Friday, October 15, 2010

Best Seller Book: Anywhere But Here Mona Simpson

I have found this book really touching. It has depicted in detail relationships between women, particularly among mothers and daughters and between sisters. I didn't like Adele during the first part of the story because I thought and felt that she's incapable of taking care of her daughter and that she's too materialistic. However, in the end, I understood her and anyway, nobody's really perfect. I am a mother to three sons and a daughter and I know I'm not that perfect either.

So, I give an really excellent rating for this book. It has touched me right to the inner core of my being. Bravo!

Book Summary
"Ann's mother Adele is making her move across the country, from Wisconsin to California. In California, she has no apartment, no job, no prospects, but she is convinced that nothing will ever happen to her if she doesn't leave Wisconsin, where all of her family live. Ann is grief-stricken at leaving her aunt, uncle, grandmother, cousin, and step-father, but Adele is the type of person who is always excited about something and never seems to look back.

In California, Ann adapts better than does her mother. While Adele continues to struggle with finding a job and a suitable man, Ann finds friends, a boyfriend, and an acting job on a primetime television show. The whole time, though, she continues to fight with and resent her mother. The primary focus of this book is the blowouts between the generally serious Ann and the often childish, impractical, and eccentric Adele.

The narration shifts among Ann, her Aunt Carol, and her grandmother Lillian, adding a level of plot and backstory to the novel. Through those chapters told by Carol and Lillian, we learn of the women who stood in for Adele as mother figures during Ann's early childhood, and we learn of their own childhoods and secret pasts."

About Mona Simpson
Mona Simpson was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, then moved to Los Angeles as a young teenager. Her father was a recent immigrant from Syria and her mother was the daughter of a mink farmer and the first person in her family to attend college. Simpson went to Berkeley, where she studied poetry. She worked as a journalist before moving to New York to attend Columbia’s MFA program. During graduate school, she published her first short stories in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review and Mademoiselle. She stayed in New York and worked as an editor at The Paris Review for five years while finishing her first novel. Anywhere But Here. After that, she wrote The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road.

Her work has been awarded several prizes: A Whiting Prize, A Guggenheim, a grant from the NEA, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Prize, a Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, Pen Faulkner finalist, and most recently a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

She worked ten years on My Hollywood. “It’s the book that took me too long because it meant to much to me,” she says.

Mona lives in Santa Monica with her two children and Bartelby the dog.

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