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If You Lived Here: A Novel
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If You Lived Here: A Novel

3.6 38
by Dana Sachs
 

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Forty-two-year-old Shelley Marino's desperate yearning for a child has led her to one of the only doors still open to her: foreign adoption. It is a decision that strains and ultimately shatters her relationship with her husband, Martin—the veteran of an Asian war who cannot reconcile what Shelley wants with what he knows about the world. But it unites

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If You Lived Here 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was drawn to Dana Sachs¿ novel ¿If You Lived Here¿ because one of its settings is Wilmington, North Carolina, where my son lives. But the moment I picked up this wonderful book and started to read, I felt myself drawn into a world much more complex than any locale. The two main characters, Shelley Marino, a mortician¿s wife who desperately longs for a child, and Mai, a Vietnamese entrepreneur who owns an Asian grocery in Wilmington and who fled Vietnam and carried a desperate secret with her, have become as real to me as my own family. Both women and the other characters who people this novel walk off the pages and stand before me in flesh and blood. And the story Ms. Sachs tells exposes their hearts in a way that very few books ever have for me. And I am an avid reader who, at the age of 60, has a hard time finding anything new under the sun! Today, it takes a very rare and exceptional book to move me. Ms. Sachs is a wordsmith beyond compare. Not only did I love the path she carved for me, but I found myself savoring the way she used words to exactly tap and reveal her character¿s souls. Shelley and Mai are two very strong women who, despite different cultures, forge a wonderful friendship which carries them both on a journey to Vietnam and on a journey of healing and discovery. I simply opened my own heart to them and, while reading their story, I felt suspended from my own life. That is how compelling this book is. I also received a special bonus while immersed in this story. I am old enough to have lived through the years of our war with Vietnam, and I had a front row seat to its horrors on television newscasts. My myopic view of Vietnam hasn¿t changed since I was a teenager. In fact, I had put ¿Vietnam¿ aside as a memory and as a country which no longer plagues us. Ms. Sachs, with her beautiful words and her heart¿s investment in her story, has changed my vision! Her story is so well told and so consuming that she has managed to draw me in another direction entirely. I plumbed the depths of two women¿s lives. I struggled with Shelley¿s husband Martin until he finally opened up and told his story. And when Shelley and Mai and Martin and other characters forgave each other and themselves, I wept and forgave too. But while doing so, I awoke to the story of Vietnam. The flickering black-and-white images of destruction and human pathos from my teen years have permanently been replaced. I have now discovered, through Ms. Sachs¿ eyes, a Vietnamese people with beautiful souls and a Vietnam of greens and reds and yellows and blues as palpable as the country right outside my own front door. What a gift! What a release! Tonight I will settle down into my pillows and start reading Ms. Sachs¿ memoir of her time in Vietnam, ¿The House on Dream Street!¿ I am now hungry to hear more!
holly0120 More than 1 year ago
I originally picked this book for the location as my daughter lives near Wilmington and I am very famaliar with the city. I was also interested since we have an adopted son. The main thing I liked is the characters " rang true ". Both women were strong and independent, but at the same time knew the importance of the marriage relationship. There was no belittleing of Martin or his concerns, but an understanding of why he felt the way he did. A very good book. Thanks for your insight into the beautiful country of Vietnam and the kindness of the people there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first third of this novel takes place in North Carolina and is a pleasure to read. It introduces some interesting people, starts engaging plots, and is occasionally quite funny. The rest of the novel takes place in Vietnam and is simply and absolutely wonderful. Partly, I got more invested in the characters and the delightful turns of their intertwined stories. But equally important are the off-hand descriptions of Vietnamese culture that make everything so vivid. I actually hoped for traffic on my bus-ride home so I could read a little more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two sides of a story woven together beautifully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So happy with this book it was a lovely story.
mjmutch More than 1 year ago
I so loved this book.  I could barely put it down to go to sleep, or fix dinner, or really do anything.   It is a slow sweet book about love and friendship, second chances and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I empathasized with the main character because I adopted my son internationally. It was also interesting to follow along with Mai and her journey back to her homeland. I loved the connection they established.
Pauline-Dow More than 1 year ago
I purchased this as a bargain book and now it is being passed to all my friends. It is well written and captures your heart from start to end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good reading from beginning to end. I didn't want it to end ---- but it couldn't have ended better then it did - it was perfect! I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I simply adored this novel. An interesting, different story, with believable, realistic characters. I was moved to tears in certain parts, and become totally emeshed in the tale. A fresh, new author, I can't wait for her to write another novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. Grabbed you from the beginning. Author has a wonderful easy to read style and I look forward to more books from her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Second read kn this book. Very good
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