One True Thing

One True Thing

3.6 27
by Anna Quindlen
     
 

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A mother.  A daughter.  A shattering choice.

From Anna Quindlen, bestselling author of Black and Blue, comes a novel of life, love and everyday acts of mercy.

"A triumph."
—San Francisco Chronicle

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Overview

A mother.  A daughter.  A shattering choice.

From Anna Quindlen, bestselling author of Black and Blue, comes a novel of life, love and everyday acts of mercy.

"A triumph."
—San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fiercely compassionate and frank...conveys a world so out of kilter and so like ours that its readers are likely to feel both exhilarated and unnerved by its accuracy."
—Elle

"A masterpiece."
—Tulsa World

"Provocative...We leave One True Thing stimulated and challenged, more thoughtful than when we began."
—Los Angeles Times

"It is simply impossible to forget."
—Alice Hoffman

Donna Seaman
Considering her Pulitzer Prize-winning op-ed columns for the New York Times (collected in the invigorating Thinking Out Loud ), it's no surprise that Quindlen's fiction has a strong moral component. The question posed in this tilt-a-world tale of self-sacrifice, grief, suspense, and revelation is whether or not a person has the right to die. And, further, how on earth can a person convince themselves to end the life of a loved one, no matter how awful their suffering?

The novel begins with a deceptively hubristic prologue in which our narrator, 24-year-old Ellen Gulden, describes what it's like to be in jail charged with killing her dying mother. Then we get the real story, every painful, ironic bit of it. Fresh out of Harvard and eager to prove herself as a journalist, Ellen is completely unprepared for her rather elusive and dismissive father's request that she move back home and nurse her mother, who, at age 46, has suddenly become terribly ill. Ellen has always been a daddy's girl, dismissing her homespun mother as an anachronism. Now, as she enters her mother's world just as her mother is about to exit it, everything she's ever assumed about her family and, indeed, life itself is challenged.

It isn't easy reading about how cancer ravages Ellen's once radiant and ever-nurturing mother, but it is eminently satisfying to witness Ellen's transformation from an often glib, emotionally suppressed overachiever into a woman who begins to fathom the meaning of love. Quindlen also gets in some good jabs at the media for its feverish appetite for easy scandal and its irrelevance to the truth manifest in genuine tragedies. -- Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812976182
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/08/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
170,340
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.62(d)

What People are saying about this

Susan Isaacs
There is not a single false word in One True Thing. Readers of her columns in the New York Times are aware that Anna Quindlen has a first-class mind; now they will master the great heart at last.
Alice Hoffman
So uncompromising in its portrait of life and death, so honest in its rendering of love and loss, that it is simply impossible to forget.

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