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Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia…

Among the Ten Thousand Things (2015)

by Julia Pierpont

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4237638,896 (2.95)33
"Jack Shanley is a well-known New York artist, charming and vain, who doesn't mean to plunge his family into crisis. His wife Deb gladly left behind a difficult career as a dancer to raise the two children she adores. In the ensuing years, she has mostly avoided coming face-to-face with the weaknesses of the man she married. But then an anonymously sent package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack's secret life. The package is addressed to Deb, but it's delivered into the wrong hands: her children's"--Dust jacket flap.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Nice writing, though at times the prose felt like it was trying too hard. The story felt unfinished to me, but all in all I enjoyed reading it. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
***I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

This review was first posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings

What originally drew me to this book was the synopsis. I couldn't imagine something like this happening to a family. Sure, affairs happen far too often. But for one of the participants to print out all the emails and conversations and send it to the wife of her lover, and instead it falls into the children's hands? I had to read about what would happen after that.

Sadly, despite the synopsis and the promise of that story, the book was a huge letdown.

The main thing that took away from this book for me is the sequence jumping. I don't think I've ever read a book where the story is told out of sequence. It's very unsettling. You start out as the story unfolds and the box is delivered. Then in part two, everyone ages, and you find out what eventually happens to the entire family as they go through life. Part three is a jump back to the past and the summer adventures directly after the box. Part four is somewhere between 3 and 2. The last line of the book had me saying "Seriously? That's it?" to myself.

I felt almost no connection to the characters. The story felt detached, the phrasing blurted out in rough, but descriptive sentences. I think I kept reading the book hoping that it would redeem itself somehow. That somewhere along the way, story would start taking a deeper turn, and you'd really start to get into the characters thoughts as they went through this experience.

I was hoping for a look into the minds of the kids, and how Simon and Kay would process and deal with their father's affair. Simon reacts in anger, Kay seems to shrink away into herself. But there's no deeper processing beyond that.

I wanted more from Deborah too, more than to see her just run away for the summer. And more from Jack, than just seeing him wrap himself in his work and run off to Arizona.

The synopsis promised a story that was funny, wise, and indescribably moving. I found it to be none of these things. I did enjoy bits and pieces of the writing, but that's probably the only thing that kept me from giving the story only one star. If I could sum up the book I would say it reminds me of Jack's installation art piece. An attempt to see inside the destruction of a demolition site that ends up detonating in disappointment one last time unexpectedly, just like his failed art show detonates unexpectedly injuring that woman. Only the ending of the book leaves the reader slightly injured and disappointed.
( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I didn't love this book but I enjoyed it and I appreciated the different voices and actual character differences the author was able to develop. It wasn't slow, but simultaneously nothing much happened, and there wasn't any real resolution to what did happen. Which, frankly, was pretty realistic. Every decision or moment of confusion was legitimately complex, feelings grey, actions grey. Every character wanted conflicting things. Everyone was a little alone, and a little tired. A little too much like real life, in the end. ( )
  MizPurplest | Aug 6, 2018 |
Abandoned after a couple chapters. I barely remember what I read except that I was bored by it. While reading, I remember thinking that I'd read something almost exactly like it somewhere in the last couple of years.

It comes off pretty much like a lot of overhyped products of writer's programs: all packaging, not much product.
  Yaaresse | Apr 24, 2018 |
I picked up this book after reading glowing critical reviews about it while also being cognizant that readers on Goodreads haven't favored it much. I really loved this book. The best word I can find to describe it is raw. I actually found it difficult to read at times as it chronicles how a family dissolves after the discovery of an extra-marital affair. I found it to be so real, honest and terribly sad. It seems that people tend to think the author's prose was over the top but I really enjoyed it. I thought she wrote with such depth. The author also brilliantly weaves in the ending of the book in the middle of the story so it keeps you very engaged. If you are a child of divorce or if you've been touched by infidelity within your own marriage - this book may put you in a very sad and dark place - so I will definitely be careful with who I recommend it to. Looking forward to this author's next book. ( )
  LauraBethR | Mar 28, 2018 |
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Little sleep's-head sprouting hair in the moonlight,
when I come back
we will go out together,
we will walk out together among
the ten thousand things,
each scratched too late with such knowledge, the wages
of dying is love.

     - Galway Kinnell
For my parents,

  as a matter of course
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Dear Deborah,
Do you go by Deborah?
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