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Catherine Newman

Autor(a) de We All Want Impossible Things

8+ Works 588 Membros 27 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Catherine Newman is the author of the memoir Waiting for Birday and the blog Ben and Birdy. Newman is also the etiquette columnist for Real Simple magazine. One Mixed-Up Night, her first middle-grade novel, is forthcoming. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her mostrar mais mostrar menos

Obras por Catherine Newman

Associated Works

The Worst Noel: Hellish Holiday Tales (2005) — Contribuidor — 91 exemplares
It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons (2005) — Contribuidor — 77 exemplares
On Being 40(ish) (2019) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters (2006) — Contribuidor — 37 exemplares
Crush: 26 Real-lifeTales of First Love (2011) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
Because I Love Her (2009) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Newman, Catherine
Locais de residência
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA



Inspired by their great love of IKEA, and by one of their favorite books, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Frankie and Walter hatch a plan to stay overnight at an IKEA after a joint family trip. They convince Walter's mom Alice that they're having a sleepover at Frankie's house, and convince Frankie's parents they're at Walter's. They hide until closing, and then the world of IKEA is theirs. Frankie sees the experience not just as wish fulfilment, but as an opportunity to reawaken the old Water, whose father died of brain cancer. Frankie and Walter are best friends, and their families are very close, but even Frankie doesn't know the depth of sadness in their household. The two have a transformative night, but eventually cause enough damage (unintentionally) that they're stopped by compassionate security guard Shirley, who talks with them before calling their parents.


The funny thing is this: people think that dorky geeks who read all the time are the kinds of kids who don't get into trouble. But they're wrong. We do. (first sentences)

But the thing is? I never feel strange with Walter. I mean, never when we're hanging out, just the two of us, obviously. But also never if he's even just in the room with me. He's like my own personal normalizer, and if he's in my class at school or at a party with me, or in a group of people, I can relax and just feel all right in the world.
"You're Frankie's knight in shining armor," my dad once said to Walter....
"I know," [Walter had] said seriously. "She's mine too." (72)

Sometimes I think that's kind of what stuff is like. You want it until you have it, and then it's like the light inside it goes out. (82)

That's what I was thinking about now....How rare it was to feel actually satisfied by things, however nice they were. (104)

"And all those things are gone, and where they were there are just these giant holes instead, and all you can do is kind of...fall into them and break your leg every five minutes." (Walter, 158)
… (mais)
JennyArch | 2 outras críticas | Jan 25, 2024 |
Ash's lifelong best friend Edi is dying in a hospice near where she lives in Western Mass. Edi's husband and young son remain in Brooklyn, in accordance with Edi's wishes. Ash goes back and forth between the hospice (called Shapely) and her home (where she lives with her teenage daughter, Belle; older daughter Jules is at MIT, and husband Honey has moved out, but still makes frequent appearances). As Edi's death from ovarian cancer approaches, Edi has periods of lucidity, specific cravings, and vivid memories, and those around her experience the drawn-out loss with grief, compassion, and morbid humor.

See also: Life After Life by Jill McCorkle


We held her while the biggest loss of her life - which was bigger than the loss of her actual life - sank into her like mercury. (26)

"I love you, but you want impossible things, Ash." (Honey, 65)

It's the anticipation I can't handle. Loss lurks around every corner, and how do we prepare? (67)

Edi's memory is like a backup hard drive for mine, and I have that same crashing, crushing feeling you have when the beach ball on your computer starts spinning. (84)

"What do you think happens after you die?"
"I believe there's some kind of energy....Maybe you turn into a kind of free-floating consciousness that surrounds the people you love so that you're kind of there with them still and the air they breathe is somehow made out of you....I guess I'm not sure what I think - besides that the people we lose stay with us somehow." (89)

"It's so frustrating that I'm stuck in this stupid, sick body," she says. "It seems so inessential, somehow, but then, there's really nowhere else for me to go." (Edi, 89)

If there's a metaphor for our friendship, it might be this. The blind faith. The absolute dependability. The love like a compass, its north always true. (102)

Everyone dies, and yet it's unendurable. There is so much love inside of us. How do we become worthy of it? And, then, where does it go? (150)

It's been so arduous, Edi's dying. It's like we've all been digging and digging, shoveling out a hole, and we can finally stop. Only now there's this hole here. (188)

It's the deep well of nothing where Edi should be, like if you poked a painful tooth with your tongue, only the tooth was gone, and you got sucked, tongue-first, into a black hole. I stash thoughts and experiences in my mental Edi file to talk to her about later, and then realize that they'll stay there forever. (203)
… (mais)
JennyArch | 13 outras críticas | Jan 16, 2024 |
I read this as a book club selection. The novel is about two lifelong BFFs. One is in hospice and the other grapples with the approaching loss, grief, and generally her bad life choices. I absolutely detested this book. The writing and editing were awful. The characters were flat and really more caricatures of some "type", all which were badly drawn. The dialogue was laughably fake. I didn't even cry even though the book was definitely manipulating the reader in that direction.
technodiabla | 13 outras críticas | Dec 1, 2023 |
This is such a sweet look at parenting through various ages and stages. It's clear that Newman absolutely adores her children and her life. She admits she's incredibly blessed and has a life that is, on the whole, amazingly good. And perhaps that's why the essays felt a little dull to me. So much happiness, so much love, so much... routine, normal, parenting stuff.

I was expecting more practical advice, perhaps, about how to hold on to your identity while raising small children. I really enjoyed the prologue and epilogue, with their "it gets better" themes, but I wanted more of that. More recognition that "this sh*t is hard, yo!" and that it's perfectly okay to both want to hold them forever and run away to Fiji.

I also found some of the essays repetitive. At one point they all started to echo one another. Which wasn't terrible, but it added to the overall unremarkable impression I had of the book as a whole.
… (mais)
Elizabeth_Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 |


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