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Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani…

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage (edition 2017)

by Dani Shapiro (Author)

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Title:Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage
Authors:Dani Shapiro (Author)
Info:Knopf (2017), Edition: First Edition, 160 pages
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Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro



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The words that come to mind reading Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro are nonlinear, personal, intimate, quiet, and reflective. This slim book is a reflection and commentary on marriage. This is not a memoir with a linear timeline or a plot; it is more like picking through a photo album, drifting from memory to memory until an image more expansive than the photographs themselves forms. The craft of Dani Shapiro's writing makes it feel real and heartfelt.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/hourglass-time-memory-marriage.html

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program. ( )
  njmom3 | Apr 4, 2017 |
I received an uncorrected bound proof and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It requires a slow and thoughtful reading as the author expertly inserts her random thoughts into your stream of consciousness as she looks back and examines her own life, providing examples of the positive and the negative, the joy and the sadness, the happiness and the disappointments and their eventual influence on her future.
The memories move back and forth in time, detailing, with only a few well placed words, the ups and downs and in and outs of the moments that most stand out in her mind as she contemplates her past. It runs the gamut of emotion which the readers will feel immersed in with her, because many of her memories and feelings are universal and could well be theirs. The losses and gains in life add up, but not always arithmetically. Their values change depending on the circumstance. She has woven a poignant look at her experiences and special events, both good and bad, and made them our own, as well.
I found the writing style interesting since her thoughts were random in almost the same way as she describes the development of the tragedy of a battle lost to dementia. Yet her approach is not rambling or confusing, but rather enlightening. Although her memories are random, they are, fortunately, returning to her, whereas to one suffering from Alzheimers, they are lost forever.
The book is very concise, but it contains all the pertinent elements necessary to engage and enlighten the reader. One caveat is that I think it would be best if the reader was a little educated about the author’s life before tackling it. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Feb 19, 2017 |
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"Let me fall if I must fall. The one I will become will catch me."  --THE BAAL SHEM TOV
This book is for M.
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From my office window I see my husband on the driveway below.
...beginnings are like seeds that contain within them everything that will ever happen.
I cannot bring myself to even idly wish any of it - not even the most painful parts - away. Eighteen years. Change even one moment, and the whole thing unravels. The narrative thread doesn't stretch in a line from end to end, but rather, spools and unspools, loops around and returns again and again to the same spot. Come closer now and listen. Be thankful for all of it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451494482, Hardcover)

The best-selling novelist and memoirist delivers her most intimate and powerful work: a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds, and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love.

Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time--abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart, and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning--a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
     What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise--how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence. Artful, intensely emotional work from one of our finest writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 17 Nov 2016 22:46:02 -0500)

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