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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

Gorgeous Lies

by

Gorgeous Lies Cover

 

Awards

National Book Award Finalist

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Acclaimed by critics, Martha McPhee's debut Bright Angel Time established her as a dazzling new talent in American fiction; she fulfills her promise and breaks ambitious new ground with Gorgeous Lies. Charismatic therapist Anton Furey is dying, and the tribe he heads — his five children, his wife's three, and their uniting child, Alice — has returned to Chardin, the farm where they grew up and played out Anton's vision of communal living. They had been famous for being the new American blended family, their utopian lifestyle chronicled by film crews and reporters. But as Anton grows weaker, the hurts and betrayals of those years boil to the surface, and the children find themselves reliving the knotty intimacies they share as they struggle to make their peace with Anton. With shimmering prose and an acutely observant eye, McPhee has created a portrait of an era and a family that explores the limits, and obligations, of love.

Review:

"An offbeat writing style and poetic metaphors distinguish this crowded tale of a patriarch, his harem of lovers and the litters of offspring they produce, the follow-up to McPhee's well-received novel Bright Angel Time. Gestalt therapist Anton Furey is dying of pancreatic cancer, and the people closest to him gather at the New Jersey family estate, Chardin, and recall the emotional ups and downs of life with a womanizing dreamer and charismatic charmer. His children with ex-wife Agnes insecure Nicholas, gentle Caroline, money-hungry Sofia, barely there Timothy and adopted Finny (son of Anton and an Italian maid) are not fully sketched: some are given vivid cameos, while others fade into the background. The children of Anton's wife Eve from a previous marriage cynical, headstrong Jane, model-perfect Julia and homely Kate are better drawn and as flighty in their loyalty to their stepfather as he is in his choice of lovers. Youngest daughter Alice, the only child of Anton and Eve, is Anton's favorite for her mix of joie de vivre and sweet gravity. Like an anti-Brady Bunch, the members of the sprawling double family fluctuate in their alliances and affections over the 25 years of Eve and Anton's marriage. Their one common trait is their hunger for Anton's attention and approval. As the novel unfolds, Anton's unlikely past is revealed: his Texas childhood, his early stint in a Jesuit seminary and his grand passion for the communal haven of Chardin. His insatiable need for connection particularly with women can be repellant (as when he pursues one of his stepdaughters), but it is his infectious zest for life that drives this invigorating if convoluted novel." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"An unusually strong novel [that] explores the wild frontier of domestic life." O Magazine

Review:

"Fine work: A moving portrait of a foolish, foul-hearted, but impossibly innocennt man." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"McPhee is a sensuous stylist." Elle

Review:

"McPhee brings sensitivity and insight to her account....She is an immensely giifted novelist." Albany Times-Union

Review:

"Gorgeous Lies is a lovely meditation on mortality....Brilliantly and convincingly done." Larry McMurtry

Review:

"Deftly depicts individuals dealing with old memories and new problems." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"Like many sequels, Gorgeous Lies works best for those who are familiar with Part 1. For those willing to start there, Gorgeous Lies may be a gorgeous read. For the rest, it still may be gorgeous, just more of a struggle to get through." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"[A] wrenching novel. It poses tough questions, offering up even tougher knowledge, including the fact that while lies do corrode, they also forge a battle-worn unity." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"It's easy to see why the charismatic figures from Bright Angel Time would not loosen their grip on this author." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"When McPhee strikes the right rhythm, you don't so much read her prose as live inside it." Santa Fe New Mexican

Review:

"[McPhee's] prose captures the Chardin mood: Elegant and airy, it seems to levitate even the grubbiest details." Los Angeles Time Book Review

Review:

"I loved this book. Martha McPhee plainly ranks as one of our country's best young writers." Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried

Review:

"More somber than the earlier book, but its equal in subtlety and clever writing, this novel chronicles the fate of Sixties and Seventies ideals colliding with the harsher realities of the Nineties." Library Journal

About the Author

Martha McPhee received her MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Zoetrope, the New Yorker, Redbook, Open City, Vogue and other journals. She is the author of Bright Angel Time, a New York Times Notable book, and coauthor with Jenny and Laura McPhee of Girls. In 1998 she received a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts for work on Gorgeous Lies. She teaches at Hofstra University and lives in New York City with her daughter and her husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156028820
Author:
McPhee, Martha
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Father and child
Subject:
Stepfamilies
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20031006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Gorgeous Lies Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156028820 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "An offbeat writing style and poetic metaphors distinguish this crowded tale of a patriarch, his harem of lovers and the litters of offspring they produce, the follow-up to McPhee's well-received novel Bright Angel Time. Gestalt therapist Anton Furey is dying of pancreatic cancer, and the people closest to him gather at the New Jersey family estate, Chardin, and recall the emotional ups and downs of life with a womanizing dreamer and charismatic charmer. His children with ex-wife Agnes insecure Nicholas, gentle Caroline, money-hungry Sofia, barely there Timothy and adopted Finny (son of Anton and an Italian maid) are not fully sketched: some are given vivid cameos, while others fade into the background. The children of Anton's wife Eve from a previous marriage cynical, headstrong Jane, model-perfect Julia and homely Kate are better drawn and as flighty in their loyalty to their stepfather as he is in his choice of lovers. Youngest daughter Alice, the only child of Anton and Eve, is Anton's favorite for her mix of joie de vivre and sweet gravity. Like an anti-Brady Bunch, the members of the sprawling double family fluctuate in their alliances and affections over the 25 years of Eve and Anton's marriage. Their one common trait is their hunger for Anton's attention and approval. As the novel unfolds, Anton's unlikely past is revealed: his Texas childhood, his early stint in a Jesuit seminary and his grand passion for the communal haven of Chardin. His insatiable need for connection particularly with women can be repellant (as when he pursues one of his stepdaughters), but it is his infectious zest for life that drives this invigorating if convoluted novel." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "An unusually strong novel [that] explores the wild frontier of domestic life."
"Review" by , "Fine work: A moving portrait of a foolish, foul-hearted, but impossibly innocennt man."
"Review" by , "McPhee is a sensuous stylist."
"Review" by , "McPhee brings sensitivity and insight to her account....She is an immensely giifted novelist."
"Review" by , "Gorgeous Lies is a lovely meditation on mortality....Brilliantly and convincingly done."
"Review" by , "Deftly depicts individuals dealing with old memories and new problems."
"Review" by , "Like many sequels, Gorgeous Lies works best for those who are familiar with Part 1. For those willing to start there, Gorgeous Lies may be a gorgeous read. For the rest, it still may be gorgeous, just more of a struggle to get through."
"Review" by , "[A] wrenching novel. It poses tough questions, offering up even tougher knowledge, including the fact that while lies do corrode, they also forge a battle-worn unity."
"Review" by , "It's easy to see why the charismatic figures from Bright Angel Time would not loosen their grip on this author."
"Review" by , "When McPhee strikes the right rhythm, you don't so much read her prose as live inside it."
"Review" by , "[McPhee's] prose captures the Chardin mood: Elegant and airy, it seems to levitate even the grubbiest details."
"Review" by , "I loved this book. Martha McPhee plainly ranks as one of our country's best young writers."
"Review" by , "More somber than the earlier book, but its equal in subtlety and clever writing, this novel chronicles the fate of Sixties and Seventies ideals colliding with the harsher realities of the Nineties."
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