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One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen

One True Thing: A Novel (original 1994; edition 2006)

by Anna Quindlen (Author)

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2,250306,308 (3.86)32
A New York psychiatrist recounts her mother's death for which she was arrested. At the time, Dr. Ellen Gulden was accused of killing her mother with an overdose of morphine, a charge in part based on a high school essay in which she advocated euthanasia.
Title:One True Thing: A Novel
Authors:Anna Quindlen (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2006), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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One True Thing by Anna Quindlen (1994)


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» See also 32 mentions

English (29)  German (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
171 "Our parents are never people to us, they're always character traits, Achille's heels, dim nightmares, vocal tics, bad noses, hot tears, all handed down and us stuck with them. Our dilemma is utter: turn and look...understand and pity, like and talk with...recognize...and the separation is complete - but when that happens you will have to be an adult. There is only room on the lifeboat of your life for one, and you always choose yourself, and turn your parents into whatever it takes to keep yourself afloat."
276 "We'd made her simpler all her life, simpler than her real self. We'd made her what she needed to be. We'd made her ours, out one true thing. It's all anyone wants, really, to make life simple."
  ahovde01 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: ":-( Can't get a clear recollection, even after reading online reviews! Daughter discovers who her mother really is, while tending for her while dying. Probably worth re-reading." ( )
  MGADMJK | Sep 13, 2022 |
Poignant and touching. Probably the best Anna Quindlen I have read. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
Simply brilliant! ( )
  Faradaydon | Dec 10, 2020 |
I've never really wanted to read this book, mainly because I thought the trailer for the movie looked so incredibly stupid. I know, I know. I'm not even really sure where the recommendation to read it came from this time; I think it showed up in the "new ebooks" section on my library's website a couple of months ago and I slapped a request on it without really thinking, so when I got the notice that it was available I went ahead and checked it out. And I loved it. It reminded me of the women's fiction I used to like to read in the 80s and 90s, about the time this book was published--the kind of thing my book group used to read. I stayed up way too late for a couple of days in a row. My family couldn't pry my Nook away from me.

I didn't like the characters much, except for the mother and one of the brothers (although I had a hard time telling the brothers apart; maybe that was the point). I think that actually made it a more effective story; it's easy to read about relationships between likable people. The ones between people who aren't necessarily very likable are more interesting. I loved the way Quindlen explored the dynamic between parents and their adult children, and what happens when their respective roles change--it was like probing an achy tooth with your tongue. It hurts, but you just... can't... stop. ( )
  VintageReader | Oct 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Quindlen, Annaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonkheer, ChristienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Prudence M. Quindlen
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Jail is not as bad as you might imagine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A New York psychiatrist recounts her mother's death for which she was arrested. At the time, Dr. Ellen Gulden was accused of killing her mother with an overdose of morphine, a charge in part based on a high school essay in which she advocated euthanasia.

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A successful writer returns home to care for her dying mother. It is a gripping, heart-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting story.
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