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Monday, October 23, 2006

Anna Quindlen and One True Thing

I have to chuckle sometimes at the manner in which I stumble upon authors to read. Two years ago, I was trying to make sure we had an author profile at Book Help Web for every letter of the alphabet. When I got to Q, I discovered Anna Quindlen.

Within a week, I came across one of her books, Black and Blue, at a used book sale. Remembering all the raves about her books that I read while researching her, I bought the book. It was immediately engrossing and highly suspenseful. Since then, she has been on my list to read more of (and perhaps even to get around to reviewing Black and Blue one of these days).

In the mean time, one of Book Help Web's contributors (and also the publisher of Cooking Help Web) gave BHW a review on one of Quindlen's other books: One True Thing. She praises Quindlen's writing, but reported that she found it far too dark to enjoy:

Anna Quindlen is a great writer. I read her book Black and Blue and thought that was a good piece concerning spouse abuse. In One True Thing, I think she takes it too far in looking at the dark side of the world, thought the writing is still top notch. Perhaps it was just too soon after losing my Grandma. But, I don't think I'd ever want to read the book, and I can't imagine anyone I'd pass this along to. I feel tense just trying to write the review. I'd call the book very troubling and while some folks call that art, I should have just called it quits when I figured out the story (but I kept hoping right up to the end for some ray of hope).

In late August, Quindlen released her latest novel, Rise and Shine. It's a book that enjoyed time on the bestseller lists, but has received mixed reviews. For myself, I think I'll try to catch some of her previous novels before reading her latest.

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