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Cost by Roxana Robinson

Cost (2008)

by Roxana Robinson

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2831739,844 (3.61)28
  1. 01
    Dancing in the Kitchen by Susan Sterling (Publerati)
    Publerati: Great writing and interesting characters, each book features multiple locations including the state of Maine.

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
It's a 3.5 for it's very realistic look at addiction, specifically heroin addiction and what it can do to a family. I thought it got off track some of the time by trying to bring in too many other problems to the family dynamic. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
It's a 3.5 for it's very realistic look at addiction, specifically heroin addiction and what it can do to a family. I thought it got off track some of the time by trying to bring in too many other problems to the family dynamic. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
I had the library specially order this for me -as they could not get it from inter library loan they actually purchased it. I feel slightly guilty inflicting it on other people when I return it to the library.

It is pretty much a classic what-seems-like-it-will-tear-the-family-apart-actually- brings-it-closer story. It could have been a powerful story about addiction and how an entire family becomes caught in it's vortex. But somehow it wasn't. Partially it is because it takes place against a background of distressed barnwood. I understand this is to show that heroin addiction does not only occur among the working classes, that it can happen to any family, but somehow it falls a bit flat in its middle-class earnestness.

Part of the problem is the over use of descriptive language- we know what every character was wearing in every scene, and the decor of every room, particularly in the 'shabby-chic' Maine summer home. The over use of adjectives ans similes is a pet hate of mine, and I knew trouble was ahead when every ingredient in a ham sandwich in the opening chapter is described, from the 'translucent, succulent meat' to the tomato with its 'juicy scarlet core' to the slices of bread spread with mayonnaise like 'marble tiles'. ( )
  dylkit | Feb 3, 2014 |
The characters in the book are all very wooden, stereotypical and unlikeable. As an example older parents who don't know what is going on and can't cope with change or retirement. Daughter who wonders whether to put them in a home until she has a problem with her son -- a heroin addict who lies and steals from her. Daughter who doesn't want to take things from her father except that she had a priviledged life and education and is now an art professor at Columbia. There is no one to care about here and I don't understand all the praise this novel received. ( )
  VictoriaNH | Mar 29, 2013 |
I really struggled through this book and was very disappointed. It really sounded as if It would be a book I could sink my teeth into. Ummm..no...failure. It bored me and I was really trying to get pass all the parts in the story that I felt really had nothing to do with what the story was suppose to be about. A few chapters were really riveting but when you have a book of over 400 pages a few chapters of fantastic writing does no good. Slow and WTF at times I just didn't care for the writing nor the characters. ( )
  justablondemoment | Feb 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Robinson has been perennially and somewhat reductively tagged a chronicler of WASP life. This designation, while factually accurate — as is the observation that her stories regularly address parenting and marital issues — doesn’t do her justice. These subjects — WASP life, domestic life — are often used as code for “small,” in the sense of both trivial and mean, and Robinson’s fiction is neither. In writing about characters whose lives are constrained, she makes them loom large.
added by LiteraryFiction | editNew York Times, Leah Hager Cohen (pay site) (Jun 22, 2008)
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Book description
An already fractured family further torn by son's heroin addiction.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374271879, Hardcover)


When Julia Lambert, an art professor, settles into her idyllic Maine house for the summer, she plans to spend the time tending her fragile relationships with her father, a repressive neurosurgeon, and her gentle mother, who is descending into Alzheimer’s. But a shattering revelation intrudes: Julia’s son Jack has spiraled into heroin addiction.

In an attempt to save him, Julia marshals help from her looseknit clan: elderly parents; remarried ex-husband; removed sister; and combative eldest son. Ultimately, heroin courses through the characters’ lives with an impersonal and devastating energy, sweeping the family into a world in which deceit, crime, and fear are part of daily life.

Roxana Robinson is the author of Sweetwater, which Booklist called a “hold-your-breath novel of loss and love.” Billy Collins praised Robinson as “a master at moving from the art of description to the work of excavating the truths about ourselves.”

In Cost, Robinson tackles addiction and explores its effects on the bonds of family, dazzling us with her hallmark subtlety and precision in evoking the emotional interiors of her characters. The result is a work in which the reader’s sense of discovery and compassion for every character remains unflagging to the end, even as the reader, like the characters, is caught up in Cost’s breathtaking pace.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:44 -0400)

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Settling into her parents' home in Maine hoping to help them with their respective health challenges, art professor Julie Lambert is shattered by the discovery of her son's heroin addiction.

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Average: (3.61)
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2 8
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