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Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
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Rise and Shine

by Anna Quindlen

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1,580544,615 (3.26)27
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    Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though the sisters at the heart of these two novels are unwillingly thrust into the national limelight with quite different results for their relationships, both novels offer a compelling, realistic, and insightful look into the complex bonds between sisters.… (more)
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
First, let me get my bias out of the way. I am predisposed to adore any author who writes a book titled [b:How Reading Changed My Life|113148|How Reading Changed My Life|Anna Quindlen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320398903s/113148.jpg|3154214]. And I think Quindlen also shares one of my grammar pet peeves; when a news anchor says "She will probably have less supporters inside and out," Quindlen's characters shout at the screen. "'Fewer!' yelled Irving and I simultaneously."

Quindlen also really nails her descriptions of New York; you can tell she lives here when she makes the argument that black town cars are "the official icon of New York." "New Yorkers with pretensions but middle-class means take one for airport trips or special occasions," while for young professionals, "the company picks up the tab when they take one home late at night, when a prospectus or a brief has slopped over into the early morning hours." Her language is simple but vivid, like sketches done in black ink that evoke complex objects with just a few lines, and a hint of a flourish at the edges. It was the summer Meghan was an intern at the network affiliate there, the summer that would become the fat paragraph in every profile, and already she had started to shine like a copper ornament in the garden of everyday. Quindlen's straightforward style and everyday verbiage works perfectly for her first person narrator, and even her little lapses into poetry never overreach. The waitstaff may "drop tiny tasting dishes all over Kate's table like falling leaves," but the rest of the paragraph is perfectly conversational, leaving that jewel of a simile to shine like a stone in a minimalist setting. And see, she inspires me to write similes of my own, which may or may not be made of cubic zirconia.

Pick this up if you want an accessible but lovely novel that delicately reflects on the magic and mystery of sisterly love, and the peculiarly intertwined pressures of fame and tragedy. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
I had a hard time getting into this book. It wasn't a bad read, but I picked it up and put it down about 30 times in a month before I actually finished it. It wasn't as captivating as I would have liked and the story didn't really go anywhere for a long, long time. Not my favorite book in what I would classify as a "light read" category. ( )
  cyrenaz | Jan 22, 2016 |
Meghan Fitzmorris is the host of a morning show and her sister Bridget is a social worker. Meghan says a profanity on air and chaos ensues. The first 2/3 of the book is pretty light, talking about New York society and television. Then the last 1/3 of the book takes a major turn into the depressing which I didn't like. The end of the book suddenly leaps forward five years with a rushed summary of where the characters are now. I would have liked the book better without the melodramatic ending. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
The first third of this book is interesting in a gossipy way. The main character is actually NOT the main character, she's honing in on her famous sister's life and taking a backseat to all the action and reaction the sister experiences. Somewhere near the halfway point, the main character actually becomes the main character. We get to see her day-to-day life and experience things from her point of view, more than experience her sister's life through her own. Overall it was an interesting book, and I definitely wanted to finish it to see what happened. I felt like it gave an interesting spin on a celebrity's fall from grace, but I felt very distanced from it all. I was aware I was reading a book, and didn't feel like I was sucked in at all. There was also a loose thread when the sisters were in Jamaica that was never addressed, which bugs me even after having closed the book. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Is it pure coincidence that I just finished reading Anna Quindlen’s Rise and Shine on the heels of Jack London’s Martin Eden? And would I expect Quindlen’s principal character, Meghan Fitzmaurice, to meet the same unhappy conclusion that London’s principal character, Martin Eden, inevitably met – given that their two trajectories on the booster fuel of fame and fortune are uncannily similar?


I don’t know. You tell me. In any case, one has to wonder whether life along the Museum Mile – or the equivalent in San Francisco – frankly ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.


‘Anna Quindlen’ is a name as well known in these parts as that of ‘Bergdorf Goodman’ or ‘Tavern on the Green’ – but is neither as rich and gaudy as the former nor as ticky-tacky-touristy as the latter. If Thornton Wilder had written a play titled “Our Girl” rather than “Our Town,” Anna Quindlen would be its natural subject – which is to say she’s so NYC, it makes one cringe to think people living outside this burg are actually reading her prose.


Perhaps that’s a backhanded compliment. Her descriptions of both character and setting – as well as the dialogue she puts in the mouths of her characters – are eerily (and grotesquely) familiar. Upper-crust New Yorkers do think, act and speak this way, and it’s always been a wonder to me that so many of them not only survive, but even function (reasonably) well in this 24/7 masquerade. But hey, there’s always southern Connecticut just to the north – and western New Jersey just to the west. Need I say more?


Lucky for us, Quindlen provides the occasional real-life breather with scenes from the Bronx as told by Meghan’s younger sister, Bridget (sometimes ‘Bridey’; other times ‘Bridge’). For those of us living and working in the outlying boroughs, these scenes are a quick – and welcome! – descent from the hot-air balloon ride over and through the highways and byways of Manhattan. “No Monday through Friday for the working poor: they take it where they can find it” Bridget ruminates on pp. 195-6. And while I’m by no means suggesting that every writer has to follow in the footsteps of Henry Roth or Frank McCourt in either writer’s depiction of life here in New York City, these last two would seem to me to be nearer the mark than Anna Quindlen – for at least 95% of the population, that is.


Quindlen is a capable story-teller – make no mistake about it – and this novel has all of the pieces in place to make it a good yarn. It’s just … most of these people! I swear if I weren’t living separated from them by a mere bridge, I could think of 100,000 other places I’d rather visit.


RRB
07/21/14
Brooklyn, NY

( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Fame is a bee. It has a song- It has a sting- Ah, too, it has a wing. - Emily Dickinson
Dedication
For Maria Krovatin, the star. Fearless, powerful, utterly amazing. I want to be you when I grow up.
First words
From time to time some stranger will ask me how I can bear to live in New York City.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375502246, Hardcover)

From Anna Quindlen, acclaimed author of Blessings, Black and Blue, and One True Thing, a superb novel about two sisters, the true meaning of success, and the qualities in life that matter most.

It’s an otherwise ordinary Monday when Meghan Fitzmaurice’s perfect life hits a wall. A household name as the host of Rise and Shine, the country’s highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break–but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike.

In an instant, it’s the end of an era, not only for Meghan, who is unaccustomed to dealing with adversity, but also for her younger sister, Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan’s long shadow. The effect of Meghan’s on-air truth telling reverberates through both their lives, affecting Meghan’s son, husband, friends, and fans, as well as Bridget’s perception of her sister, their complex childhood, and herself. What follows is a story about how, in very different ways, the Fitzmaurice women adapt, survive, and manage to bring the whole teeming world of New York to heel by dint of their smart mouths, quick wits, and the powerful connection between them that even the worst tragedy cannot shatter.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A novel about two sisters, the true meaning of success, and the qualities in life that matter most. It's an otherwise ordinary Monday when Meghan Fitzmaurice's perfect life hits a wall. A household name as the host of the country's highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break--but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike. In an instant, it's the end of an era, not only for Meghan, who is unaccustomed to dealing with adversity, but also for her younger sister, Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan's long shadow. The effect of Meghan's on-air truth telling reverberates through both their lives, affecting Meghan's son, husband, friends, and fans, as well as Bridget's perception of her sister, their complex childhood, and herself.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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