A Map of the World

A Map of the World

Book - 1995 | 1st Anchor books ed
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Pen /Hemingway Award-winning novelist Jane Hamilton follows up her first success, The Book Of Ruth, with this spectacularly haunting drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives. Praised by reviewers for its intimate portrayal of the minds of its characters, a novel by the author of The Book of Ruth chronicles one family's decay through guilt and betrayal. Reprint. K. PW.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 1995
Edition: 1st Anchor books ed
ISBN: 9780385473118
Call Number: FICTION HAMILTON 1995
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 21 cm


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Sep 25, 2020

This was an interesting read from start to finish. Surprising, gritty, heartbreaking, real and encouraging. Immerse yourself in this story and you will not regret it. Well written. This one gets under your skin.

Jun 04, 2019

The plot is more introspective than action. Hamilton has this gorgeous way of taking readers into the land of sorrow and letting them explore it, even if we have not faced the same depth of loss as the characters. Reactions feel real, especially the small children whose mother is gone all summer and good playmate has drowned. Though it was easy for me to feel distant from Alice, who seems purposefully odd, that final section brings her together in a way that makes her solidly human. Hamilton never makes it easy for her characters, which I appreciate, because even though I want things to work out, she chooses realistically instead of hopefully.

Feb 19, 2019

In the first few chapters I wasn't sure I would finish this book (saying it is not cheerful is an understatement if there ever was one). However about half way through I became totally caught up in the story. Ironic that it took a second "tragedy" to save a person and a family.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 30, 2014

This is a serious novel that tackles issues such as the death of a child, motherhood, relationships and forgiveness. Jane Hamilton's calm and lucid writing, and her sympathetic characters, make what might have been a disturbing book highly readable. I was reminded of Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres.

Apr 29, 2011

A totally satisfying read

Jan 20, 2011

Beautifully written, marvelously observed gripping story, but horribly off nevertheless. The protagonist runs away from even the whiff of confrontation or difficulty and can't manage to concentrate on or listen to the simplest, most direct pleas for help. Why is this sympathetic rather than merely trying? How has her husband, who, admittedly, can't talk to her, betrayed her by "judging her with his silences"? All right, he doesn't know how to reach her, which feels cruel. But it seems to me that her incompetence, manic style, and utter forgetfulness of others' needs are a greater betrayal, especially since they lead to a child's death. And when this woman is unjustly tried for child abuse and viciously ostracized, the pair of them actually detest her lawyer for defending her too vigorously. He, the lawyer, is made out to be the villain, when he's the one who saves her from jail and the possibility that her children might grow up without her. This author writes brilliantly, but where is her moral compass in this tale of modern morals?

Sep 08, 2009

Not cheerful, but engrossing & couldn't put it down! Memorable.

SynergySeeker Nov 05, 2007

This book is about a family and how they cope with the tragic drowning of a friend's daughter in their pond. Definitely not a cheerful light read.


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