Customer Reviews for

Child of My Heart

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

outstanding

Outstanding! Wonderfully put together.

posted by Anonymous on September 6, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Child of My Heart

It is the gentle telling of a Long Island summer in the '60s by a fifteen year old girl. She is a careful observer. The book is a little like watching grass grow, but lovely grass. Theresa's interactions with the children she babysits, the animals and the adults in he...
It is the gentle telling of a Long Island summer in the '60s by a fifteen year old girl. She is a careful observer. The book is a little like watching grass grow, but lovely grass. Theresa's interactions with the children she babysits, the animals and the adults in her world, especially the older men as they tentatively approach this beautiful girl, unfold with love. Her love and caring for her 8 year cousin who is dying is poignant. It is the kind of book teenage girls could like and, hopefully, learn from. Great summer reading or listening.

posted by aquilagold on July 26, 2009

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Child of My Heart

    It is the gentle telling of a Long Island summer in the '60s by a fifteen year old girl. She is a careful observer. The book is a little like watching grass grow, but lovely grass. Theresa's interactions with the children she babysits, the animals and the adults in her world, especially the older men as they tentatively approach this beautiful girl, unfold with love. Her love and caring for her 8 year cousin who is dying is poignant. It is the kind of book teenage girls could like and, hopefully, learn from. Great summer reading or listening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2003

    outstanding

    Outstanding! Wonderfully put together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    A bit slow and predictable.

    A bit slow and predictable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    A Shame...

    Child of My Heart is beautifully written. The prose is absolutely lyrical, and there are some moments of the book that are both charming and haunting. Now that that's been said, I have to mention it's flaws. Let's start with the main character. Theresa is extremely beautiful, extremely good, extremely clever, and extremely endearing to all around her whether child, adult or animal. And she has no problem explaining this - she's the novel's narrator. It can be extremely grating on the reader's nerves. It was on mine. I found our girl both self-absorbed and on the shallow side. Not to mention a very unrealistic teenager. It grows more unbelievable from there. In fact, there's at least one hard- to- accept plot twist which is genuinely, deeply disturbing. Pick up the book at your own risk. You've been warned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    Lovely novel blurs 'rules' of writing

    I will recommend Child of My Heart to my 14-year-old daughter for a number of reasons: for it's sympathetically-drawn characters; for its meditation on the nature of caring; for its insight into the sometimes not common-sensical inner life of emotional transition; and maybe most of all, for its rich yet spare use of language to create these characters and setting. These same qualities attracted me¿a middle-aged guy. Yes, the protagonist, 15-year-old Theresa, and her 8-year-old cousin, Daisy¿both complement and foil to Theresa¿sometimes reveal wisdom beyond their years (a la Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird). This device moves the novel beyond pure photorealism, although the many characters of the small community of the book are mostly sympathetically fleshed out, to incorporate some aspects of fable. Interweaving the archetypal into the personal, as Ms. McDermott has done so well and almost imperceptibly here, serves only to offer the reader an added layer of meaning to consider.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Overrated and Disappointing

    I found the character of Theresa (the 15 yr. old beautiful, self-confident, totally capable, teller of the tale, to be very flawed. She is self-absorbed with her charms, and untrusting and disparaging of adults not in a way which is typical for teen-agers. The development of the young girl Flora is completely unreal. She is still in a crib, but sometimes says things that are way too adult for her. The story dragged and I pushed on with it just to see why it was so highly rated. Would not recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2004

    This novel never becomes real.

    This novel is beautifully written, but many of the characters are too unbelievable. The main character is lauded for her beauty, rather than her sensitivity. The story does not reach a place where her inside beauty and naivete are satisfyingly portrayed (either positively or negatively). For this reason I would not recommend this book...especially not to teenage girls who receive too much unreal influences about beauty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    One of the most beautiful novels I have ever read

    Alice McDermott's achingly beautiful story of a summer will lure you in and never let go. There are passages and images so remarkably written that they take your breath away. I was as enchanted by Theresa as her little charges in the Hamptons. I was reluctant to leave the vividly etched and beautifully evoked world of Theresa and Daisy Mae. These characters will live on in my memory always.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    Moving, ultimately incredible

    The magical world 15 year old Theresa creates for cousin Daisy Mae and for us keeps us wanting more, just like the parade of scruffy creatures, human and animal, that follow Theresa seeking salvation and healing. She provides that but her goodness transcends all reality; she is much too aware, too clever for the dim adults and adoring children she leads around. Is she a goddess, fairy godmother or Pied Piper? A marvelous read, nevertheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    Disappointed!

    I wish I never read this book. When I picked up the book and read the first 30 or so pages it seemed like a sweet and touching coming of age story. In the end I found the main character really foolish and unbelievable. To imagine a 15 year old being sexually attracted to a 70 year old married man, is ridiculous. And her stupidity about not telling someone about her cousin's condition even when a doctor told her to. This was not the excellent, caring, and intelligent baby and petsitter that I knew early in the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    statutory rape

    As a psychologist I did not believe in the character of Theresa for a minute. She is portryed as this all knowing, all caring beautiful 15 year old. Where are her friends? where are her age appropriate desire to be with peers? I did not believe a girl that age could be attracted to a 70 year old alcoholic man. And folks 15 year old girl and 70 year old man is known as statutory rape. why does this nuturing girl not tell an adult when she sees her cousin has a medical condition and when a doctor even alerts her. I would call that selfish, not caring. There are some nice portraits in here. The neighbor, Petey, is really more like a real kid. I hate novels which don't really get that kid thing right but only idealize them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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