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When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton
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When Madeline Was Young (edition 2007)

by Jane Hamilton

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6003524,641 (3.31)28
Member:rachelle-a-tron
Title:When Madeline Was Young
Authors:Jane Hamilton
Info:Anchor (2007), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I thought this book was really lovely and moving. It does lack a strong plot, but that did not bother me as much as it bothered some other commenters. I thought the characters were very well-developed and I don't agree that the bits about Vietnam and Iraq were tangential to the theme; I thought that they were effectively used to portray both the passing of time and the way that views and perspective shift or remain the same over time. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I thought this book was really lovely and moving. It does lack a strong plot, but that did not bother me as much as it bothered some other commenters. I thought the characters were very well-developed and I don't agree that the bits about Vietnam and Iraq were tangential to the theme; I thought that they were effectively used to portray both the passing of time and the way that views and perspective shift or remain the same over time. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Though the book is titled When Madeline was Young, the story really is the observation/history of the Maciver family over years as narrated by the son of Madeline’s husband Aaron. It begins when Aaron Maciver’s young wife, Madeline, suffers a head injury in a bicycle crash and she is left with the mental capacity of a six-year-old. In a strange twist, Aaron and his second wife Julia care for Madeline, as they raise two children of their own—creating a very different non-traditional family. The story moves (both back and forth) from Mac’s childhood growing up with Madeline and his cousin Buddy in Wisconsin through the Vietnam War, through Mac years as a husband with children of his own, and through Buddy’s involvement with the Gulf Wars. I found the concept of this book interesting, though I wasn’t completely enthralled with the characters, particularly Madeline (who seemed to be incredibly superficial—especially prior to her accident). I also was disappointed that we didn’t receive much insight as to why certain decisions were made—particularly why Julia and Aaron agreed to “raise” Madeline. 3 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Aug 31, 2016 |
New York : Anchor Books,
  oceanview | Apr 17, 2016 |
Joplin Library Book Club selection for Oct. 2010. I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to me that a female author used a male character as the narrator. I thought she did that very well. ( )
  anitatally | Feb 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Hamiltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Poe, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Everyone when I was growing up had a dog or a brother or a cousin, someone close by, called Buddy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385516711, Hardcover)

Jane Hamilton, award-winning author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, is back in top form with a richly textured novel about a tragic accident and its effects on two generations of a family.

When Aaron Maciver’s beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she is left with the intellectual powers of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own.

Narrated by Aaron's son, Mac, When Madeline Was Young chronicles the Maciver family through the decades, from Mac’s childhood growing up with Madeline and his cousin Buddy in Wisconsin through the Vietnam War, through Mac’s years as a husband with children of his own, and through Buddy’s involvement with the subsequent Gulf Wars. Jane Hamilton, with her usual humor and keen observations of human relationships, deftly explores the Maciver's unusual situation and examines notions of childhood (through Mac and Buddy’s actual youth as well as Madeline’s infantilization) and a rivalry between Buddy’s and Mac’s families that spans decades and various wars. She captures the pleasures and frustrations of marriage and family, and she exposes the role that past relationships, rivalries, and regrets inevitably play in the lives of adults.

Inspired in part by Elizabeth Spencer’s Light in the Piazza, Hamilton offers an honest and exquisite portrait of how a family tragedy forever shapes and alters the boundaries of love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Aaron Maciver's beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she is left with the intellectual powers of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own.… (more)

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