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    The High Divide

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Substitute Me

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Substitute Me Cover

ISBN13: 9781439171103
ISBN10: 1439171106
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Zora Anderson is a 30-year-old African American middle class, college educated woman, trained as a chef, looking for a job. As fate would have it, Kate and Craig, a married couple, aspiring professionals with a young child are looking for a nanny.

Zora seems perfect. She’s an enthusiastic caretaker, a competent house keeper, a great cook. And she wants the job, despite the fact that she won’t let her African American parents and brother know anything about this new career move. They expect much more from her than to use all that good education to do what so many Blacks have dreamed of not doing: working for White folks. Working as an au pair in Paris, France no less, was one thing, they could accept that. Being a servant to a couple not much older nor more educated, is yet another. Every adult character involved in this tangled web is hiding something: the husband is hiding his desire to turn a passion for comic books into a business from his wife, the wife is hiding her professional ambitions from her husband, the nanny is hiding her job from her family and maybe her motivations for staying on her job from herself.

Memorable characters, real-life tensions and concerns and the charming—in a hip kind of way—modern-day Park Slope, Fort Greene, Brooklyn setting make for an un-put-down-able read.

Review:

"Memoirist Tharps's debut novel contrasts the lives of two polar-opposite women living in New York City with likable characters but common prose. Kate Carter is successful, white, and married. She hires Zora Anderson, a 30-year-old black woman, to nanny her infant son Oliver. While both women are from privileged backgrounds, their lives have taken divergent paths. Zora is still trying to figure out what to do with her life, and uncertainty over her nanny position, especially in light of her successful corporate-lawyer brother, wealthy parents, and awareness of 'mammy' stereotypes, cause her great uncertainty. Kate's husband, Brad, becomes Zora's friend and confidante, encouraging her to pursue her passion for cooking and reconnect with her family. As Kate becomes busier at work, Zora and Brad grow inevitably more attracted to one another. This unsurprising turn is the book's major downfall, but the issues of race and relationships that Tharps extracts from the situation largely make up for it. While Tharps's prose leaves something to be desired, the reader is left to ruminate on some real questions concerning the modern family, and can draw on authentic characters to put a face on an otherwise abstract predicament.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

About the Author

Lori L. Tharps is the author of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain, named by Salon.com as one of their top ten books for 2008, and the co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. She is an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where she makes her home with her husband and family. She doesn’t have a nanny.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Laurie Blum, October 5, 2010 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
Lori L. Tharp's "Substitue Me" which reminded me somewhat of "The Help" could also be entitled "Desperately Seeking A Nanny!" This talented author (so capable of tackling womens issues as she accomplished in her memoir, "Kinky Gazpacho") explores beauty standards, family expectations and sexuality all through the prism of race. Stress galore! How well I remember attempting to balance a young marriage, children, a competitive job with a bit of time leftover for myself & girlfriends -- female book clubs will find plenty of discussable themes in this novel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781439171103
Author:
Tharps, Lori L
Publisher:
Atria Books
Author:
Tharps, Lori L.
Author:
Tharps, Lori
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Nannies
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in 10.5 oz

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Substitute Me Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Atria Books - English 9781439171103 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Memoirist Tharps's debut novel contrasts the lives of two polar-opposite women living in New York City with likable characters but common prose. Kate Carter is successful, white, and married. She hires Zora Anderson, a 30-year-old black woman, to nanny her infant son Oliver. While both women are from privileged backgrounds, their lives have taken divergent paths. Zora is still trying to figure out what to do with her life, and uncertainty over her nanny position, especially in light of her successful corporate-lawyer brother, wealthy parents, and awareness of 'mammy' stereotypes, cause her great uncertainty. Kate's husband, Brad, becomes Zora's friend and confidante, encouraging her to pursue her passion for cooking and reconnect with her family. As Kate becomes busier at work, Zora and Brad grow inevitably more attracted to one another. This unsurprising turn is the book's major downfall, but the issues of race and relationships that Tharps extracts from the situation largely make up for it. While Tharps's prose leaves something to be desired, the reader is left to ruminate on some real questions concerning the modern family, and can draw on authentic characters to put a face on an otherwise abstract predicament.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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