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The Age Of Hope

por David Bergen

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
10614258,600 (3.64)42
Born in 1930 in a small town outside Winnipeg, beautiful Hope Koop appears destined to have a conventional life. Church, marriage to a steady young man, children--her fortunes are already laid out for her, as are the shiny modern appliances in her new home. All she has to do is stay with Roy, who loves her. But as the decades unfold, what seems to be a safe, predictable existence overwhelms Hope. Where--among the demands of her children, the expectations of her husband and the challenges of her best friend, Emily, who has just read The Feminine Mystique--is there room for her? And just who is she anyway? A wife, a mother, a woman whose life is somehow unrealized? This beautifully crafted and perceptive work of fiction spans some fifty years of Hope Koop's life in the second half of the 20th century, from traditionalism to feminism and beyond. David Bergen has created an indelible portrait of a seemingly ordinary woman who struggles to accept herself as she is, and in so doing becomes unique.… (mais)
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    Clara Callan por Richard B. Wright (gypsysmom)
    gypsysmom: Another story about a woman written by a man
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Mostrando 1-5 de 14 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
2.5 stars. I disliked the detached, flat tone that never varied through the book. Much as I wanted to, I could feel no connection with the main character. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
A beautiful novel about an ordinary woman. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
Hope was born in 1930. She was fairly young when she married Roy. They lived in the small Mennonite town of Eden, Manitoba. They had four children, and we follow Hope’s thoughts and feelings throughout her entire adult life, as she marries, becomes a mother to her four children, while Roy is mostly working. She feels lonely and Roy doesn’t understand since she has four kids around. But, Roy loves her; he is a nice man and treats her well. But, sometimes Hope has trouble and needs some help. The story follows Hope through her entire life.

There is not a whole lot to the story, ultimately, and definitely not fast-paced, but it was still really good. The (male!) author does a really good job of bringing us into Hope’s world, I thought. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 19, 2018 |
2.5 stars. I disliked the detached, flat tone that never varied through the book. Much as I wanted to, I could feel no connection with the main character. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
This is the story of Hope from adolescence to old age. Raised in a Mennonite community, but as a non-practicing family, Hope is raised during the '50's to believe that marriage is the main goal but a career is a good thing to also have. Hope leaves nursing to marry Roy, who is an ideal husband for that period - becomes a very successful businessman, works long hours, builds the family a dream home and fathers four children. Hope is the dutiful wife but suffers emotionally and has two major burnouts complete with stays in the psychiatric hospital. Roy goes bankrupt then dies. Hope finally begins to live for herself. A decent look at that era and the lonely pressures of the ordinary "housewife". ( )
  CarterPJ | Oct 9, 2013 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 14 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The paradox of the novel is that Bergen thwarts his laudable, albeit rather shopworn, aim of demonstrating that the “plain life” of an intra-war-born ’50s housewife is full of rich, untapped complexity...There’s some unintentional irony late in the novel when Hope’s daughter Penny announces she’s planning to write a novel based on her mother’s life. Hope counters by saying that Emily, the freethinking feminist friend who introduced her to R.D. Laing and Betty Friedan, might be a more interesting subject. Bergen gambles and loses on this one: as readers it’s hard not to agree, although Penny never gets around to writing the novel anyway.
adicionada por vancouverdeb | editarThe Star
 
If I were asked what happens in this book, I could not sum it up in a sentence. Hope just lives her life. There is not a lot of action, yet the pace of the narrative remains active. If I ever meet Bergen, I’ll ask how he manages to pull this off, because the effect is seamless. I had four other books to review this week, and I didn’t feel the urge to skim or skip a single paragraph of The Age of Hope....Why is Bergen so magical? What has he done with my cynical reviewer’s mind? The Age of Hope is a quiet read, but one that is rhythmic and compelling, and the plot, whatever there is of it, is perfectly taut. I wish I could describe to you how he did this, but I do not know. Bergen took a risk, with a book that looks and sounds like forgettable book club fare, but is anything but. The risk paid off.
 
The Age of Hope tracks Hope’s days, lighting on key moments but otherwise flitting over the surface of events. The reader yearns to be submerged, a delicious, headlong plunge into detail that would invigorate Hope. Instead, her story is too deliberately plotted, as if such ordinariness must be marinated in absence and then suddenly served with hot peppers...Bergen is an inside observer of Mennonite culture, and his depictions of Eden’s limitations (frugal to the point of parsimony, narrow to constriction), are precise and persuasive....And there may be the crux of this novel’s success and failure. Look for a plethora of books about women contemplating their lives: Middle-aged women are the readers, the thinkers and the purchasers of books. They are the market. If only Hope could redeem her marketeer.
 
Bergen channels Alice Munro, or perhaps Carol Shields, in trying to write a slow-boiling domestic novel with a political undercurrent. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything particularly new or inspired in The Age of Hope. Yes, things happen: Hope has a nervous breakdown and spends time in a mental hospital; her husband Roy’s car dealership fails and bankrupts the family; their son Conner marries a shrew who eventually leaves him; Penny falls in with a religious cult. But the book’s underlying themes have been presented before – and more skilfully – in countless other works.
 
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Hope Plett would certainly have married her first love if he hadn't died in a plane crash minutes after flying at a low altitude over her house.
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One who throws a stone has power over it until he has thrown it, but not afterwards.
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Born in 1930 in a small town outside Winnipeg, beautiful Hope Koop appears destined to have a conventional life. Church, marriage to a steady young man, children--her fortunes are already laid out for her, as are the shiny modern appliances in her new home. All she has to do is stay with Roy, who loves her. But as the decades unfold, what seems to be a safe, predictable existence overwhelms Hope. Where--among the demands of her children, the expectations of her husband and the challenges of her best friend, Emily, who has just read The Feminine Mystique--is there room for her? And just who is she anyway? A wife, a mother, a woman whose life is somehow unrealized? This beautifully crafted and perceptive work of fiction spans some fifty years of Hope Koop's life in the second half of the 20th century, from traditionalism to feminism and beyond. David Bergen has created an indelible portrait of a seemingly ordinary woman who struggles to accept herself as she is, and in so doing becomes unique.

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