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The Cradle

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The Cradle Cover

ISBN13: 9780316036115
ISBN10: 0316036110
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"At first blush, Somerville's debut endeavors to explore territory that many writers have stumbled over (and stumbled badly), but Somerville doesn't miss a step. The Cradle is more than a high concept hook, it's a hugely engaging read with characters you'll fall in love with and a plot full of surprises." Jim Ruland, Gently Read Literature (Read the entire Gently Read review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his still-sleeping wife Marissa, gets dressed and eases his truck through Milwaukee, bound for the highway. His wife, pregnant with their first child, has asked him to find the antique cradle taken years before by her mother Caroline when she abandoned Marissa, never to contact her daughter again. Soon to be a mother herself, Marissa now dreams of nothing else but bringing her baby home to the cradle she herself slept in. His wife does not know — does not want to know — where her mother lives, but Matt has an address for Caroline's sister near by and with any luck, he will be home in time for dinner.

Only as Matt tries to track down his wife's mother, he discovers that Caroline, upon leaving Marissa, has led a life increasingly plagued by impulse and irrationality, a mysterious life that grows more inexplicable with each new lead Matt gains, and door he enters. As hours turn into days and Caroline's trail takes Matt from Wisconsin to Minnesota, Illinois, and beyond in search of the cradle, Matt makes a discovery that will forever change Marissa's life, and faces a decision that will challenge everything he has ever known.

Elegant and astonishing, Patrick Somerville tells the story of one man's journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family. Confirming the arrival of an exuberantly talented new writer, The Cradle is an uniquely imaginative debut novel that radiates with wisdom and wonder.

Review:

"An elusive heirloom cradle symbolizes childhood's pains and possibilities in Somerville's spare, elegant first novel (after a story collection, Trouble). Marissa, pregnant with her first child, becomes obsessed with tracking down the antique cradle her mother took when she abandoned the family a decade earlier. Marissa's husband, Matt, is sure he's been dispatched on a fool's errand, but his journey soon connects him to Marissa's family and his own history of abandonment, neglect and abuse amid a string of foster homes and orphanages. Matt's quest through four states is interwoven with another drama that takes place 11 years later, in 2008, in which poet and children's author Renee Owen is haunted by memories of war and a lost love as she prepares to send her son off to fight in Iraq. Again, long-buried secrets come to the surface, one of which poignantly links the two story lines. Though the connection will not shock, Somerville's themes of a broader sense of interconnectivity and the resultant miracles of everyday existence retain their strength and affirm the value of forming and keeping families." Publishers Weekly (Copyright © Reed Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Review:

"Somerville's prose calmly, relentlessly pulls at the Gothic skein of family tragedies that lurks behind the peeling paint and sagging porches, where a sense of inherited sin settles like a thick fog." Washington Post

Review:

"[A]n epic story told in a series of artfully curated, wonderfully rendered scenes." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Somerville keeps us engaged in this slim novel from the outset. Though readers might guess the connections, they will want to see how the author provides the perfect denouement. Highly recommended" Library Journal

Synopsis:

"A magical debut novel" (New York Times), The Cradle radiates with wry wisdom and candor as it takes the reader on a surprising journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family.

About the Author

Patrick Somerville grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later earned his MFA from Cornell University. He is also the author of the story collection Trouble (Vintage, 2006). He lives with his wife in Chicago, where he teaches creative writing at Northwestern University.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

piegirltoo, February 5, 2011 (view all comments by piegirltoo)
The characters are boring, humorless, and needlessly cryptic. Ick. The book went into the waste heap about three-quarters of the way through.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316036115
Author:
Somerville, Patrick
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Publication Date:
20100431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.18x5.60x.62 in. .44 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Reference » Writing » General

The Cradle Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316036115 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "An elusive heirloom cradle symbolizes childhood's pains and possibilities in Somerville's spare, elegant first novel (after a story collection, Trouble). Marissa, pregnant with her first child, becomes obsessed with tracking down the antique cradle her mother took when she abandoned the family a decade earlier. Marissa's husband, Matt, is sure he's been dispatched on a fool's errand, but his journey soon connects him to Marissa's family and his own history of abandonment, neglect and abuse amid a string of foster homes and orphanages. Matt's quest through four states is interwoven with another drama that takes place 11 years later, in 2008, in which poet and children's author Renee Owen is haunted by memories of war and a lost love as she prepares to send her son off to fight in Iraq. Again, long-buried secrets come to the surface, one of which poignantly links the two story lines. Though the connection will not shock, Somerville's themes of a broader sense of interconnectivity and the resultant miracles of everyday existence retain their strength and affirm the value of forming and keeping families." Publishers Weekly (Copyright © Reed Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved.)
"Review A Day" by , "At first blush, Somerville's debut endeavors to explore territory that many writers have stumbled over (and stumbled badly), but Somerville doesn't miss a step. The Cradle is more than a high concept hook, it's a hugely engaging read with characters you'll fall in love with and a plot full of surprises." (Read the entire Gently Read review)
"Review" by , "Somerville's prose calmly, relentlessly pulls at the Gothic skein of family tragedies that lurks behind the peeling paint and sagging porches, where a sense of inherited sin settles like a thick fog."
"Review" by , "[A]n epic story told in a series of artfully curated, wonderfully rendered scenes."
"Review" by , "Somerville keeps us engaged in this slim novel from the outset. Though readers might guess the connections, they will want to see how the author provides the perfect denouement. Highly recommended"
"Synopsis" by , "A magical debut novel" (New York Times), The Cradle radiates with wry wisdom and candor as it takes the reader on a surprising journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family.
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