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Emily, Alone

A Novel

By Stewart O'Nan

Emily, Alone
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011,
    272 pages.

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Mij Woodward (12/27/11)

Mij, Alone, Appreciated This Book
I should not have liked this book at all, as the action is so SLOW. Actually, to say there is any action at all is a misnomer. It's really the interior life of an 80-year-old woman facing her death, looking at her life, her children's and grandchildren's lives.

I believe O'Nan purposely made this a slow sort of uneventful read. Because that atmosphere helps present the life of an older person, dealing with the mundane, no longer in the midst of a lot of action (like raising kids).

The chapter that moved me the most was toward the end, when she visits her home-town, at her parents' graves, and contemplates moving back.

I now go around thinking of myself as Mij, Alone. Mij, Alone, is doing all right. I am 13 years younger than the character of Emily, but many of the things she experienced and thought about resonated with me. The chapter when Emily waits for her kids to call on Mother's Day--so right on.

Although I am now looking forward to reading a book with more action (Caleb's Crossing), I am very grateful Stewart O'Nan wrote this book. Emily has helped prepare me for what all of us have to go through--getting older and dying.
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