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State Of The Union Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099468298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099468295
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"State of the Union has the feel of a handgun primed for Russian roulette. The climax, when past and future collide, is explosive" (The Times)

"The story is sit-up-until-3am readable, the wide-ranging cast of highly individual characters is beautifully handled" (Sunday Times)

"Kennedy is a complete genius when it comes to understanding the minds of stylish but troubled women. What's more, he does so enthrallingly and movingly" (Daily Mirror)

"Extremely clever and consistently engaging" (Independent on Sunday)

"A mesmerising page-turner" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

A compelling, gripping novel from the No.1 bestselling author of Five Days, The Moment and The Pursuit of Happiness.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Douglas Kennedy is a brilliant author, leaving withdrawal symptoms on finishing each of his books and 'State of the Union' is no different. There are few books I take up and read in one sitting and this is definitely one!
As with 'A Special Relationship' he writes from the female perspective, this time starting off with a much gentler pace in Part One of the book describing life for a young couple in a eight year period (1996-1973). The heroine, does not seem very 'heroine' like' initially, the ordinariness of the life she chooses to live in comparison to the changing times in the US make a riveting contrast.
It makes delightful reading to see Hannah's attempts to live a life different from her parent's, particularly her mother, but in the end she can not stop history repeating itself, while she goes about her life avoiding it. I had to stop myself and figure had Douglas Kennedy lived my life, but can only believe that we all at some level rebel against our parent's beliefs and perceived wrongdoings to find ourselves following their well worn footsteps. Hannah's relationship with her father was just as fascinating as that with her mother, and not as perfect as wanted to fool herself into believing. The Oedipus complex is in full swing here with the dawning awareness as she becomes a mother herself that life is not always black and white.
Her marriage she feels will provide a safe harbour from the complexities of her relationship with her parents, provides too safe a port, you can almost sense her need to get out, and those standing on the sidelines of her life knowing it was not the place to be. As a reader you want to shake her, make her listen to her mother's wisdom, knowing full well you did not listen to your own mother's wisdom when you were that age.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating read with many memorable characters and authentic background details of the time. I also appreciated Kennedy's philosophical comments that punctuate the text, his main hypothesis being that we all build our own prisons and follow the inherent rules. Loved the book's ending too - the protagonist is at last able to live her own life and make up for so much that she missed in her chaotic past. Well worth reading!
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Format: Paperback
'The best book I have read since the last book I read' sounds like faint praise until you take into account the last book I read was also by Kennedy, and they are the two best best books I read during 2007. (Out of three - Ha! No, I jest...) Fantastic characters and a plot that feels pacy without actually being so, thanks to the skill of the writer in making every paragraph interesting. I nearly didn't buy this because, on reading the back cover, it sounds like a 'woman's book' (no offence, ladies) and it sat in my house for nearly a year before I gave it a go. Excellent stuff. The best, in fact since Zoe Heller's 'Notes on a Scandal' and possibly even better than that.

Gotta love the review of the woman from Vermont who picks holes in Kennedy's geographical accuracy and suggests we'd all enjoy the book a lot more if it was tightened up. I seriously doubt his target audience was limited to residents of one state who have a working knowledge of its university, dear!
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Douglas Kennedy and I found it very easy to read from a feminine perspective of continuous guilt and self-imposed responsibility for everyone else's faults.
Ok, in this case the guilt is justified - a 48 hour fling and the subsequent guilt which convinces Hannah that she is staying with her husband as atonement. As the years go by their relationship is constantly underated as the 'price' she paid, and never seen clearly for what it was.
Then the horrible coincidence of a missing daughter and a publicity-seeking author combine to expose all her secrets.
Who among us can truely say they have no little misdemeanour to hide from the tabloid press - something that could be twisted and interpreted negatively? Not me!
An interesting storyline which tunrs a gentle light on our hungry media for whom truth and fairness are not the only dishes on the menu.
Definiteley summer reading - a page-turner with touching insight into the female psyche - but some underdeveloped characters and dead ends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Douglas Kennedy fan. His writing style is addictive, smooth and intelligent. This book had a lot of political back-story and references which I did struggle with occasionally but once the plot developed, I was hooked. A strong ending and a real page turner despite a slow-ish beginning. 600+ pages of fantastic.
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By A Customer on 30 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Like the previous reviewer, I have read all of Douglas Kennedys Books..... and couldnt wait to get my hands on his latest...I was hugely disappointed! This book is so far fetched..... and I never warmed to his main character Hannah..........Part one is OK , but when it goes forward to 2003, it really loses the plot! Way too long, tedious........Hannahs daugher disappearing and the fallout from what she did 30 years ago.......extremely far fetched! I also thought his last book, A special relationship ...was not great, again very unbelieveable...I think he has fallen into the trap that so many writers do, start churning out books to keep their publishers happy !
I loved his earlier stuff but judging by his last two efforts.. I would not buy another of his books
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