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The Marriage of Sticks by Jonathan Carroll

The Marriage of Sticks (1999)

by Jonathan Carroll

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Crane's View Trilogy (2)

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5101030,391 (3.62)20



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In her thirties, Miranda Romanec has an interesting, successful life. But she is also alone and adrift — in certain essential ways lost in the middle of it. At her high school reunion she discovers a shattering fact that further undermines her already shaky sense of who she is and where she is going. Then miraculously she meets the remarkable Hugh Oakley and her life does a 180-degree turn for the better. But everything has its price, and the consuming love affair with already-married Hugh begins to take a bitter emotional toll.
When they move to a house in the country to start a new life together, the reality Miranda had once known begins to slip away the moment she walks in the door the first time. It is quickly replaced by alarming, impossible visions and strangers she somehow feels she knows but couldn't possibly because they are all from other times and places. Other lives utterly alien to her own begin to affect her and all that she loves. But that is just the beginning of Miranda's odyssey, because sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is finding out who we really are.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Romance, ghosts, immortality, and coming to grips with who you are, were, and could be. A little thin and preachy at times, but so much better than the last three of his I've read. It's not quite five-star material, but it's pretty close.

On reading this now, I suspect that when Carroll wrote The Ghost in Love he was trying to recreate what he did here--like maybe Marriage of Sticks didn't come out exactly as he'd planned so he tried again, only to fail miserably. There's a certain irony to him trying to reincarnate what could be an immortal love story... ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
Author: Jonathan Carroll
Published By: Open Road
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 4


"Marriage of Sticks" by Jonathan Carroll was a good read that really kept me interested until the end. The novel started out with a high school reunion and then it blooms out with such intriguing characters that were all so well
developed only presenting great thoughts only bringing out such creativity only adding to a great read that comes out a little fantastical and even somewhat creepy read. Be prepared for there will be many surprises that are well hidden in the read. I found "Marriage of Sticks" to be 'filled with suspense, horror and even magic.' Now, you may find Mr. Carroll's "Marriage of Sticks" novel may seem somewhat confusing but if you will stick with it till the end it will all come together giving you a mind-blowing fantasy of a read.

If you are looking for a good read that will present 'scary, funny sad, weird, and too believable, all at the same time' you have come to the right place for "Marriage of Sticks" and yes, I would recommend this read to you. ( )
  arlenadean | Jan 25, 2013 |
The Marriage of Sticks slides along the slipstream, as most of his works to. His writing is filled with magical imagery and moments when you can't quite figure out what's going on, but in the end it doesn't matter because Carroll can tell a great story. Carroll's works always manage to live in the ordinary world and in the magical world that lies adjacent. In The Marriage of Sticks this is quite clear as the book moves through its paces and becomes increasingly creepy and fantastical.

The main character, Miranda (yes, I thought of Miranda in The Tempest, too), is looking for love and surprised when it finds her through a man who embodies her past, but is only tangentially connected to it. An exploration of love, of memory, and of loss - Carroll draws us effortlessly into a world where characters find happiness only to be driven from it relentlessly. His writing is creative and surprising and his stories unsettling and ambiguous. Lovely read. ( )
  kraaivrouw | Nov 24, 2012 |
Jonathan Carroll writes very inventive stories which start off as love stories and turn into fantasy about half way through, but somehow I never believe in his characters. They don't behave like real people and their relationships never ring true to me. But at least this time the protagonist wasn't another man who had a strained relationship with his father. ( )
  isabelx | Apr 23, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Carrollprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312872437, Paperback)

Jonathan Carroll is a writer other writers envy. He's been described as a "cult favorite" whose works go out of print too quickly in the USA, despite his popularity in Europe and the admiration of reviewers. It may be because Carroll uses fantastic elements, but doesn't write genre fantasy; his books are often haunting, even frightening, but they're not horror novels. He puzzles you, surprises you, and always makes you think about how what he's saying might apply to your life.

In The Marriage of Sticks, Miranda Romanac is a thirtysomething dealer in rarities who loves her work and lifestyle, but feels unfulfilled. As her friend Zoe says,

you don't expect anything better to happen because you've lived too long and seen too much to have any more hope. I'm luckier than you. I don't think life's very friendly either, but I know we can control hope. You can turn it on and off like a spigot. I try to keep mine on full blast.

Miranda struggles to change her life after upsetting revelations at a high school reunion. She has an affair with a married man who leaves his wife and children for her. She lives with ghosts of her past and future, with what might have been and could be. She's forced to face the consequences of her actions and the effect she has on others' lives by being who she is. Finally, she learns "to live without everything" and be content. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A woman who stole another woman's husband is assaulted by ghosts. The ghosts inform her she is actually a vampire and must mend her ways by using her power to bring good. By the author of Kissing the Beehive.

» see all 2 descriptions

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