Gossip (Lib)(CD) Audio CD
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“[E]nthralling . . . triumphant and true.” (Boston Globe)
“[C]ompellingly drawn…A true New England novel, charming but a bit chilly.” (Kirkus Reviews on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN)
“[C]ompelling…Beautifully written and told from varying points of view, this sweeping saga will strike a chord with anyone who loves to read about family. Four stars.” (Romantic Times on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN)
“A great drama, cinematically told . . . [Gutcheon] writes elegantly about the complex bonds of family.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“A remarkably rich and emotionally jarring novel filled ultimately with hope.” (Pages Magazine)
“Editor’s Choice.” (Denver Post on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN)
“Good-Bye and Amen is a tour de force of structure and voice. Gutcheon had me at the first sentence and I didn’t put the book down until I had finished it. Marvelous and memorable.” (Karen Joy Fowler, author of Wit’s End and The Jane Austen Book Club)
“The book reads seamlessly…Gutcheon is a novelist with a poetic grasp of the language and a keen eye for the quirks and foibles that make us human. ” (San Antonio Express-News on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN)
“A good oldfashioned, allencompassing read, with tears and smiles guaranteed.” (Library Journal)
“Beth Gutcheon has something real to say . . . There is a world of entertainment in Domestic Pleasures.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“An endearing urban fairytale filled with surprises.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“The charms of Domestic Pleasures--its wit, its sharp dialogue, its perfectly tuned characters--tackle you early on and keep you pinned, turning pages, through the last, wonderfully satisfying scene.” (Michael Dorris)
“She has absolutely perfect pitch when it comes to capturing the lives of these remarkable women. This seems to be the quintessential American woman’s tale. I loved it.” (Anne Rivers Siddons)
“Lively and engaging...Ms. Gutcheon knows her craft.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The importance of connections between women is highlighted in this story of friendship and support among a group of five women.” (Booklist)
“An unpretentious tale of freindship among the well-heeled that is both a page-turner and day-brightener.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The dialogue is convincing and well-paced. The suspense is strung out for maximum effect. The images are vivid and uncluttered This [is] a book that is tough to put down.” (USA Today)
“The taut facility with which Gutcheon twines the two stories creates real suspense While Gutcheon cannily evokes the ephemerality of passion, she also evinces, with stark and elemental resonance, the way love and hatred shape lives.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“A graceful and elegant novel that explores the unintended damage simmering hostility and sharing confidences can bring, Gossip builds to a stunning and devastating finish.” (Booklist on GOSSIP)
“This compelling story is full of emotionsheartache, love, frustrations, and even a generous dose of humor. But it is the compelling sense of friendship and loyatly between the characters that is the star attraction of this book, and Gutcheon proves her mastery as a consummate storyteller with the spellbinding novel.” (Ventura County Star on GOSSIP)
“GOSSIP is compelling story full of many emotions, heartache, love, frustrations, and even a generous dose of humor.…Gutcheon proves her mastery as a consummate storyteller with this spellbinding novel.” (Fresh Fiction on GOSSIP)
“[Gutcheon] writes poignantly, but with a sharp comic edge, about female friendship, the bleakness of fate and the disappointments fo lvoe; and her grasp of the profound connection between clothes and emotion--a theme inexplicably neglected in the moderl novel--recalls Nancy Mitford at her more seriously frivolous.” (The Sunday Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
The owner of a small high-end dress shop on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Loviah "Lovie" French is the one to whom certain women turn when they want to dish in the dressing room—including Lovie's two best friends since boarding school, Dinah Wainwright and Avis Metcalf.
Outspoken Dinah made a name for herself as a columnist covering New York's most fabulous; shy, proper Avis rose to prominence in the art world with her quiet manners and hard work. Despite their deep affection for Lovie, they have been allergic to each other for decades, uneasy acquaintances who are unwillingly bound to each other when Dinah's favorite son and Avis's only daughter fall in love. At the center of their orbit is Lovie, who knows everyone's secrets and manages them as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn out—a fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story of her two friends is told through the eyes of Loviah, as she goes from awkward teen to matronly godmother. And it is the term godparent that the title gossip is derived from. In the book the word gossip was a historical term for the godparents, as it would be their job to talk about the godchild over the years. Gossip was a good thing discussing a child you both loved. We see this talk between Loviah and her wild roommate Dinah, always the contrarian; and between Avis, the older more prim and proper girl.
The two opposing friends endure each other for the sake of their love of Loviah; and ultimately they are fused together, for better and for worse, through their association for her. I see this book as Loviah's endless struggle to love both her friends without disparaging the other. To balance their eccentricities and walk the highroad; to be a good friend.
What is never explicitly discussed in the book, but is central is how Loviah must have walked her own path through life. A scholarship girl, who works in a service capacity to the society women, who also is having an open affair with a married man; her life must have been subject to the small minded gossipers who definitely did not have her best interests at heart. Her experiences must have refined her so much that she is able to hold her head up high, to proudly be a friend to those around her.
One of my favorite quotes in life is to treat all those you meet as damaged in some way, having secret struggles, and most of the time you would be right. Loviah's is a life that has seen a lot of struggles, yet she triumphs as a friend. Through all the vicissitudes of life, she is there for the ones she loves, even if they do not necessarily care for each other. It should be noted that this book finishes with a bang a little out of step with the first 85%, but in a good way. Sort of sprinting for the tape at the end of a race. A great story well worth reading.
It's probably best to just see this book as the story of three women who meet at boarding school in 1960, and who continue to associate with each other in New York up until their sixties. Lovie Walker, who owns a dress shop in Manhattan, is the narrator and not a very good one at that, at least not until the end of the book. That is what is so odd about Gossip: A Novel. Most of the story is told in a very blah way . . . blah, blah, blah. Then, towards the end, something shocking happens, and the book begins to seem like a totally different book--a much, much better one. It's like Ms. Gutcheon suddenly became a much better writer, and the story was just beginning. Only, the story was actually ending. And when it does end, the reader is left wondering why was the story told in such a blah, blah, blah way throughout most of the book?
The book ends with a tragic crime that is foreshadowed heavily throughout the storyline. There are some interesting subplots along the way and the best thing about the book is Gutcheon's portrait of upper class Manhattan life from roughly 1960 to sometime near the present. This is not Beth Gutcheon's best book but it is a quick and well written story told with intelligence that touches on some intriguing themes in regards to friendship, confidences, gossip and cruelty.