Customer Reviews for

One True Thing

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

a reviewer

After reading Black and Blue by the same author and thoroughly enjoying it, I decided to give One True Thing a try. From the first page, I was drawn into Ellen's story. Like Ellen, I love my mother but often have a difficult time understanding her, and I am not very c...
After reading Black and Blue by the same author and thoroughly enjoying it, I decided to give One True Thing a try. From the first page, I was drawn into Ellen's story. Like Ellen, I love my mother but often have a difficult time understanding her, and I am not very close to her. Reading this book helped me to appreciate my mother even more. I am not a very emotional person, and I am not a big crier, but after finishing One True Thing I used up almost a whole box of tissues. For anyone that is browsing the shelves and looking for a good book to read, One True Thing is a perfect choice. I have read a lot of books, and this is one of the best books that I've ever read. Anna Quindlen has an amazing ability to write a story that is interesting, characters that you can relate to, and themes and morals that really make you think.

posted by Anonymous on August 23, 2000

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

Stop writing overview instead of just a review!

Im tired of people writing what the book is about! Just tell us if its a good or bad read!

posted by 5774388 on December 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2001

    The Emotional Journey of a Mother and her Daughter

    For mothers and daughters everywhere, Anna Quindlen¿s One True Thing is an easy book to fall in love with. This novel describes and depicts the lives of two individuals in their struggle and journey of harmonious growth. The journey of Ellen and her mother is one that most of us know, or will come to know. Through tears and laughter, Quindlen touches us all through the novel¿s central theme ?what it means to have and be a mother. The relationship between a mother and her daughter is much like the connection between vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup; in many ways the two are different and do not need one another, but all the same, they complement each other to form a wonderful bond. In Anna Quindlen¿s One True Thing, the mother-daughter relationship is examined extensively. Quindlen focuses on issues such as the interdependency and role reversal that take place between a mother and her daughter during complicated life experiences. Empathy, sympathy, and the formation of a bond are all aspects of a mother-daughter relationship that come into effect when times are unfortunate. As complex as mother-daughter relationships tend to be, there is always a little indication of love and family ties and responsibility that hold the two together. Personality conflicts between mother and daughter can result in a loose, underdeveloped relationship. In One True Thing, Quindlen emphasizes the difference in Ellen and Kate's personalities through the use of flashback and simple examples of the two handling comparable situations in differently. The mother-daughter relationship portrayal in Hope Floats exemplifies a similar situation in which Birdee and her mother have extreme personality differences. Both pieces of work take place during life-altering struggles, and it is during these unfortunate times that discrepancies must be worked out, as mother and daughter must adjust to their newly conditioned lifestyles. In times of difficult, life-altering circumstances, it is possible for an interdependency to develop between a mother and her daughter. For example, in Hope Floats, Birdee has been humiliated by her husband, which results in a divorce, forcing her to return to live at her mother's house. Birdee and her mother are particularly dependent on one another; however, it is for diverse reasons that each individual's dependency subsists. Birdee needs her mother for the essentials in life, such as food and shelter, but more importantly, she needs her mother's support and sympathy. Her mother, on the other hand, simply needs someone whom she can take care, other than herself (Hope Floats). Similar to the situation in Hope Floats, Ellen and Kate of One True Thing are dependent of one another; Kate needs her daughter to take care of her as she struggles with her terminal illness, while Ellen consciously and instinctively needs the existence of a mother in her life. A significant aspect of the relationship between a mother and her daughter is the issue of bonding. Some mother-daughter bonds are established at birth and strengthened through time. Quindlen, however, focuses on the lack of closeness between mother and daughter, and the bonding that occurs as a result of forced time spent together. Bonding is indicative of many feelings, such as compassion, empathy, and the existence of both contentment and despair. In One True Thing, Ellen is forced to become her mother's caretaker. Although this causes conflicts with her personal desires, Ellen reluctantly remains faithful to her mother, and in due time, a closeness develops between the two. The initial occurrence of bonding between Ellen and Kate takes place when Ellen takes time to listen to her mother's stories. Shortly after, they watch movies together, which produces mutual tears, and in heart brings them closer together. Sympathy, an important factor in the process of bonding during difficult circumstances, strengthens mother-daughter relationships. Ellen b

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2000

    Learn to appreciate love

    I actually read this book after I had seen the movie. I think we as humans think we have all the time in the world, but the sad truth is that we don't, and we really don't appreciate the depth of a mother's love until it is too late. This book brings that to the table very openly and honestly. It forces you to think, and re-evaluate your relationship with your mother, even others you share your life with.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is the first book I read about Anna Quindlen. It is very different from other books I read in the past. Ellen followed her dream of becoming a journalist in one of the most popular magazines.She had a boyfriend and a best friend. It seem she had every thing she ever dream of. What gives the novel a twist is when Kate Ellen's mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellen leaves her great job and everything she had to take care of her sick mother. Ellen viewed her mother as the one who did everything for them. She really didnt know her mother very well and she thought she was more like her dad. This novel talks about a mother and daughter relationship and makes you think of what type of relationship you have with your mom. It makes you appreciate her more while she is still alive. I recommend this book to people that enjoy real life stories and classics. At the end you need to find out who was responsible of Kates dead if it was Ellen, dad or Kate. it seem like a real mistery.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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