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Lucky in the Cornerby Carol Anshaw
Synopses & Reviews
Nora and Fern are just like any other mother and daughter — their relationship is tumultuous, marked by brooding silences and curt exchanges. For Nora, Fern is an enigma — incomprehensible, unfindable. Fern has never really forgiven her mother for leaving her marriage to live with her lover, Jeanne. Their story is a contemporary one, in which mothering is a mapless journey and children are left to form themselves in the shadows cast by idiosyncratic parenting. Here, too, is the reality that perfectly reasonable people will find some way to throw a wrench into the smooth, well-oiled workings of their lives. Nora?s relationship with Jeanne has settled into domestic stability, triggering in Nora a familiar restlessness that leads to an affair. When Fern intuits her mother?s indiscretion, she looks to the two people she depends on most: her uncle Harold and her best friend, Tracy, who now has the overwhelming task of raising a baby. As Fern begins to take on more of the baby's care herself, she discovers some of the powerful ambiguities of parental love — and starts to find her way back to her own mother. Carol Anshaw has been praised for her "warmhearted sympathies and lively wit" (Newsday). Lucky in the Corner, with the author's inimitable humor and insight, shows us the way a family reconfigures itself as unexpected changes come its way — and how, no matter what shape it takes, it remains a family.
"Anshaw delivers many twists in Lucky in the Corner; various flashbacks work flawlessly, giving us a deeper knowledge of Fern or Nora or Nora's heterosexual transvestite brother, Harold, moments before they behave in ways that significantly alter the present....Anshaw tenderly shows us how some people bumble through life, breaking things clumsily and scrambling to put them back together, while others — maybe those not as immediately dazzling or successful — ease their way slowly. All of them are trying on different personas for size, seeing what fits." Suzy Hansen, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)
"Anshaw's prose sparkles with gems of description and solid psychological perceptions. The narrative smoothly integrates the flash points in mother-daughter relations, the bonds and tensions between lovers, the sexual fires that disrupt a trusting relationship, the ties that constitute family and the deep affection between a girl and her dog." Publishers Weekly
"Anshaw presents a magnetic cast of complex characters and nimbly covers a great swathe of land-mined social terrain in this shrewd, sexy, and hilarious family-drama-cum-comedy-of-manners." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"A tender comedy of contemporary manners....Anshaw delineates [Nora and Fern's] touchy exchanges in pitch-perfect, ruefully funny dialogue, and she surrounds them with a wonderfully vivid cast of supporting characters....Not a false note anywhere in a story that's as entertaining as it is wise. Anshaw just keeps getting better." Kirkus Reviews
Nora and Fern's relationship as mother and daughter is a tumble of love and distrust. To Nora, her daughter is an enigma — at the same time wonderful and unfindable. Fern sees her mother as treacherous — for busting up their family to move in with her lover, Jeanne. As their lives become complicated by the arrivals of a skateboarding boyfriend for Fern, a shadowy affair for Nora, a baby in need of a family, and by the failing health of Lucky, their beloved dog, this mother and daughter find their way onto a fresh footing with each other.
"With sharp humor and perception" (O: The Oprah Magazine), Lucky in the Corner shows us the way a family reconfigures itself as unexpected changes come its way — and how, no matter what shape it takes, it remains a family.
From the award-winning author of "Aquamarine" comes a new novel about mothers and daughters and the surprising shape of the contemporary American family.
About the Author
Carol Anshaw is the author of Aquamarine and Seven Moves, both Lambda Award finalists. She has won the Carl Sandburg Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, she reviews books for major newspapers nationwide.
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