Cleaning Nabokov's House

( 17 )

Overview

When Barb Barrett walks out on her loveless marriage, she doesn’t realize she will lose everything: her home, her financial security, even her beloved children. Approaching forty with her life in shambles and no family or friends to turn to, Barb must now discover what it means to rely on herself in a stark new emotional landscape.

With only a questionable business plan in hand, Barb is determined to reinvent herself. She moves into a house once occupied by the literary genius ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.94
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (37) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $1.99   
  • Used (30) from $1.99   
Cleaning Nabokov's House: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.66
BN.com price

Overview

When Barb Barrett walks out on her loveless marriage, she doesn’t realize she will lose everything: her home, her financial security, even her beloved children. Approaching forty with her life in shambles and no family or friends to turn to, Barb must now discover what it means to rely on herself in a stark new emotional landscape.

With only a questionable business plan in hand, Barb is determined to reinvent herself. She moves into a house once occupied by the literary genius Vladimir Nabokov, author of the notorious Lolita. She discovers what could be Nabokov’s last unpublished manuscript and from there begins a personal journey that is deliciously romantic, darkly comic, and wise.

Written in elegant prose and illuminated by sharp humor and wit, Cleaning Nabokov’s House offers a new vision of modern love and a reminder that it is never too late to find loyalty to our truest selves.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Daniels is warmly funny and audacious in this shrewd and saucy mix of family drama, gender discord, sexual healing, and high literature; a raucous yet sensitive tale of one quirky woman’s struggle to overcome the lowest of low self-esteem to get motherhood and love right.” Booklist
Publishers Weekly
An odd mix of silly, ridiculous, and inspiring, Daniels's charming if scattered debut follows the unlikely course of Barb Barrett, numb and adrift after losing custody of her children. In her rented upstate New York house where Vladimir Nabokov once lived, Barb finds a sheaf of index cards, a possible unfinished Nabokov manuscript about Babe Ruth. Her efforts to get the book evaluated and published are the first steps out of her endearingly depressive hibernation, introducing her to literary agent Margie and handsome carpenter Greg. When the manuscript is judged not to be Nabokov's, the story takes a questionable, wacky turn, as Barb opens a cathouse staffed by athletes from the local college to service the unfulfilled women of her small town. This endeavor, of course, provides the funds for her to mount a new fight for her children, the self-esteem to begin a relationship, and the confidence to find a fulfilling career. Despite the curiosities of the grief-to-gumption plot, Daniels's writing is slick and her characters richly detailed, and even when it dips into sheer goofiness, it's still a pleasure to read. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Barb Barrett left her husband because they couldn't agree on how to load the dishwasher. In the divorce, he got the kids, the house, and the car, and she got her freedom. But she finds that freedom without her children is not all it's cracked up to be. To begin the process of getting them back, she buys a house once occupied by Vladimir Nabokov. While cleaning the house she finds a baseball/love story written on index cards. Could Nabokov have been the author? Could she turn this find into financial stability? While waiting for the experts to decide, she opens a day spa-cum-brothel under the guise of a research project and falls in love with a local carpenter and her ex-husband's dog. VERDICT Daniels writes her story with refreshingly eccentric twists, holding readers' interest despite the time-worn scenario. Her characters live and breathe, and the humor, energy, wit, and edgy look at small-town mores make this a delightful read. It will appeal to fiction readers, especially women.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
Kirkus Reviews

Daniels' debut concerns Barb Barrett, a woman who's hit rock bottom.

Barb's marriage is over, and she's lost custody of her two young children. To make things grimmer yet, her husband ("the experson") has taken up romantically with the social worker assigned to their case. Reduced to making ends meet by answering letters sent to a local dairy ("We do not have 'free range' cows, as you suggest, because of the danger it would pose to motorists as well as to the cows themselves..."),Barb moves into a drafty, dreary house once occupied by Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, and soon—trying to find space for her daughter's extensive handbag collection—she finds, secreted in a chest of drawers, a novel manuscript that she decides must be (despite its being, it seems, a baseball book/love storyabout Babe Ruth) a lost Nabokov novel. This discovery leads to Barb's plan to remake herself: first as an author of "mature romances," second as the proprietor of a high-end cathouse that caters—under thethin guise of a) a day spa and b) an experiment in human ecology—to the neglected middle-aged women of her town (areimagined versionof Ithaca, N.Y.).In time shealso embarks on a love affair of her own with a virile, buff-chested carpenter named Greg Holder. If this sounds like standard romance, it is and it isn't. The Nabokovian stuff is a feint toward literariness that goes nowhere, andthe novel's conceit isby the numbers,the plot a bit creaky and a lot contrived. But Danielslargelysucceedsanyway, thanks to Barb's sardonic, perceptive voice.

Barb is finecompany—blunt, mordantly funny,with a winning combination of ruthlessness and warmth.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439195031
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 717,671
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Daniels has published short fiction and essays in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, among others and has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize, for Best American Essays, and for the Best of the Associated Writing Programs. She is the former fiction editor of Green Mountains Review, and has worked in publishing for two decades. Her website is LeslieDaniels.com.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Enjoyed the writing. Recommend also Roland Merullo, A Little Love Story

    I'd listened to a Southern series novel prior to this that held my interest okay, but after I listened to "Cleaning Nabokov's House" [Bernadette Dunne, good narrator], I was not yet ready to return to the Southern series (even though non-historic and no affected drawl). I wanted more of Ms. Daniels' style. I reread several scenes for the pleasure of good writing and to attend to her talent and skill. Another book with well-written scenes, of an entirely different genre, is "The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel" by Jasper Fforde, narrator: Elizabeth Sastre. And, for simply a sweet love story (after clearing the illness intro), try "A little love story : a novel", by Roland Merullo. [Yea!, I just discovered Mr. Merullo has many novels. I wish Ms. Daniels would give us another.]

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2011

    Excellent

    The+author+is+able+to+say+exactly+what+is+in+your+mind+regarding+relationships+with+parents%2C+children%2C+strangers+and+friends.+She+is+able+to+capture+the+self-doubt+and+hope+of+an+ordinary+person+facing+the+enormous+challenges+of+change%2C+divorce%2C+child+custody%2C+dating+and+entrepeneurship.+She+is+funny+too.+I+hated+to+have+it+end+and+cannot+wait+to+read+her+next+book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2011

    enjoyed it but not a page turner

    enjoyed her wry and pithy observations, especially about men, and the differences about urban and small town life. the story got onto the wrong track about half way through, when she goes into a totally unbelievable business. that took away her credibility. the last few chapters were very short. still enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2011

    Loved it

    This book was a fun easy read. Humor when you did not expect it, tenderness when you expected it and a happy ending I was hoping for. Looking forward to another great book from this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2011

    highly recommend...check it out!

    This is an interesting story of a woman and her life after a divorce and separation from her 2 children...a journey of sorts as she navigates through the injustice, finds inspiration and learns to make her way back. The undercurrent of pain and tenderness as well as the life lessons keep you hooked to the very end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)