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I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian…
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I Couldn't Love You More (edition 2012)

by Jillian Medoff

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96None126,172 (3.08)None
Member:RebeccaLeaf
Title:I Couldn't Love You More
Authors:Jillian Medoff
Info:5 Spot (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 432 pages
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I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff

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Totally flattened me. I wasn't expecting such depth and insight--but it's also funny! I loved this book very much. An amazing exploration of family ties and connections. Medoff is a great storyteller, and I will read anything she writes! ( )
  kimburnup | Feb 5, 2013 |
Knockout premise for a book and really one of those classic questions. If both your kids were drowning at the same time, which one would you save? ( )
  RochelleJewelShapiro | Feb 1, 2013 |
I read this because it was reviewed as some of the summer's best "chick lit" on CBS Sunday Morning. Unfortunately, the story was predictable, flat, and annoying at times. ( )
  RebeccaLeaf | Dec 28, 2012 |
I Couldn't Love You More is author Jillian Medoff's latest novel, but the first for this reader.

I had no idea what to expect, but a cover blurb from Jodi Picoult hinted at a thoughtful, thought-provoking novel. And it was.

Thirty eight year old Eliot Gordon lives with her partner Grant and their three children. One daughter, Hilary, is Eliot and Grant's child. The other two daughters, Gail and Charlotte, are from Grant's marriage. Yes, a blended family with all it's ups - and downs.

I was drawn to Eliot from the first page. She's a warm, caring, loving mother to all three girls, treating them all equally. Charlotte at fourteen makes it very difficult to love her, but Eliot perseveres. The girls' biological mother is a bit of a flake and Eliot is a calming, steady rock in their lives. Grant too is a rock - a man steadfastly devoted to his partner and family.

Eliot is one of three girls herself and is also from a broken home. She's had no contact with her own father for many, many years. This has only strengthened her resolve to provide a stable home for the girls. Eliot's sisters are both quite the characters. I was a bit turned off by Sylvia at first. She's loud, brash and over the top. As the novel progressed, I have to admit that she became my favourite character, ahead of Eliot.

For midway in the novel comes a turning point. Although she is happy, there are ups and downs in Eliot's life. When Finn, an old flame from university appears, Eliot reconnects with him. This reconnection has an unforeseeable, unforgettable, unimaginable impact on Eliot, Grant and their daughters. The second half of the novel deals with the fallout from this pivotal point onwards.

Medoff touches on many subjects in I Couldn't Love You More. Sibling rivalry, step parenting, parenting, familial relationships of all types, love, loss, regrets and remorse, grief and guilt. And Medoff does it all with a keen, knowing eye and probing prose.

The second half of the book had me torn. Without giving too much of the plot away - I became very angry with Eliot - her choices, her decisions and the aftermath. But, this is the hallmark of a good storyteller. Medoff definitely arouses emotion with this poignant tale. This would be an excellent choice for a book club.....and engender lots of discussion. ( )
  Twink | Jun 25, 2012 |
I have been reading " I Couldn't Love You More" for over a week. This is very unusual for me. I just had to savor every word of it. I had to take time to take it all in. Like a delicious Godiva truffle, I wanted to take my time to chew over what Jillian Medoff was "saying." This is an extraordinary piece of literature. It's one that warrants such time-taking. It's a book I wanted to cherish and reread, personally. It may be one of those "nightstand" books because I'd like to keep opening it to passages to think on again and again. This may give you some idea of the quality of Ms Medoff's writing.

I'm not surprised she worked under and studied with some of the finest authors of our times...

it shows up in her work.

I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't do some influencing herself.


The book also meant a great deal to me as a mother and step-mother. Her ability to translate this very delicate balance of love and responsibility,

of wanting to be loved and wanting to do what's right is just masterful.

Her telling of that risk of giving it all in mothering for what may be receiving little or no return in the long run is what each of us mothers understands...but it's more so for step-moms.

The risks in this book are just staggering. And they kept me nailed to the novel mind and spirit.

At last, I thought, someone gets it down on paper.


I write notes about books as I read them, and I read without reading any reviews or summaries of my books if I can help it. In this case, I kept things to a minimum. So one of my notes to myself was about Sophie's choice. Yes, there is that happenstance in this book and it's as horrifying here and as smashing of lives as you can imagine. The dysfunction of families, and the particular dynamics of three significantly different sisters (all playing their Shakespearean roles) is hilarious enough to break the underlying tensions. But, these are not the only things that captured me about this novel.


Primarily, and in addition to what I've already said about the mothering, I was captivated by its quality of voice. That's a rare thing to me. To so clearly hear the author's voice was stunning. It was hypnotic. It felt as if I were sitting on the sofa of my very best friend and she was telling me her life story. I felt I was hearing her secrets; her intimate thoughts and feelings that she kept inside but was now sharing with me.

This book begins in a sort of monologue. At least, to me there was little dialog.

This sort of thing is ordinarily not appealing to me. But, as I said, it was simply golden in Jillian Medoff's hands. To this day I'm in awe of that.

As I write this, I wonder if my readers will even comprehend how something can be told without an emphasis on dialog and be so powerful and absorbing to the reader!

It would be redundant to tell you what "I Couldn't Love You More" is "about," so I won't do that. Only, I will say it is such a beautifully created story of love and sacrifice and redemption. I thought Jillian Medoff's quote of a Willa Cather saying was significant in the beginning of her book:

" There are only one or two human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before."


This is one of those tellings of one of those lives and times. It may be we've all experienced much of what Ms Medoff describes in her story. It may be this that makes it so relavant and so poinant. And, it's a profound and wonderful telling.

I hope you get your own copy to read and share. You can never have mine... ( )
1 vote BookishDame | May 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446584622, Paperback)

Which child would you save? A decision no parent can even fathom.



Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives an ordinary but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .



Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that culminates in a split-second decision that will haunt her beloved family forever. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we'll go to save each other, even as we can't save ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:42 -0400)

Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives an ordinary but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that culminates in a split-second decision that will haunt her beloved family forever. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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