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Twilight (Twilight Saga #1) by Stephenie Meyer

What Girls Want

A review by Caitlin Flanagan

Children's books about divorce -- which are unanimously dedicated to bucking up those unfortunate little nippers whose families have gone belly-up -- ask a lot of their authors. Their very premise, however laudable, so defies the nature of modern children’s literature (which, since the Victorian age, has centered on a sentimental portrayal of the happy, intact family) that the enterprise seems doomed from the title. Since the 1950s, children have delighted in the Little Bear books (Mother Bear: “I never did forget your birthday, and I never will”) -- but who wants to find a copy of Cornelia Maude Spelman’s Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce wedged onto the shelf? Still, the volumes fill a need: helping children understand that life on the other side of the custody hearing can still be happy and hopeful, that a broken family is not a ruined one. But pick up a novel written for adolescents in which the main character is a child of divorce, and you’re in...



Previously Reviewed by The Atlantic Monthly
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The Unwritten War: American Writers and the Civil War by Daniel Aaron

Albion: The History of the British Imagination by Peter Ackroyd

Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright

Little Women (89 Edition) by Louisa May Alcott

The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won by Stephen E. Ambrose

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Spectrum: From Left to Right in the World of Ideas by Perry Anderson

In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine by Norberto Angeletti

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror by Anonymous

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Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov and Constance Garnett

Birth of the Cool by Elizabeth Armstrong

Yesterday Morning: A Very English Childhood by Diana Athill

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Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky (New York Review Children's Collection) by Esther Averill

Remember Me by Trezza Azzopardi

Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship by Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-powell, Baron Baden-powell Of Gilwell

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The Broken Hearth: Reversing the Moral Collapse of the American Family by William J Bennett

The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin by Irving Berlin

A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Carl Bernstein

Ibm and the Holocaust : the Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation (01 Edition) by Edwin Black

American Son: A Portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr. by Richard Blow

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Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years: Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum by Hamish Bowles

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Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Goethe the Poet & the Age Volume 2 by Nicholas Boyle

Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle

The Boom and the Bubble: The US in the World Economy by Robert Brenner

The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk by Christopher Breward

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The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (Comprehensive History of the Holocaust) by Christophe Browning

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Long for This World by Michael Byers

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The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz by David Cairus

Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France by Carmen Callil

Orson Welles, Volume 2: Hello Americans by Simon Callow

My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey

Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro

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The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon

Who's Who in Hell by Robert Chalmers

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The Varieties of Romantic Experience: Stories by Robert Cohen

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Adventures of Pinocchio (02 Edition) by Carlo Collodi

Acceptance: A Novel by Susan Coll

The Aztec Treasure House: New and Selected Essays by Evan S Connell

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The Keep: A Novel by Jennifer Egan

How We Are Hungry: Stories by Dave Eggers

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Middlesex 1st Edition by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

Madame Bovary: Provincial Manners by Gustave Flaubert

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Billy Graham: A Parable of American Righteousness by Marshall Frady

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What Was She Thinking? Signed Edition by Zoe Heller

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The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel

Get to Work: And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late by Linda R. Hirshman

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

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Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City by Tristram Hunt

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Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents by Robert Irwin

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Beauty & the Beasts: Woman, Ape, and Evolution by Carole Jahme

As of This Writing: The Essential Essays, 1968-2002 by Clive James

Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts by Clive James

Beyond a Boundary by C. L. R. James

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The Portrait of a Lady (Bantam Classics) by Henry, Jr. James

Tree of Smoke: A Novel by Denis Johnson

L'Affaire by Diane Johnson

Napoleon (Penguin Lives Biographies) by Paul Johnson

The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom by Daniel Jones

North American Prairie (Peterson Field Guide Series) by Stephen R Jones

Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life by Erica Jong

Ulysses (Vintage International) by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Fire by Sebastian Junger

The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment by Geoffre Kabaservice

Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball by Stefan Kanfer

The Singular Mark Twain: A Biography by Fred Kaplan

Because I Said So: Thirty-Three Mothers Write about Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves by Kate Moses and Camille Peri

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The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West by Gilles Kepel

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

The Fourth Network: How Fox Broke the Rules and Reinvented Television by Daniel M. Kimmel

Just-So Stories: For Little Children (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Books (Signet Classics) by Rudyard Kipling

Damnation Street: A Weiss and Bishop Mystery by Andrew Klavan

Katie: The Real Story by Edward Klein

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Chanel by Harold Koda

Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol

Austerity Britain, 1945-1951 by David Kynaston

Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940 by David E. Kyvig

Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (A Progressive Guide to Action) by George Lakoff

Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions by Christian Lander

Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand by David Lawday

The Life of Kingsley Amis by Zachary Leader

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines!: Or Lose Trying by Frank Legato

The Hot Kid: A Novel by Elmore Leonard

A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi by Primo Levi

The Dickinsons of Amherst by Jerome Liebling

Photograph (03 Edition) by Penelope Lively

A House Unlocked by Penelope Lively

Red-Color News Soldier by Zhensheng Li

Raintree County by Ross, Jr. Lockridge

Thinks... by David Lodge

Collected Poems by Robert Lowell

The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventionsof 1968 (New York Review Books Classics) by Norman Mailer

The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Death and Nightingales by Eugene Mccabe

Louis I Kahn by Robert Mccarter

A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy

Wodehouse: A Life by Robert McCrum

After This: A Novel by Alice McDermott

Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott

Saturday by Ian McEwan

The Art of Seeing by Cammie Mcgovern

All for Love (Continents of Exile) by Ved Mehta

Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

Somerset Maugham by Jeffrey Meyers

Twilight (Twilight Saga #1) by Stephenie Meyer

Trading Up: The New American Luxury by Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske and John Butman

The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff

Freaks, Geeks and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture Consumption by Murray, Jr. Milner

Rapture by Susan Minot

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford by Jessica Mitford

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Ezra Pound: Poet Volume I: The Young Genius 1885-1920 by A. David Moody

Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris

Breakable You by Brian Morton

Bad Boy Brawly Brown: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley

Fairness by Ferdinand Mount

Norman Parkinson Portraits in Fashion by Robin Muir

Runaway: Stories by Alice Munro

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories by Alice Munro

Carried Away: A Selection of Stories by Alice Munro

The View from Castle Rock: Stories by Alice Munro

Kafka on the Shore 1st Edition by Haruki Murakami

Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

The Annotated Lolita: Revised and Updated by Vladimir Nabokov

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature by Nahid Mozaffari and Ahmad Karimi Hakkak

Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe by Norman M. Naimark

Half a Life by V. S. Naipaul

Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw

Against the Beast: An Anti-Imperialist Reader by John Nichols

The Haunting of L. by Howard Norman

For Rouenna: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez

Flann O'Brien: The Complete Novels (Everyman's Library) by Flann O'Brien

Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O'Faolain

Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael B. Oren

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Isherwood: A Life Revealed by Peter Parker

How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science by Russ Parsons

Hatchet Jobs: Cutting Through Contemporary Literature by Dale Peck

Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic by Esther Perel

College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens, and Co-Eds, Then and Now by Lynn Peril

Money, a Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash by Liz Perle

New Art City by Jed Perl

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

Oscar Niemeyer: Curves of Irreverence by Styliane Philippou

La Terra Fortunata: The Splendid Food and Wine of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy's Great Undiscoveredregion by Fred Plotkin

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

Awe for the Tiger, Love for the Lamb: A Chronicle of Sensibility to Animals by Rod Preece

That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

Mason and Dixon (97 Edition) by Thomas Pynchon

The Annotated Waste Land, With Eliot's Contemporary Prose by Lawrence S. (edt) Rainey

Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Ste Randall

California Rising by Ethan Rarick

Fidelity by Michael Redhill

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

In Command of History : Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (05 Edition) by David Reynolds

John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights by David S. Reynolds

Dawn, Dusk or Night: A Year with Nicolas Sarkozy by Yasmina Reza

Fever: The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee by Peter Richmond

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins

The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance by Russell D. Roberts

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson

The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815 by N. A. M. Rodger

Exit Ghost by Philip Roth

Everyman by Philip Roth

Indignation by Philip Roth

A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters by Penelope Rowlands

Antwerp by Nicholas Royle

Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

Fury by Salman Rushdie

Empire Falls: A Novel by Richard Russo

There Goes the Bride by Rachel Safier

Crazy Horse (New Edition): The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz

Journals 1952-2000 by Arthur M Jr Schlesinger

Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (04 Edition) by Laura C. Schlessinger

Chicago's Famous Buildings (5TH 04 Edition) by Franz Schulze

Raj Quartet: The Jewel in the Crown/ The Day of the Scorpion by Paul Scott

Dominion by Matthew Scully

Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

Dorian by Will Self

Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me by Craig Seligman

I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido by Joan Sewell

The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of about Fifty by Wilfrid Sheed

War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans by Ben Shepherd

The Life of Graham Greene, Volume III: 1955-1991 by Norman Sherry

Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis by Ed Sikov

Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories by Joan Silber

Household Words: A Novel by Joan Silber

Jungle (02 Edition) by Upton Sinclair

The Man of My Dreams: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

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The Whole Story and Other Stories by Ali Smith

The Accidental: A Novel by Ali Smith

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The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith

On Beauty: A Novel by Zadie Smith

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Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark

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The Winter of Our Discontent (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck

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Mommy Wars: Stay-At-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families by Leslie Morgan Steiner

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Abide with Me: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout

Zeno's Conscience (Everyman's Library) by Italo Svevo

Directions to Servants by Jonathan Swift

The Gay Talese Reader by Gay Talese

Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor

The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken by Terry Teachout

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Hotel Honolulu Signed Edition by Paul Theroux

The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson

Have You Seen . . . ?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films by David Thomson

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin

That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present by Robert Tombs

How to Raise a Family on Less Than Two Incomes: The Complete Guide to Managing Your Money Better So You Can Spend More Time with Your Kids by Denise M Topolnicki

Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style by Richard Torregrossa

Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P. L. Travers

V. S. Pritchett: A Working Life by Jeremy Treglown

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor

A Tramp Abroad (Modern Library Classics) by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Modern Library Classics) by Mark Twain

Life on the Mississippi (Modern Library Classics) by Mark Twain

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

Digging to America: A Novel by Anne Tyler

Call of the Mall: The Author of Why We Buy on the Geography of Shopping by Paco Underhill

Terrorist: A Novel by John Updike

Seek My Face by John Updike

Defending Israel: A Controversial Plan Toward Peace by Martin Van Creveld

Veeck--As in Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck by William Louis, Jr. Veeck

The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation by Richard Vinen

Memoirs of an Anti-Semite by Gregor Von Rezzori

Raphael Soriano by Wolfgang Wagener

Balenciaga and His Legacy by Myra Walker

London 1945: Life in the Debris of War by Maureen Waller

Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters

Urban Tribes : Are Friends New Family? (04 Edition) by Ethan Watters

Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh

Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh

Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought by Jerry Weinberger

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton: Vol 1. Collected Stories:1891-1910 (Library of America) by Edith Wharton

Sanctuary (Hesperus Classics) by Edith Wharton

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker

Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead

Leaves of Grass (Signet Classics Edition) (58 Edition) by Walt Whitman

Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 by Chris Wickham

Hoop Roots by John Edgar Wideman

Borges: A Life by Edwin Williamson

After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World by A N Wilson

Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s & 30s (Library of America #176) by Edmund Wilson

I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Novel by Tom Wolfe

The Art of Burning Bridges: A Life of John O'Hara by Geoffrey Wolff

Autumn of the Moguls My Misadventures by Michael Wolff

Old School by Tobias Wolff

The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy by Andrew Zimbalist


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