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How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life…
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How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Mameve Medwed

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2121455,047 (3.5)6
Member:ccayne
Title:How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life
Authors:Mameve Medwed
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2007), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Read 2013, radio show

Work details

How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed (2006)

Recently added byprivate library, llaaiinnaa, Bookish59, book_in_hand, elzbthp, Dandelion_Cottage, ccayne
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Abby, antique dealer, is vulnerable and trusting. Raised in the academic environment around Harvard, her hard-headed and arrogant father chips away at her confidence, while her mother is supportive. Eventually mom leaves with Henrietta, her neighbor ... and begins a short but fulfilling life filled with love. She and Henrietta are killed in an earthquake while on vacation visiting the Taj Mahal. Abby misses her terribly. Dad eventually moves on to a younger woman and loosens up!

Abby's life hits some serious lows but eventually takes a turn for the better after one of her antiques is found to be real!

Fun, quick read. ( )
  Bookish59 | Jul 16, 2013 |
Well written, pleasant winter book. Light romance. ( )
  ccayne | Feb 27, 2013 |
I liked this book.

I am partial to local books - books set in Metro Boston. This book had a really wonderful sense of place. I felt like her portrayal of things in Cambridge - specifically Harvard Square and Inman Square smacked of authenticity.

The story rambled in a charming sort of way. Some of it was far fetched but I was willing to go along for the ride. Some of the side characters could have used some finer detail - fewer bold strokes.

I particularly liked the very ending of this book. I felt it was a resolution I could really identify with and felt satisfied by.

And.... one of the most striking covers I have seen in a long time. ( )
  alanna1122 | Feb 7, 2013 |
Fantastic, funny, engrossing, engaging, sweet, and all around good book. Can a Cambridge blue-blood, Harvard faculty brat, drifting under-achiever junk dealer wannabe find a little happiness and perhaps even (gulp) love? Even after getting her heart broken by the boy next door and love of her life? Well why not, and have a few wacky misadventures on the way there. This was a great book because all the jerks get their just desserts and the poor little Boston Brahmin is so human and fallible you can't help but like her and cheer her on. Great story and well written to boot. ( )
  eenerd | Jun 14, 2010 |
Cons: The protagonist, Abby, is whiny and her please-use-me-as-your-doormat personality is irritating and self serving, as is her tendency toward self put downs; they have an air of falseness about them. The ending is far too predictable. In some instances the symbolism is embarrassingly overstated.

Pros: Unique writing, word choices, and plot. Lots of great literary references. Much of the writing is very nice. Despite the ending being far too predictable, it is the ending I wanted. :) ( )
  deniseleeduncan | May 10, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds (also, with the church's protestant blessings daughters, unscented shapeless spirited)

they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead, are invariably interested in so many things- at the present writing one still finds delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles? perhaps. While permanent faces coyly bandy scandal of Mrs. N and Professor D
...the Cambridge ladies do not care, above Cambridge if sometimes in its box of sky lavender and cornerless, the moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy -E.E. Cummings, May 1922
Dedication
For Howard...Let me count the ways.
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It's midafternoon on a Monday, too quiet her at Objects of Desire.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060831200, Paperback)

What do a chamber pot, a famous poet, a family feud, and a long-ago suitor all have in common?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning might have written about the length and breadth of love, but Abby Randolph has given up on all that, preferring to spend her time between her cluttered "needs work" apartment and an overcrowded antiques mart optimistically named Objects of Desire. Yet Abby can't help but wonder what happened to her earlier passionate self . . .

Then the Antiques Roadshow comes to town, and Abby joins thousands of Boston's hopefuls at the crack of dawn, artifact in hand. But there, among the carousel horses and bedraggled stuffed animals, Abby's rather squalid piece of porcelain gets the star treatment. And from the moment the show airs, everything changes—friendships, her career, love affairs, even the way she views herself and others—as life comes rushing back at Abby Randolph full force.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:17:55 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Elizabeth Barrett Browning might have written about the length and breadth of love, but Abby Randolph has given up on all that, preferring to spend her time between her cluttered "needs work" apartment and the overcrowded antiques mart - the optimistically named Objects of Desire. Yet Abby can't help but wonder what happened to her earlier passionate self who rejected the path set out for her, dropping out of Harvard and falling headfirst into an ill-fated love affair." "Then the Antiques Roadshow comes to town, and Abby turns up at the crack of dawn, artifact in hand, standing alongside thousands of Boston's hopefuls. But there, among the carousel horses, pipe sets, pot-bellied stoves, and bedraggled stuffed animals, it is Abby's rather ordinary - and squalid - piece of porcelain that gets the star treatment." "Abby is barely able to enjoy her good news, for the moment the show airs, life comes back at her full force. Everything changes: friendship, finances, family, love affairs, career, her view of others, and the way she sees herself."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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