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Hardcover Precious Book

ISBN: 1400066808

ISBN13: 9781400066803


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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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List Price $25.00

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Book Overview

A haunting, gorgeously written first novel about a fractured family, "Precious" is set in 1970s small town Pennsylvania during the tumultuous summer a young girl goes missing.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Poignant and honest; a great read

I found this to be rich with layers and exquisite details. It was so moving, so thoroughly engaging that I feel as though these characters are a part of me now. I felt haunted by the ending; the sadness and the loss, the potential never realized: these have stayed with me. The prose is superbly crafted: fresh, charming, inspired, honest. It was a wonderful read.

"like falling glass"

I love good metaphors, and here were so many. I don't read often enough, but this book took me 2 days to finish. I had to know what happened. And the characters were so honest, that at the end, I had the overwhelming desire to search for them on Facebook to see what they were doing now and to see if they were ok.

a writer's delight

As a reader, I read Precious straight through in 24 hours (one does have to eat, sleep and work). As a writer, however, The skill of this debut novel was very impressive. Novack drew the reader in with intricate characters, complex situations, lyrical phrasing, and an ending that was real rather than a fairy tale...very highly recommended

Couldn't Put It Down

I am a horrible reader. I will start reading 5 books before one will sit well enough for me to finish. Right from the start, I noticed the writing. Sandra Novack is a beautiful writer. And yet that's not all this book is. I feel the highlight of the book are her characters and the investment you gladly make in each of them. Real people who are living with enormous struggle and challenges. I read with my heart beating wondering what on earth these people could say to one another and hoping that the author wouldn't cop out with a "he nods and leaves." She stunned me by writing actual dialogue between them. Believable, honest dialogue that led you to the next sequence of events. This book truly is for anyone who has a family or someone they have loved.

"There were only resolutions and a love that persisted over time."

When Natalia Kisch does the unthinkable, leaving husband and two daughters behind to run off with her boss to Italy, she sets off a chain of events that unleashes the fury of the fates. Left behind in their small 1970s Pennsylvania town are husband, Frank, and two daughters, Sissy, nine, and Eve, seventeen. Consumed by their own pain and confusion, each member of the family retreats inward, Frank to his rage, Eve to a consuming, anger-fueled rebellion and Sissy retreating to world of fantasy. Soon after, when ten-year-old Vicki disappears from a local playground, the town is stunned by a sudden violence they have never experienced, thought meant for other people, other towns. Charging their children to stay away from the park where Vicki went missing, the neighbors withdraw, watchful, as winter yields to summer. Through the long months since Natalia carried her suitcase out the door, from a joyless Christmas to the heat-drenched days of July and August, the family drifts into a weary routine, Eva resenting the need to care for Sissy, Frank unable to reach his oldest daughter. Novack travels this shattered landscape with a sensitivity to things lost and found, the fragile wings of childhood trampled by one woman's fateful decision in a moment when her life seems unbearable. The lesson is painful: There are consequences for our actions. Of Romany descent, Natalia has always fed Sissy's insatiable curiosity with stories, tales that haunt the child during her mother's absence. Eve, on the cusp of adulthood, has nearly left behind the cares of youth; now she is confused, unsure, her provocative, blooming beauty a temptation to a man who should know better. And the silent Frank, unable to cope either before or after his wife leaves, retreats to his classic Chevy, spending endless hours avoiding the realities of his life. With a critical part of the family missing, there is no safe harbor, no rest, not even for Natalia, who realizes the enormity of her mistake, worrying if there will still be a place for her in a home where the rooms are crowded with anger. Once begun, the story accelerates with the ferocity of a runaway train, unstoppable, each character tenderly brought to a precipice, their fears, needs and hopes in suspension, unable to mend what has been broken. This subtle indictment of self-absorbed parents is written in prose that is at times stunning, others weighted with raw emotion as Natalia's children struggle to define their changed world. As the neighbors gossip about the grieving woman whose child has disappeared and who drinks to excess, the air in the Kisch's house trembles with crisis, rage and unpredictability. Even Natalia's return cannot save her family, caught in a roiling emotional conflict with no focus, each character desperate to survive a wash of feelings grown out of control. In the end, the world will have its way, Novack's powerful, stinging novel a reminder of the frailty of all we take for granted and the terrible pri
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