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New Year's Eve [NOOK Book]

Overview

Part contemporary family drama, part ghost story, this engrossing novel dramatizes the difficult process of letting go of one's childhood to embrace one's new chosen family. This is the story of twin sisters, their children, and an accident that claims the life of one, and leaves the others to find their way away from, and back to each other. LG Alternate. Serial rights to Good Housekeeping.
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New Year's Eve

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Overview

Part contemporary family drama, part ghost story, this engrossing novel dramatizes the difficult process of letting go of one's childhood to embrace one's new chosen family. This is the story of twin sisters, their children, and an accident that claims the life of one, and leaves the others to find their way away from, and back to each other. LG Alternate. Serial rights to Good Housekeeping.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On New Year's Eve, the Marks family has traditionally gathered in their Manhattan home to waltz, drink champagne, watch Guy Lombardo on TV and watch the globe drop in Times Square. On New Year's Eve 1990, in a scene near the end of this strong new novel by Grunwald ("The Theory of Everything"), narrator Erica breaks with tradition and separates herself, husband Edgar and daughter Sarah to nourish her home without the interference of her controlling father and twin sister, Heather. This moment is the fruition of a well-crafted tale of family secrets, memories and myths. Tensions in the family begin to escalate after David, Heather's four-year-old son, is killed in an accident, and Sarah immediately believes he speaks to her from beyond the grave. Ironically, Dad and Heather, both medical doctors, prescribe playing along with Sarah's obsession, a dollhouse she and Heather are furnishing for David; they even engage a shady channeler who promises communication with the dead. Meanwhile, Erica, a university professor of mythology, grimly endures psychiatric help for her child and firmly resists her family's denial of death's finality. Flashbacks to the twins' childhood rivalry reveal the origins of their constant psychological tug-of-war (they even engage in a race to get pregnant) and how the family has sought a center since Mom's death. The denouement, an integration of story time and myth time, is poignant, and healing, with the promise of new life. It contrasts sharply with the climax, whose cruelty is all the more intense because it suggests that it is human nature to forget, time after time, the inhuman pain we inflict in the sacred name of "family." Literary Guild alternate selection
Library Journal
Erica and her estranged fraternal twin sister, Heather, regain their childhood closeness when they spend time together with their newborn babies. Erica's daughter, Sarah, and Heather's son, David, grow up as close as sister and brother until three-year-old David is killed in a freak traffic accident. Sarah begins talking to David in heaven, reporting on the stages he must go through before he can come back to life. Inexplicably, Heather encourages Sarah, and the two form a close bond as they work together to build a doll house meant for David. Desperately worried about Sarah's mental health, Erica also wrestles with her jealousy of Sarah's bond with Heather, worries about her aging father's memory lapses, and tries her best to form a family apart from her sister. Grunwald ("The Theory of Everything", Knopf, 1991) has written an engrossing story about the conflicting pull of family relationships. Recommended for public libraries. Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
School Library Journal
New Year's Eve has always been a special time for Erica; her fraternal twin sister, Heather; and their entire family, but when Heather's four-year-old son is accidentally killed, New Year's Eve becomes a nightmare time and the relationships among family members increasingly disintegrate. Sarah, Erica's young daughter, loses her closest friend when David dies, but seems to perceive his ghostly presence and continues communicating with him. What is reality and what is illusion? During a summer vacation at the old family cabin, Erica becomes pregnant again and is confined to bed long enough for Heather and Sarah to become so closely connected in their grief that together they build a dollhouse that David seems to inhabit. Jealousy, sibling rivalry, death and its relationship to mythology, grief and the coping mechanisms one createsall are underlying themes throughout this very readable, fast-paced novel. Chapters primarily revolve around various New Year's celebrations; the story begins with events in 1985 and continues on until 1991 when all threads are satisfactorily tied. YAs will be pulled into the psychological exploration of life after death and find much to think about and discuss. A satisfying novel with more depth to it than is initially obvious. Dottie Kraft, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307819758
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/30/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 366
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lisa Grunwald
Lisa Grunwald is the author of the novels Whatever Makes You Happy, New Year’s Eve, The Theory of Everything, and Summer. She is a former magazine editor.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2001

    Eerie, absorbing, and unforgettable

    This tragic topic is treated with amazing acuity, compassion and, miraculously, magic. I found myself utterly absorbed and moved. The world is believably contemporary and yet evokes the possibility of life after death and transcendence. Ultimately a story about siblings and family.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Hi past rebbeca

    Hi. Im from the future~spock

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

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Read this book years ago and up until now I still vividly rememb

    Read this book years ago and up until now I still vividly remember and love the story

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

    Posted April 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews

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