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ANNA QUINDLEN is the author of three bestselling novels, Object Lessons, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Her New York Times column "Public & Private" won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, and a selection of those columns was published as Thinking Out Loud. She is also the author of a collection of her "Life in the 30's"columns, Living Out Loud; a book for the Library of Contemporary Thought, How Reading Changed My Life; the bestselling A Short Guide to a Happy Life; and two children's books, The Tree That Came to Stay and Happily Ever After. She is currently a columnist for Newsweek and lives with her husband and children in New York City.
In this absorbing coming-of-age novel, a Literary Guild selection in cloth that spent 10 weeks on PW 's bestseller list, New York Times columnist Quindlen skillfully conveys the fierce ethnic pride of Irish and Italian communities. (May)
YA-- This first novel is an insightful family chronicle, an informed commentary on the '60s, and the coming-of-age depiction of a mother and daughter. As 13-year-old Maggie struggles with her identity within the boisterous Scanlan clan, her mother also finds her own place within the patriarchal family that has never accepted her. Both women experience rites of passage during the fateful summer that a housing development is being built behind their home, infringing on their emotional and physical spaces. A fast-paced plot involves small fires set in the development by Maggie's friends and romantic tension between her mother and a man from her past. Readers will appreciate Maggie's dilemmas as she grapples with peer pressure and sexual bewilderment, and as she begins to understand her mother, whose discontent oddly parallels her own. --Jackie Gropman, Richard Byrd Library, Springfield, VA-
This first novel by former New York Times columnist, and now syndicated columnist, Quindlen is a well-written but not particularly engaging reflection on growing up. Maggie Scanlan, product of an Irish father and an Italian mother, lives in a New York City suburb in the 1960s. We follow her through her 12th summer, as she endures the trials and tribulations of the transition to adolescence. Maggie is not particularly insightful, though, and none of the other characters give her much insight into growing up. The characters themselves are not as lively as they might be, and the plot is standard: marriage problems, family quarrels, a problem pregnancy. Libraries may get requests for this from readers familiar with Quindlen's nonfiction. Literary Guild alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90.-- Gwen Gregory, U.S. Courts Lib., Phoenix, Ariz.