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Object Lessons Mass Market Paperback – Mar 22 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books; Reprint edition (March 22 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080410946X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804109468
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 9.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,707,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
EVER AFTER, WHENEVER SHE SMELLED THE PECULIAR ODOR of new construction, of pine planking and plastic plumbing pipes, she would think of that summer, think of it as the time of changes. Read the first page
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on May 27 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been meaning to read some of Anna Quindlan's work, and this one was at the libary, so I thought, why not? Well, all I can say is that if Quindlen wasn't a well known writer, this is the type of manuscript that an editor would toss into the trash.
Too many characters, too many POV, to the point where you really got them confused. No plot, no story. The cliches were enough to make you cry, as were the stereotyped characters. The mean and demanding family patriarch, the family feud because a member married someone who wasn't their own kind, the precocious 13 year old girl. None of these characters are really explained, or have any depth. For example, why does Connie start seeing another man? Why is Maggie intrigued with fire? Why is her cousin so mean? And what's with the nun, who was reading Jane Eyre? Whatever was that about?
I couldn't wait to return this trash to the library. I seriously thought about just telling the library I had lost it, so no one else would mistakenly take this out, thinking that the Quindlen name means its a decent read.
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By A Customer on Jan. 24 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yes, it's "that summer" for the young preteen girl when everything seems to change. She muddles through changing friendships, her parents' possible marriage problems, her grandfather's death (he's the controlling family patriarch) and her own feelings of right and wrong/morality. This was not a bad book, but I don't think it is Anna Quindlen's best book. I kept hoping for a great revelation or something to kind of wrap the story up, towards the end it just seemed to drift to a conclusion. Unfortunately, not much sets it apart from many other young girl "coming of age" stories out there.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are sufficient descriptions of the storyline of this book in previous reviews. There aren't too many characters IMO, and if the conflicts of the protagonist don't seem deeply examined, perhaps Ms. Quindlen should receive kudos for not writing a twelve/thirteen year old girl who has all the insights of an adult. We are, after all, seeing her conflicts through her eyes. It's a quick and easy read, and as it is written largely from the perspective of an adolescent, it is a bit like going back and re-reading a book from one's own adolescence, with the possible twist of also re-living one's own adolescence a bit. This book never made me cry, nor did it ever make me laugh out loud, so if you're looking for cathartic involvement, this may not be the book you're looking for. If you're looking for a quiet read that examines emotional transitions with some distance and objectivity, you're closer to the mark. The story's best moments are those which describe Maggie's times alone, which include some nice sense-memory descriptions and accurately portray the near-disembodied feelings of isolation of an adolescent girl. I was drawn to Maggie's parents, and while there is some nice development of her mother Connie (particularly with respect to her relationship to Maggie and her relationship to motherhood in general) I found myself at the end of the book without the corresponding insight into her father Tommy that I was looking for. The story is strangely simultaneously depressing and comforting- the resolution is that there are no real resolutions, and as Maggie's mother says, that things aren't good or bad, things just are.
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By K L Keaton on July 6 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the best book I have read in a long time. Many of my friends complained that it moved too slowly, but I attribute that slowness to the development of the characters. Although Maggie is the main character, I think of her as a catalyst to telling the "real" story: that of the metamorphasis of her family. Everyone comes to the point in their lives when they realize that their family is the the epitome of perfection, and this is the point in time when Maggie realizes this for her family, her friends, and herself. This is one of the few modern books I will keep in my personal library.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wanted to, I really did! But I just can't bring myself to do it. I read "One True Thing" and "Black and Blue" and loved them both. My copy of "Object Lessons" mentions B&B on it, which should have been a dead givaway that this was a weak fledgling effort first novel by the author, which it was. Oh, it had it's moments, but they were few and far between. Overall the feeling was just sadness bordering on depression, the kind of novels that were in abundance in the 70's. Perhaps that's when she wrote it. I would not recommend it to anyone.
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By Pamela on Jan. 7 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is clearly the work of an amateur; it reads as though it is Ms. Quindlen's first work, perhaps left unpublished since early adolescence (and with GOOD reason), and picked up in the early nineties by hungry publishing executives. It reads as though it tried to be a Young Adult book but was far too boring, so it was slightly retooled for adults. The problems are too simple; anyone, even a 12 year old, with the slightest bit of backbone could have broken free of Papa Scanlan's money-based power and lived a meaningful life. Such weak characters deserve no time pulled from the busy life of an avid reader. If you want to read Anna Quindlen at her best, pick up a copy of "Black and Blue". Don't waste your time with "Object Lessons".
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