `60s, `70s and `80s, and Jennings' use of language is very evocative of time and place. Some of the events have national significance, others are much more personal. Some are tragic whilst the significance of others is not necessarily apparent at the time. What they have in common, however, is that all have consequences for the extended family in some shape or form.
I loved this book from the start. I felt I got to know the characters through the glimpses provided by the vignettes and it was a very difficult book to put down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not the Elizabeth Jennings a/k/a Lisa Marie Rice but a lovely story in any case 29 July 2013
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was expecting this to be a book by Lisa Marie rice but it soon became apparent it was another author. I really enjoyed the series of stories about a family history told thru the buttons cut off various family members clothes when they were worn out. It brought back memories of my own mothers button jar. I will definitely look for more books by this author.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A nicely done story of family 1 Feb 2014
By Gretchen Hirsch - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From a collection of buttons comes a collection of stories, all put together seamlessly in this novel of family and all that word encompasses: love, death, jealousy, understanding and misunderstanding, and estrangement and reconciliation. Jennings' graceful style makes the book a pleasure to read, and the intersecting stories and eras are carefully drawn and artfully realizes. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A compelling story about the intricacies of family relationships
 19 Nov 2013
By Laura Templeton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful book. Each chapter, introduced with a sketch of a button, centers around memories that surface as the main character, Caroline, sifts through the long-neglected button collection she inherited from her mother. Through the buttons, a compelling story unfolds about the intricacies of family relationships. A tragic event in the family’s past is revealed, along with the threads that connect it to Caroline’s future happiness. A debut novel from a talented southern author with a mature, literary voice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Explores family dynamics in quiet, heartfelt way 28 Jun 2013
By Roberta M. Keller - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the way Jennings used buttons to evoke the kinds of memories we all have about the complexities of our families. Her quiet voice reminds me on Ann Tyler. This is a book to savor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully written stories add up to complex, moving family saga 16 Jun 2013
By writermom - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These linked stories, which provide glimpses into the lives of the members of Caroline Tilghman's family over several decades, can each stand on their own. But taken together, they create a subtle story of complex family dynamics and the process of re-examination and renewal. The descriptions are lovely and finely detailed, and the overarching metaphor of the button jar is deftly used to illuminate the relationships between the women in this family. I enjoyed this book over the course of several evenings, and was sorry when it ended!
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