Bliss, Remembered

Bliss, Remembered

4.0 5
by Frank Deford
     
 

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At the 1936 Berlin Olympics the beautiful Sydney Stringfellow begins an intense love affair with a German but the affair abruptly ends when political forces tear them apart.

Overview

At the 1936 Berlin Olympics the beautiful Sydney Stringfellow begins an intense love affair with a German but the affair abruptly ends when political forces tear them apart.

Editorial Reviews

Associated Press
Plenty of people know Frank Deford as an award-winning sportswriter or the guy with the loud outfits on HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," but who knew he had a soft spot for Nicholas Sparks' novels?... Deford never lets readers forget he's writing a love story. All the Nazis, FBI agents and 100-meter backstrokes are just grace notes as the old woman sings the song of how she met, lost and again found her soul mate.
Book Bitch Blog
I was shocked. I was shocked that I was so drawn into this tale about a swimmer, the Olympics, Germany, a summer romance, a love gone bad, the early days of World War 2...was shocked by ending too. At that point, it's all secrets, intrigue, the war, and one very big surprise...5/5 stars.
Kirkus Reviews
Sportswriter and novelist Deford (The Entitled: A Tale of Modern Baseball, 2008, etc.) returns to fiction with a love story set at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and stateside during World War II. The author scored his greatest success with the 1981 football-themed novel Everybody's All American, which was made into a movie starring Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange. In this, his first novel since The Other Adonis (2001), he combines sports and fiction once again-this time focusing on the world of Olympic swimming. Sydney Stringfellow is an 18-year-old American swimmer who falls into an affair with German Horst Gerhardt while at the 1936 Games. Sydney returns to the States and later receives a breakup letter from Horst; heartbroken, she moves on with her life and gets married to an American-only to later learn a secret about Horst, eventually leading Sydney to commit a terrible act. The story is told by a cancer-stricken 86-year-old Sydney to her daughter Teddy in 2004. Teddy narrates the novel in the present day, remembering her mother's tale and interjecting her own reactions to her mother's shocking secrets. Sydney's recollections, though at times melodramatic, are engaging, particularly when Deford portrays real-life historical figures-such as Eleanor Holm, the talented and confident American swimmer who was suspended from the 1936 competition, and Leni Riefenstahl, the brilliant and chilly German filmmaker. He also effectively invokes the atmosphere of 1936 Nazi Germany as World War II loomed. But the framing device of the novel can be distracting, and some may find the modern-day scenes less interesting than the glamorous flashback material. An uneven but entertaining historical love story.
From the Publisher
Praise for Bliss, Remembered

"I've long been a huge fan of Frank Deford's writing, and this wonderful novel is further confirmation that he is much more than one of America's best sports writers- he is one of our country's best writers, period." — Ron Rash, Author of Serena

"One of the greatest writers of our time, Frank Deford has done it again. This book is compelling, insightful and Frank even shows us his romantic side. I didn't just like it, I loved it." —Billie Jean King

"A work of enthralling historical fictionS Deford slyly teaches readers something about 1930s-1940s history while also writing convincingly about love and war. Sydney is a spirited narrator whose fictional memoir is sprinkled with innumerable colloquialisms and many reflective of the era. HIGHLY RECOMMEND:ED" —Library Journal (Starred Review)

"If you've always enjoyed Frank Deford's sportswriting, you're in for a surprising, blissful departure with Bliss, Remembered. Sure, there's sports- Sydney Stringfellow is a beautiful young swimmer, good enough to be an Olympian. But the year is 1936, the Games are in Berlin, and Deford's story takes us through Nazi Germany, heroes and villains real and imagined, love, lust, heartbreak, and heroism. There's a hell of an ending, too. Who knew that Frank Deford , apart from everything else, is a crazy romantic?" — Mary Carillo

"Plenty of people know Frank Deford as an award-winning sportswriter or the guy with the loud outfits on HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," but who knew he had a soft spot for Nicholas Sparks' novels?... Deford never lets readers forget he's writing a love story. All the Nazis, FBI agents and 100-meter backstrokes are just grace notes as the old woman sings the song of how she met, lost and again found her soul mate." — Associated Press

"Compelling and, from start to finish, filled with serpentine twists." -San Antonio Express-News

"[Deford] is the master of elegant simplicitySstoryteller extraordinaire" — Connecticut Post

"[Deford] effectively invokes the atmosphere of the 1936 Nazi Germany as World War II loomedSan entertaining historical love story." Kirkus

"I was shocked. I was shocked that I was so drawn into this tale about a swimmer, the Olympics, Germany, a summer romance, a love gone bad, the early days of World War 2...was shocked by ending too. At that point, it's all secrets, intrigue, the war, and one very big surprise-5/5 stars." — Book Bitch Blog AUTHOR BIO: Frank Deford is senior writer for Sports Illustrated, author, commentator and correspondent.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590203590
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
07/08/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Mary Carillo
If you've always enjoyed Frank Deford's sportswriting, you're in for a surprising, blissful departure with Bliss, Remembered. Sure, there's sports- Sydney Stringfellow is a beautiful young swimmer, good enough to be an Olympian. But the year is 1936, the Games are in Berlin, and Deford's story takes us through Nazi Germany, heroes and villains real and imagined, love, lust, heartbreak, and heroism. There's a hell of an ending, too. Who knew that Frank Deford , apart from everything else, is a crazy romantic?
Ron Rash
I've long been a huge fan of Frank Deford's writing, and this wonderful novel is further confirmation that he is much more than one of America's best sports writers- he is one of our country's best writers, period. (Ron Rash, Author of Serena)
Billie Jean King
One of the greatest writers of our time, Frank Deford has done it again. This book is compelling, insightful and Frank even shows us his romantic side. I didn't just like it, I loved it.

Meet the Author

Frank Deford is senior writer for Sports Illustrated, author, commentator and correspondent.

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Bliss, Remembered 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was read for an upcoming book club meeting. The book continued to have surprises all the way through. Any mother could identify with the mother in the story trying to tell the whole story of herself, her romance and marriage before she dies. Her story was captivating and made the reader want to read the entire book at one sitting. I have not read books by this author before, but I plan to read more by Frank Deford.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, surprises at every turn. Definitely not predictable. I highly recommend.
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