I fear I shall not do Anna Quindlen justice today because I am in such a pissy mood, but I'll try in spite of everything that's wrong.
Let us begin by traveling back in time to Anna Quindlen's first two novels:
One True Thing
I find both novels very moving, but it's evident (to me, at least), that while Object Lessons is an excellent first novel, One True Thing comes from a novelist who has really developed her craft.
In Object Lessons, young Maggie Scanlan comes of age while dealing with a controlling grandfather, a put upon grandmother who is extremely concerned with how things look, a perpetually pregnant mom, a father who is trying to squirm out from under his dad's thumb, and "friends."
Maggie is living through the summer of losing her best friend. Haven't so many of us been through that? I had a best friend from sixth through eighth grade and in ninth grade, all of a sudden she wasn't my friend anymore. I made other friends during ninth grade and when we moved on to high school for tenth grade, they had all dumped me. I had no one with whom to eat lunch, so I often wandered the school alone during lunch time, ducking into hallways and behind lockers, trying not to be seen.
Anna Quindlen does a great job of capturing how difficult and confusing life is for Maggie Scanlan.
In One True Thing, an adult daughter is expected to stay at home and be her mother's caregiver when the family learns Mom has cancer. Ellen Gulden resents giving up her life in New York, her job, her everything, but she does it to please her pompous ass father and learns a great deal about her mother, who makes their mother/daughter time a moment of bonding.
But the good times really do last only a moment before Kate Gulden is so ill that she's able to do very little.
I can also relate to this novel very well because I gave up everything for a pompous ass and now it's too late for me.
One True Thing was made into a movie, which I don't recommend even though it stars Meryl Streep as Kate, Renee Zellweger as Ellen, and William Hurt as Pompous Ass. The movie does not capture the spirit of the novel and the end is changed, which really messes the whole thing up. Blah blah blah
Happy Reading, and I hope I'll be a little more cheerful tomorrow.
Infinities of love and words,