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Anywhere But Hereby Mona Simpson
Synopses & Reviews
Anywhere But Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer. As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation. Simpson's first novel is ultimately a heart-rendering tale of a mother and daughter's invaluable relationship.
"The two women in this book are American originals. Ann is a new Huck Finn, a tough, funny, resourceful love of a girl. Adele is like no one I've encountered, at once deplorable and admirable--and altogether believable."
"Anywhere But Here is a wonder: big, complex, masterfully written, it's an achievement that lands [Simpson] in the front ranks of our best novelists."
"This first novel is an intimate exposure of a mother-daughter relationship. It is a reminiscence, though from exactly when or where Ann's voice comes is unclear. She is unflinching as she reports the pursual of men and money by Adele, her mother. The delineation of daily existence lends verisimilitude to these characters; still, the unrelenting desperation, humiliation, and trampled hope may prove hard to bear— even tedious—for some readers. The author chose to limit physical perception of place (Bay City, Wisconsin, and Beverly Hills, California) which might have offered relief. Ann's voice and tone are consistent and done masterfully; when the story occasionally slips into other voices, it is distracting. Ultimately, Ann reports her childhood as fairly as she is able. While she finds little to admire in these years, as an adult she transcends Adele: she is an autonomous creature with her own morals and opinions—a message of hope, perhaps, for all those dominated by strong-willed parents." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
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