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When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories

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When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780061809460
ISBN10: 0061809462
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren't facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.

Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life — revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.

In "The Harvest Moon," a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In "Ursa Minor," a former children's television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for "exhaustion." An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in "The Little One." In "My Olivia," a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.

As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, When It Happens to You is an auspicious literary debut.

Review:

"This 'novel in stories' is set in the L.A. you see on television, the one where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else. Stories or titled chapters center on Phillip and Greta, who have a daughter, fertility issues, and a marriage going sour, but we also meet people whose lives touch Greta's and Phillip's in a variety of ways, like their much older neighbor; a mother at their daughter's school; and a semi-washed up actor, his twin sister, and her French boyfriend. In many ways Ringwald (Getting the Pretty Back, a memoir) knows of what she speaks, having spent many years in the '80s as a fixture of the Brat Pack, and she has the mechanics of writing down, but you can hear the gears grinding; the stories are often exposition heavy, the characters seem more defined by their situations than their idiosyncratic histories, and things tend to resolve a little too tidily, even when the point is the continuing messiness of relationships. As a result, this debut work of fiction, which reads well, never gets traction in your mind. It's probably best seen as an example of one of celebrity's mixed blessings: your name gets you in the door but your apprenticeship takes place in public." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"When It Happens to You is absolutely lovely, a smart, emotionally sophisticated, intricately dovetailed novel of stories. World, I'm telling you now: Molly Ringwald is the real deal." Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia

Review:

"Molly Ringwald understands how families work and uses her considerable talents to make them come alive on the page." Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

Review:

"These stories sizzle with rare insight about the reverberations of betrayal and of love. Ringwald wisely never judges her characters, but lets them live out their complexities on the page, flawed and endearing, recognizable and also new. When It Happens To You is an impressive fiction debut." Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

Review:

"When It Happens to You is an inventive and compelling portrait of love in the modern age." J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine

Review:

"Molly Ringwald's eight electric stories are alive with Joycean insight-piercing, epiphanic moments of terror, humor, and transcendence. Together they offer a deeply moving portrait of modern life." Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints

Review:

"[A] graceful and deft debut." Booklist

Synopsis:

Tales of love, loss, and betrayal are at the heart of When It Happens to You, the debut story collection from actress and author Molly Ringwald. A Hollywood icon, Ringwald defined the teenage experience in the eighties in such classic films as Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. Now the star of ABC Family's hit series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and author of the bestselling memoir Getting the Pretty Back, Ringwald brings that same compelling candor she displayed in her film roles to the unforgettable characters she has created in this series of linked stories about the particular challenges, joys, and disappointments of adult relationships. Here are stories that grapple with infertility and infidelity, fame and familial discord, in a magnificent collection that will resonate broadly with readers — from fans of Melissa Banks to Meg Wolitzer to Lorrie Moore.

About the Author

Molly Ringwald's work in film is characterized by what the renowned New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael called her "charismatic normality." Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with such directors as Paul Mazursky, John Hughes, Cindy Sherman, and Jean-Luc Godard. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Parade, Esquire, and the Hartford Courant. She lives with her husband and three children in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

cardprincess, April 1, 2013 (view all comments by cardprincess)
The name of the author caught my attention and I'm glad that it did. Molly Ringwald is as good of a writer as she is an actress. The book is a collection of short stories that tie together as a novel. When you start reading the story of a new character, you wonder how they will tie in to the previous characters, and they always do. Entertaining and very clever!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Camilla C Sendre, December 18, 2012 (view all comments by Camilla C Sendre)
"When it Happens to You" is such a wonderful read. I read it almost straight through and was sorry to see it end. Molly's characters were real and well-developed and they drew me into their worlds. And their worlds were so very much our world. As Robin Black says on the book jacket: "While we have been watching Molly Ringwald, she has clearly been watching us."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Tara Dublin, May 27, 2012 (view all comments by Tara Dublin)
Is there nothing my ultimate girlcrush can't do? Now a novel. Love her.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061809460
Author:
Ringwald, Molly
Publisher:
It Books
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.05 in 17.78 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages It Books - English 9780061809460 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This 'novel in stories' is set in the L.A. you see on television, the one where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else. Stories or titled chapters center on Phillip and Greta, who have a daughter, fertility issues, and a marriage going sour, but we also meet people whose lives touch Greta's and Phillip's in a variety of ways, like their much older neighbor; a mother at their daughter's school; and a semi-washed up actor, his twin sister, and her French boyfriend. In many ways Ringwald (Getting the Pretty Back, a memoir) knows of what she speaks, having spent many years in the '80s as a fixture of the Brat Pack, and she has the mechanics of writing down, but you can hear the gears grinding; the stories are often exposition heavy, the characters seem more defined by their situations than their idiosyncratic histories, and things tend to resolve a little too tidily, even when the point is the continuing messiness of relationships. As a result, this debut work of fiction, which reads well, never gets traction in your mind. It's probably best seen as an example of one of celebrity's mixed blessings: your name gets you in the door but your apprenticeship takes place in public." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "When It Happens to You is absolutely lovely, a smart, emotionally sophisticated, intricately dovetailed novel of stories. World, I'm telling you now: Molly Ringwald is the real deal."
"Review" by , "Molly Ringwald understands how families work and uses her considerable talents to make them come alive on the page."
"Review" by , "These stories sizzle with rare insight about the reverberations of betrayal and of love. Ringwald wisely never judges her characters, but lets them live out their complexities on the page, flawed and endearing, recognizable and also new. When It Happens To You is an impressive fiction debut."
"Review" by , "When It Happens to You is an inventive and compelling portrait of love in the modern age."
"Review" by , "Molly Ringwald's eight electric stories are alive with Joycean insight-piercing, epiphanic moments of terror, humor, and transcendence. Together they offer a deeply moving portrait of modern life."
"Review" by , "[A] graceful and deft debut."
"Synopsis" by , Tales of love, loss, and betrayal are at the heart of When It Happens to You, the debut story collection from actress and author Molly Ringwald. A Hollywood icon, Ringwald defined the teenage experience in the eighties in such classic films as Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. Now the star of ABC Family's hit series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and author of the bestselling memoir Getting the Pretty Back, Ringwald brings that same compelling candor she displayed in her film roles to the unforgettable characters she has created in this series of linked stories about the particular challenges, joys, and disappointments of adult relationships. Here are stories that grapple with infertility and infidelity, fame and familial discord, in a magnificent collection that will resonate broadly with readers — from fans of Melissa Banks to Meg Wolitzer to Lorrie Moore.
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