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Take What You Need

por Idra Novey

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1273216,375 (3.92)8
Fiction. Literature. HTML:A New York Times Editor's Choice
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Oprah Daily, Vulture, Today.com, Elle, and Lit Hub.
??A heart-rending book, but also a beautiful celebration of ??the glorious pleasure of erecting something new,?? be it a work of art or a human connection.???The Wall Street Journal
From ??one of the finest and bravest novelists at work today,? (Vulture) award-winning writer Idra Novey has conjured a novel of ??astonishing and singular? honesty (Rumaan Alam) with two determined, unforgettable female voices.

Set in the Allegheny Mountains of Appalachia, Take What You Need traces the parallel lives of Jean and her beloved but estranged stepdaughter, Leah, who??s sought a clean break from her rural childhood. In Leah??s urban life with her young family, she??s revealed little about Jean, how much she misses her stepmother??s hard-won insights and joyful lack of inhibition. But with Jean??s death, Leah must return to sort through what??s been left behind. 
What Leah discovers is staggering: Jean has filled her ramshackle house with giant sculptures she??s welded from scraps of the area??s industrial history. There??s also a young man now living in the house who played an unknown role in Jean??s last years and in her art. 
With great verve and humor, Idra Novey zeros in on the joys and difficulty of family, the ease with which we let distance mute conflict, and the power we can draw from creative pursuits.
Take What You Need explores the continuing mystery of the people we love most with passionate and resonance, this novel illuminating can be built from what others have discarded??art, unexpected friendship, a n
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Told in alternating voices of Jean, the stepmother, and Leah, the stepdaughter, who have been estranged for many years. Though devoted to Leah, Jean divorced Leah's father when she was ten because of the father's emotionally abusive behavior toward Jean. Always an outsider in the rural Appalachian community both because she was Jewish and longed to be an artist, Jean is both unwilling and unable to leave the community. She inherits her father's home in a distressed neighborhood and begins to weld sculptures in the living room using scrap metal from a family junk yard.

Leah has grown up, become multilingual, married a man from Chile, and has a young son. She is contacted by Elliot, a man living with Jean, to tell her that Jean has died and left all of her art to Leah. While Jean's chapters precede her death, Leah's chapters take place in the aftermath of Jean's death, chronicling her return, with her blended family, to the depressed Appalachian community rife with excessive nationalism and bigotry.

In a relatively short book, the author explores the inner drive to create. And the contrast between lives that have access to education and opportunity and those who do not. It's a thought provoking novel and I look forward to more of this author's writing. ( )
  tangledthread | Mar 27, 2024 |
Excellent subtle book focusing on a woman living in the depressed Appalachian Valley who has weird relationships with pretty much everyone. She is an artist creating unique works of art. Amazing book. Not sure who will like it. ( )
  shazjhb | Jan 17, 2024 |
Missed connections, false perceptions and good intentions. I can't believe I never heard of Novey. She is a creative, beautiful writer with quirky, compelling characters which is right up my alley. Jean and Leah tell of their lives in alternating chapters but never come together in this novel. When Jean and Leah were separated by an acrimonious divorce, they remained as potent forces in thought but rarely in person. What brings them together if Jean's bequest to Leah of her manglements, decades of creativity for its own sake. Into all of this comes a lost boy, Elliot. ( )
  ccayne | Aug 31, 2023 |
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Every day you have to abandon your past or accept it, and then, if you cannot accept it, you become a sculptor.
—Louise Bourgeois
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This morning, I read that repeating the name of the deceased can quiet the mind when grieving for a complicated person. My stepmother Jean was a complicated person. I've been reading all kinds of advice since hearing of her death. I didn't know that she'd begun to weld metal towers in her living room, towers so tall she needed a ladder to complete them. Apparently, that's how she died, slipping from one of her ladder's highest rungs. -Chapter 1
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:A New York Times Editor's Choice
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Oprah Daily, Vulture, Today.com, Elle, and Lit Hub.
??A heart-rending book, but also a beautiful celebration of ??the glorious pleasure of erecting something new,?? be it a work of art or a human connection.???The Wall Street Journal
From ??one of the finest and bravest novelists at work today,? (Vulture) award-winning writer Idra Novey has conjured a novel of ??astonishing and singular? honesty (Rumaan Alam) with two determined, unforgettable female voices.

Set in the Allegheny Mountains of Appalachia, Take What You Need traces the parallel lives of Jean and her beloved but estranged stepdaughter, Leah, who??s sought a clean break from her rural childhood. In Leah??s urban life with her young family, she??s revealed little about Jean, how much she misses her stepmother??s hard-won insights and joyful lack of inhibition. But with Jean??s death, Leah must return to sort through what??s been left behind. 
What Leah discovers is staggering: Jean has filled her ramshackle house with giant sculptures she??s welded from scraps of the area??s industrial history. There??s also a young man now living in the house who played an unknown role in Jean??s last years and in her art. 
With great verve and humor, Idra Novey zeros in on the joys and difficulty of family, the ease with which we let distance mute conflict, and the power we can draw from creative pursuits.
Take What You Need explores the continuing mystery of the people we love most with passionate and resonance, this novel illuminating can be built from what others have discarded??art, unexpected friendship, a n

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