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Paperback Places to Look for a Mother Book

ISBN: 0786711779

ISBN13: 9780786711772

Places to Look for a Mother

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In the tradition of Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here, Places to Look for a Mother tells a tale of mostly maddening mother-daughter bonds. Forgiveness is always there, but it's hard to find. And... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

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"Places to Look for a Mother" might feel more like a memoir than a novel, but it's that rarest of memoirs driven by a sharply focused narrator who refuses to reduce her coming of age to nostalgia or melodrama. Lucy Taylor is a kid whose dream of a stable childhood is constantly undermined by her mother's inability to stick with a husband, a geographic locale, or even a self-identity. Mom's need to belong somewhere -- anywhere -- takes precedence, forcing Lucy to steer herself through turbulent adolescence. All the instability creates the same need for belonging in Lucy, leading to events that force her to rethink her mother, and motherhood itself. It sounds heavy, but Stansbury's skill as a writer (particularly with dialog) can make difficult subject matter a real pleasure to read.

Are There More Stars To Give?

When a writer, a director, or artist can take me somewhere and I feel like I have had that experience when I am finished with their book, movie, or viewing...I can only say, WHAT A RIDE THAT WAS! I wanted to be able to call Ms. Stansbury and chat with her after reading each portion...tell her that I too would hang out in the bathroom during holiday dinners to pass the time, step on Aunt Fredda's scale, even tried eating her rose-shaped soaps once, peak into her room on the way back to the table. Oh, how you feel the very textures of these events, the scents, the quality of the air, everything. Painful at times, hilarious, scary, lonely. Do not, do not, do not miss this book!!!

painful, unsettling portrait of flawed mother-daughter bond

Sensitive and conflicted, Lucy Taylor has a problem. Her mother, Miriam, beautiful and self-destructive, is delusional, self-absorbed and negligent; Miriam lies, steals and creates false identities for herself. Lucy, however, cannot stop loving her, needing her and identifying herself as a daughter. Nicole Stansbury's exceptional portrait of a terribly skewed mother-daughter relationship, "Places to Look for a Mother," rakes our sensibilities and startles us to recognize a pattern of life we know exists but would prefer to pretend away. This debut novel is nothing less than astonishing.There is an unrelenting hurt, an unceasing sadness which envelopes Lucy. At an early age she is aware of her mother's sexy, sensual body and enormous but unsatisfied appetites. A conventional marriage to her staid husband Bob cannot slake Miriam's hunger for life which snakes "like an electrical current" through the family. Such electricity sets off sparks which ultimately destroy the rapidly unravelling fabric of the Taylor family. Lucy observes that with her mother, "it was all hiding, all knots." Men "went crazy for her," and Miriam's ever-changing sense of self and insatiable need to be needed bubble to the surface as she concocts strategies for abandoning her husband.Despite Lucy's steadfast loyalty to her father and heartfelt fear and sympathy for her mother, she learns to press for her own identity. This despite Miriam's despicable forced complicity of Lucy in Miriam's fantasized (and soon realized) departure from Bob. As Lucy meanders with her equally beleaguered and hardened older sister Jen to different locales and male companions for Miriam, she witnesses false maternal identities and sequentially failing relationships. Lucy painfully evolves from childhood to adolescence -- observing, battling against but never escaping Miriam's disintegration. "Places" is written from a crucible of pain and a vortex of psychological abuse.Every attempt at a new life seems doomed to blight, a premature flower bud ruined by a sudden deep freeze. On one occasion, in the midst of another blasted attempt at love, mother and daughter lament their "skinny chance at happiness" and "sat grieving" at the sight to six brutally mistreated huskies. The dogs, like the two women who observe them, detest the man who abuses them, but adore him nevertheless. Watching her mother desperately search and wander, Lucy realizes "we were all on the lam, making soft sounds on the dust as we landed."The emotional landscape of the Taylor women is one of tears and violence, punctuated by periods of calm where false hopes flicker behind a facade of implausible lies, bad men and false dawns. "That was our household, women crying everywhere you looked." Constant struggle underscores a sense of misplaced, lost love and a bittersweet sense of how life's brutal mishaps can knock askew any person's legitimate hopes for happiness.Lucy Taylor only hopes to love her mother, but "all we

Painfully honest and honestly funny.

I recently took this book with me on a weekend trip, and it made my hours at the airport fly by. Stansbury has written a wonderful novel that feels like truth, with a level of honesty that sometimes made me cringe only because it resonated so deeply. No airbrushing of life here as our heroine, Lucy, comes to terms with a mother who is just a little insane and a father whose love holds her up but whose frequent absence is a gaping wound. The cutting honesty is made bearable by many truly funny moments. The writing flows, the characters live, and Lucy is the ultimate emotional survivor.

Tender, Funny, Authentic Voice

A wonderful, authentic voice; hard to put down.Page after page will resonate with anyone who has ever lost someone or can't keep hold of aparent, or claim the peace and connectednessthey instinctually deserve. The writing isfresh and vibrant. Totally funny in parts, runningup against pathetic, dissappointing characters. I was engrossed in thenarrator's yearnings and laughed and smiled alongthe way.
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