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Lucky Girls: Stories by Nell Freudenberger
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Lucky Girls: Stories

by Nell Freudenberger

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I loved this book! ( )
  viviennestrauss | Jan 13, 2019 |
"The Orphan"
This is the short story of a family splintering in different directions. The parents are separated and on the verge of getting a divorce. The nearly adult children are in Thailand and Bangor, Maine - worlds apart from one another. When the family converges in Bangkok it is an orphan that shifts the tide for them all, individually and as a family.
I can't decide if I like Alice or not. As a mother, what should she have done when her kid calls up and says not only has she been assaulted, but raped as well? That's not the sort of thing you let drop when the kid suddenly changes her story and says it's no big deal.
Lines I liked, "She drops the dog, possibly robbing him mother of his life" (p 31) and "...often, when you step around the conventional way of doing things, you end up with something worse" (p 56).

"Outside the Eastern Gates"
The protagonist in "Outside the Eastern Gate" is like any 40 year old person facing the deteriorating aging of a parent. There is a sense of bafflement at the role reversal; a sense of sadness about being away for so long. Upon returning to Delhi she remembers the desperate longing for her mother's love while simultaneously coping with her father's Alzheimer diagnosis.
A line to like, "The bogeyman appears in the first forty seconds after nightfall" (p 68). Good to know. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 3, 2016 |
I loved the first two and last two stories - was sort of baffled by the middle one ("Outside the Eastern Gate").

From "The Orphan"
p. 52 Alice thinks of the incredible frustration of not knowing things, and of knowing that they can't be known - the incredible privacy of people's experience.

From "The Tutor"
p. 113 Homesickness was like any other illness: you couldn't remember it properly.

From "Letter From the Last Bastion"
p. 176 My mother says that if you're always thinking about how things are going to be in your life, you can never be happy.
p. 192 He'd grown accustomed to the happiness of *waiting* to see her. A letter from her could change an impossible day into a bearable one.
p. 220 That's something Henry's noticed about writing novels: even when you make things up, they tend to come true eventually.
p. 223 And what are we going to do now, because I believe in science, but my mother, whom I love so much...my mother believes in angels.
p. 224 Everyone looks different in real life than they do in pictures, just the way that they sound different in writing than they do when they talk. People disagree about which one is more honest. Personally, I like having time to figure out what I mean before I say it.
( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
This collection of short stories is not awesome. She's a horrible storyteller.
  HomeGirlQuel | Apr 14, 2009 |
good stories, well written, perfect gift for a graduate on their way around the world... ( )
  gailparis | Nov 7, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060088796, Hardcover)

Nell Freudenberger knows from lucky girls. She has had a lot of luck herself in her short writing career: Her debut story was featured in The New Yorker, with a glossy full-color author photo alongside; a quick book contract ensued, on the strength of that one published story; and now comes a debut collection full of stories that are actually good. The Lucky Girls collected here are far-flung Americans, young women trying to figure out where they belong in the world. In "The Tutor," teenage Julia and her businessman father are living in Bombay; her mother has returned to the United States. Julia crams for the SATs with her tutor Zubin, smokes cigarettes, and goes to nightclubs; her father hovers at home. Freudenberger gets just right the moments when Julia and her father find themselves alone together, trying to be a family: "It was just the two of them at the table then; even with the leaves taken out and stored against the wall in the coat closet, they had to half-stand in order to pass the soup." Too, she knows the upper-class world of which she writes. In "The Orphan," Mandy's parents and brother come to visit her in Thailand, where she is working with "AIDS babies." Mandy's brother Josh appears, and Freudenberger skewers his type, neatly, in a sentence: "Josh looks like someone coming out of trench warfare in the Balkans, rather than college in Maine." But Freudenberger isn't telling easy rich-kid stories. She's forever pushing her narration. In "The Tutor," we hear from Zubin, an overeducated Indian, as well as from Julia. "The Orphan," in turn, is told by Mandy's mom, a woman bewildered by yet proud of her daughter's choice to remain in Thailand. Freudenberger's stories are cosmopolitan, expansive, and richly detailed, a beguiling combination of qualities. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A collection of five stories set in Southeast Asia narrated by young women who find themselves in situations involving adult love.

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