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Unless por Carol Shields
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Unless (original 2002; edição 2003)

por Carol Shields (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,057944,527 (3.62)325
For all of her days, Reta Winters has enjoyed the useful monotony of happiness: a loving family, good friends, growing success as a writer of light fiction, novels 'for summertime.' This placid existence cracks open one fearful day when her beloved oldest daughter, Norah, drops out of life to sit on a gritty street corner, silent but for the sign around her neck that reads 'GOODNESS.' Reta's search for what drove her daughter to such a desperate statement turns into an unflinching and surprisingly funny meditation on where we find meaning and hope. Warmth, passion and wisdom come together in Carol Shields' remarkably supple prose. Unless, a harrowing but ultimately consoling story of one family's anguish and healing, proves her mastery of extraordinary fictions about ordinary life.… (mais)
Membro:ednasilrak
Título:Unless
Autores:Carol Shields (Autor)
Informação:Harpercollins Pub Ltd (2003), 336 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Informação Sobre a Obra

Unless por Carol Shields (2002)

  1. 10
    Good to a Fault por Marina Endicott (Cecilturtle)
  2. 00
    Over por Margaret Forster (KayCliff)
  3. 00
    The Birds of the Air por Alice Thomas Ellis (KayCliff)
  4. 00
    Stanley Park por Timothy Taylor (starfishian)
  5. 00
    The Edible Woman por Margaret Atwood (Cecilturtle)
  6. 00
    Now You See Her por Joy Fielding (bsiemens)
    bsiemens: This is a Canadian novel about a daughter with mental illness and a mother who struggles through the resulting loss of relationship.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 94 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Mentioned in”A Month of Sundays”
At 44 years …’s daughter Sat on a gritty street with a sign around her neck saying “goodness”.
  BJMacauley | Aug 13, 2023 |
How do you carry on with your life when one of your children is mentally ill and choosing to live on the streets for no apparent reason? I read a review where someone called Unless whiney and self-indulgent. I'm sorry but if I had a loved one "lost" like that, I too would be fixated on their wellbeing. Are they getting enough food to eat? Where are they going to go when the temperatures are minus ten degrees (not including wind chill factor) or one hundred and two (in the shade)? Reta Winters is trying to be a mother to her two other teenage daughters while thinking these things about a third, her eldest. She is a wife going through the motions with her trilobite-obsessed husband. She is a translator while trying to write her own second novel. She is an aging woman, trying to stay relevant in the youth-obsessed world around her.
There is a little trickery going on with Unless. Like mirrors angled so images are reflected to infinity, Unless is a story about a woman writing about a woman writer who is writing about a woman writer. The nesting dolls of feminism. Then there is the carefully disguised biography of her mentor, Danielle. Danielle is at once a strong holocaust survivor and a fragile French woman who relies on Reta for writing support. Finally, there is the mystery of why eldest daughter, Nora, insists on sitting out on a street corner with a sign that simply reads "Goodness." ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 29, 2023 |
Carol Shields is an excellent and prolific contemporary literary author. Having lost a loved one to mental illness I anticipated a very different ending to this story. I must say I am very pleased the my anticipated ending was very much in error. Unless is a very enjoyable read and will stick with you. That said, Larry's Party remains my favorite book by Ms. Shields. ( )
  lynnbyrdcpa | Feb 18, 2023 |
“Norah had dropped out of university, she had parted from her boyfriend, she was pursuing a path to spiritual goodness, which the family couldn’t quite understand, she was detaching herself from the rest of us, sleeping in a hostel, and yes, begging money at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor in downtown Toronto – but everyone held out hopes that she would return to being the Norah we knew and loved.”

Protagonist Reta Winters is a translator and novelist with three teenage daughters. She is in a happy long-term relationship with the father of her children, though they never married. She has written one novel and started a sequel. Life has been going well for Reta when her eldest daughter, Norah, suddenly and significantly changes her behavior. She starts sitting near a busy intersection in Toronto, holding up a sign that reads “Goodness.” We follow Reta’s inner dialogue as she tries to figure out what has happened to derail her daughter’s life. As Reta puts it:

“I am going through some bleak days…. I, too, am hungry for the comfort of the ‘entire universe,’ but I don’t know how to assemble it and neither does [Norah]. I sense something incomplete about the whole arrangement, like a bronze casting that’s split open in the foundry, an artifact destined by some invisible flaw to break apart.”

This book is quiet but poignant. It is filled with beautifully crafted prose. Shields drives the narrative forward through Reta’s inner dialogue, as she tries to make sense of what has happened, while also carrying out the routines of daily living and writing her novel. The interactions of the characters provide an insightful look at the process of publishing, writing, translating, and editing. These scenes are often witty and humorous. By the end, I felt I knew Reta and would love to spend time with her.

Sometimes an author comes along that feels like she is speaking directly to me. Carol Shields is such an author. I plan to read all of her work. I simply love her writing and this book will be in my top ten books of the year.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
I actually found this book incredibly hard to get through. The difficulty upset me actually, because Small Ceremonies, Stone Diaries and Larry's Party were great! This one was just too much "oh woe is me." ( )
  BookLeafs | May 26, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 94 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
You hear Iris Murdoch at the back of this book somewhere, or at least Shields has ingrained Murdoch's faith in love, and pursues her stringent inquisition into hope. The result is as poised and wise a novel as any you will read this year.
adicionada por lkernagh | editarThe Observer, Tim Adams (May 12, 2002)
 
There is a sense of wintry urgency about Unless - of any pretence of charm being dropped in order to get things said. But the charm is still there, and it shouldn't be belittled.
adicionada por lkernagh | editarThe Guardian, Blake Morrison (Apr 27, 2002)
 
But Unless is her angriest book to date - a study in awakening and the belated loss of innocence...Unless could be classified as a novel about a woman writing a novel about a woman who writes. But this would suggest something claustrophobic, which it isn't. Though only 200 pages long, it finds room to digress on friendship, shopping, marital sex, relativity theory, hair ("I consider coiffure one of my major life accomplishments. I really mean this"), graffiti and much besides....There is a sense of wintry urgency about Unless - of any pretence of charm being dropped in order to get things said. But the charm is still there, and it shouldn't be belittled. Bard of the banal? No, elegist of the everyday. We should celebrate her achievement while we can.

 

» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Carol Shieldsautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Allen, JoanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dijk, Edith vanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For all of her days, Reta Winters has enjoyed the useful monotony of happiness: a loving family, good friends, growing success as a writer of light fiction, novels 'for summertime.' This placid existence cracks open one fearful day when her beloved oldest daughter, Norah, drops out of life to sit on a gritty street corner, silent but for the sign around her neck that reads 'GOODNESS.' Reta's search for what drove her daughter to such a desperate statement turns into an unflinching and surprisingly funny meditation on where we find meaning and hope. Warmth, passion and wisdom come together in Carol Shields' remarkably supple prose. Unless, a harrowing but ultimately consoling story of one family's anguish and healing, proves her mastery of extraordinary fictions about ordinary life.

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