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Book Title: A Fairly Conventional Woman|
The author of the book: Carol Shields
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 612 KB
Edition: Macmillan Canada
Date of issue: 1982
ISBN 13: 9780771597244
Read full description of the books:When I first heard of Happenstance: Two Novels in One About a Marriage in Transition, I thought it sounded gimmicky and that I'd never read it. Later, I decided to read all of Shields to see how she grew as an author, especially after liking her first novel, Small Ceremonies.
So, about a week or so ago, I read the original Happenstance (no subtitle), which is the husband's story of what happens to him during this time he and his wife are apart. This book is the wife's story of that same time, of her being away on a trip for the first time alone. Perhaps if I'd read these two the other way around (I followed the publication dates), I would feel about the husband's story the way I feel about the wife's -- that, yes, it does feel gimmicky, and that it was just ok.
If not for the 'task' I'd set myself, I would've abandoned this fairly early on and, for what it's worth, because I didn't, I did get to read the best writing, which comes near the end. I realize it's a novel of its time; and I basically liked the extended metaphor of quilt-making for writing; and though the longish boring speeches of some minor characters hold some humor, that doesn't mean they're not still boring.
Speaking of being of its time, I shouldn't even get started on the title, which I dislike, and the cover, which I despise. It's not even accurate -- the rose should be yellow and, a much worse error, the key should read "Court Arms," not the opposite. The hotel name is written a bunch of times in the text: did the illustrator not even skim the book?! ('Mistakes' like this have bothered me since I was a kid.) The cover may have influenced me before I'd even opened the book.
Sorry, book. You're not horrible; it's just what 2 stars means according to GR: it was ok.
Read information about the authorCarol Ann Shields was an American-born Canadian author. She is best known for her successful 1993 novel The Stone Diaries, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the Governor General's Award. Her novel Swann won the Best Novel Arthur Ellis Award in 1988.
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