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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

MonkeyMia, July 25, 2008 (view all comments by MonkeyMia)
December is a gripping novel that uses descriptive human behavior to tell a story of a little girl who has not spoken in nearly a year. The characters' realistic lives will possess your mind from the first page to the last page. Psychologically suspenseful, tearfully sad and intelligently humorous, this book will entertain a readers appetite. I love this book, I love the writer, and it left me wanting more. Buy it.
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(44 of 81 readers found this comment helpful)
LibbyBean, July 16, 2008 (view all comments by LibbyBean)
Winthrop sounds like a child writing about an adult world she cannot yet fathom.

She begins the book describing Wilson, a central character, on his 42nd birthday, "He feels the same as he always has, all his life, same as he did as a kid stalking through the woods with a BB gun or a young man drunk at a keg party, and so sometimes he doesn't recognize the city business man he's become..."

Nobody at 42 with a marriage, a dependent child and a big job don't feels the way s/he always has. Life just shifts a person's mind, and Winthrop doesn't have any insight into how time and parenthood inexorably alter everyone without a personality disorder to stunt their development. Her forays into the minds of her adult characters are very naive imaginings.

She's bit off more than she can chew and should write about what she knows...which may not be much yet.
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Product Details

Sick children
Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop
Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop
Mute persons
Domestic fiction
Psychological fiction
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.48x6.56x.99 in. 1.08 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307268303 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This story of a family in crisis builds in emotion until a spellbinding climax brings things to a realistic and satisfying close."
"Review" by , "Winthrop, who grew up in New York before attending Harvard, where she graduated in 2001, displays an intimate, sometimes excruciatingly obsessive understanding of Isabelle's privileged Manhattan upbringing."
"Synopsis" by , In this novel of spellbinding emotional power, 11-year-old Isabelle hasn't spoken in eight months. As characters spiral desperately around Isabelle's impenetrable silence, she herself emerges, in a fascinating, boldly original portrait of an exceptional child.
"Synopsis" by , A spellbinding novel about a troubled young girl and a family in crisis, and a gripping, astonishing portrait of recovery and self-determination.

When December opens, eleven year old Isabelle hasnt spoken a word in nearly a year. Four psychiatrists have abandoned her, declaring her silence to be impenetrable. Her parents are at once mystified and terrified by their daughters withdrawal, and by their own gradually loosening hold on the world as theyve always known it. Isabelles private school, which has until now taken the extraordinary step of allowing her to complete her assignments from home, is on the verge of expelling her, forcing her parents to confront the possibility that what once seemed a quirk of adolescence, a phase, is perhaps a lifelong transformation, a swift and total retreat from which their daughter may never emerge. December paints an unforgettable picture of a family reckoning with a bewildering crisis, and of a critical month in the life of a bright, fascinating girl, locked into an isolation of her own making and from which only she can decide to break free.

Compulsively readable and deeply affecting, December is a work of marvelous originality and emotional power from a prodigiously gifted young writer.

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