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By Paullina Simons

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Format: Paperback / softback, 624 pages, New edition Edition
Published In: UK, 09 October 1995
The astonishing debut novel from international number one bestselling author Paullina Simons, now beautifully repackaged Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, schoolfriends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties, the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into young womanhood, marriage and a career. At last Tully Makker has life under control. And then life striles back in the most unexpected way of all...

About the Author

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad and emigrated to the United States in 1973. She lives close to New York with her husband and four children. Go to her website,, to find out more about her bestselling novels.


Esteemed editor Bob Wyatt's initial book for his new imprint, this much ballyhooed first novel is not notable for literary merit but for the melodramatic story it tells. Set during the last two decades in Topeka, Kans., and centering on a tough kid named Tully who oddly resembles skater Tonya Harding in looks and deportment, the narrative chronicles Tully's wild struggle against her lower-class origins, circumstances and fate (not to mention her genes) without any redeeming growth or insights achieved by any of the central characters until at the end Tully belatedly realizes the error of her ways. It's an emotionally crude coming-of-age story in which Tully, her two best girlfriends and the two men she loves never seem to rise above adolescent emotions and behavior. The story has the no-holds-barred, cranked-out quality of 19th-century penny novels, with an abundance of cheap thrills and hair-raising scenes. We tag along as Tully endures abandonment, incest, abortion, child and spousal abuse, passion, promiscuity, marriage, motherhood, infidelity, terrible nightmares, midnight graveyard scenes, tortured partings with lovers and more. The most interesting character is the villain, Hedda Makker, Tully's mother, whose chief pleasure in life is beating the living daylights out of Tully. Though billed as ``a big Russian novel'' about mothers and daughters, much of the narrative has a breathless, awkward oral texture, although long patches of exposition have an evenness and clarity that suggest Simons's potential. Despite all the wailing, sighing and bloodletting--or perhaps because of it--the story is engrossing as tabloid features often are: not believeable or artful, but fascinating in a macabre way. 165,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection . (May)

In this beautifully written first novel, Simons captures the lives and loves of Tully and her friends Julie and Jennifer in Topeka, Kansas. After her father and brother disappear, Tully's childhood is shaped by an abusive mother. Her wild adolescence culminates when Jennifer commits suicide. Unable to accept the death or admit to grief, Tully seeks consolation at the gravesite, where years later she meets Jack, a former lover of Jennifer. Although married to Robin, she begins an affair with Jack, despite the warnings of her friend Shakee, also one of his former lovers. When Jack wants her to move to California, a lifelong dream of both Jennifer and Tully, this survivor in life must come to grips with past griefs to make a decision. A strong story line with great characterization makes this book hard to put down. A potential best seller, it is highly recommended for public libraries. [BOMC and Quality Paperback selections.]-Heather Blenkinsopp, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

'You'll never look at life in the same way again. Pick up this book and prepare to have your emotions wrung so completely you'll be sobbing your heart out one minute and laughing through your tears the next. Tully could be any one of us -- a young woman who is strong, full of hope and carrying a lot of childhood baggage. Her experiences of pain, despair and betrayal are offset by moments of dazzling joy, love and, above all, friendship. Read it and weep -- literally' Company 'A lovely and resonant evocation of that first great bond between woman...It's deeply moving' Anne Rivers Siddons 'As a first novel this is quite astonishing' Bookseller

EAN: 9780006490012
ISBN: 0006490018
Publisher: Harper
Dimensions: 23.11 x 16 x 3.81 centimetres (0.34 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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5 of 5 Stars! '

even though advertised with the wrong book picture, i did receive the right one, very happy


5 of 5 Stars! '

even though advertised with the wrong book picture, i did receive the right one, very happy


1 of 5 Stars! '

Over rated, contrived, ridiculous claptrap. A BIG book, the wrieter shouldn't have wasted her time. She has created a totally unlikeable, boring character in Tully. I threw this book away, I couldn't beare to inflict it on my friends and family.


4 of 5 Stars! '

This book was an emotional roller coaster. One minute I was happy for Tully, the next desperately sad. Once I had started this book, I could not put it down. I am now on the look out for more books from Paulina Simons. She had me captivated from start to finish and I actually wished that the story wasn't over and I could keep reading. No such luck.


4 of 5 Stars! '

I really liked Tully. The first book from Paullina Simons had me looking out for more from her. A very raw and emotional story, Tully and her friends touched my heart and had me in tears many a time throughout. It is a book that I have read more than once, and had me intrigued with Tully's 'wrong side of the tracks' upbringing and the story which follows her from her teenage years through til she is in her 30's. Highly recommended.


1 of 5 Stars! '

I really did not like this book. I found it too drawn out and really slow-going to get to the end of it. I think this was in part due to the fact that I didn't like the main character Tully much. I thought it was nowhere near as good as "Eleven Hours".


4 of 5 Stars! '

With the possible exception of 'Red Leaves', this is my favourite of Simmons' books. Tully is a tough, hard-bitten take-no-prisoners kind of girl who goes through incredible hardship to build friendships and a life for herself. I really liked the main character (though I disagreed with some of her choices) and this book has stayed with me for many years.


1 of 5 Stars! '

This has got to be the worst book I have ever read. Tully is an incredibly weak character, I was tired of her before I was quarter of the way through the book. It is beyond me how I got to the end. I tried to sell it at 3 second hand book shops in Wellington, but nobody would take it because everyone else had the same idea - they were inundated with unwanted copies!


1 of 5 Stars! '

I did not enjoy this book at all.
The story was drawn out way to much and got really boring,I almost gave up but forced myself to finish it.
Also the main character Tully was really annoying,I didn't like her at all and felt like giving her a slap most of the time!


1 of 5 Stars! '

ELEVEN HOURS by Paulina Simmons is the only one to read please don't let Tully put you off.

I found Tully to be a drawn out ordeal with way to much description that went into everything that happened and a lot happened!!! Tully seems to be a woman that can't make a decision and would rather have everyone else make the decisions for her until finally at the end of the book she has to make a decision on how or more importanly who she will spend her life with. Even with everything that happened to Tully I don't think it made her tougher or a better person she just spent the most part of the book feeling sorry for herself when most of the situations she ended up in she chose that situation. Obviously Tully is a book that affects people differently because my sister thinks this is one of the best books she has ever read and I think 'YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING'!!!!!!

If you ever want to give Paulina Simmons another chance please read the page turner ELEVEN HOURS you will not regret it!!!

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