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One Minus One

Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries

By Ruth Doan MacDougall

One Minus One
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2013,
    184 pages.

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There are currently 22 reader reviews for One Minus One
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Sue (Saratoga, CA) (03/31/13)

A for character development; D- for enjoyment
I'm a fan of Nancy Pearl (author of the Book Lust series) and wanted to read this book because she recommended it. Nancy mentions she read it years ago and still thinks about the main character. The book does deliver on character development and an excellent description of the 1960s, but it doesn't deliver on enjoyment. The main character's insecurities, hurt, and depression make this difficult to finish. I cannot say I would like to meet anyone in it. On the positive side, looking back at the 1960s and remembering those times almost make it worth reading.
Bess W. (Marlton, NJ) (03/31/13)

1 - 1 = Nothing
I can't wait to read another book by Ruth Macdougall. I thoroughly enjoyed One Minus One. Having graduated college in the 60's and started my first teaching job shortly after there were many aspects of Emily's life that I could relate to, even her teacher's salary which was higher than mine!

Emily feels that she is nothing without her husband. It's difficult to forget about an important part of your life and start again. I would hope that as time goes on Emily will be able to make the emotional transition from married to single and realize that she can be whole without being married.
Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL) (03/28/13)

One Minus One
This book was sweet but uninspiring. It takes place in rural New Hampshire in the late 1960's yet it seemed like the 1950's. The 60's were a time of exploring and taking risks yet this book was no more captivating than references to avocado appliances and harvest gold carpet. Nancy Pearl, the creator of the Book Lust series, chose to include this book for its character development. I did not feel drawn in by the characters and unlike her, did not wonder in the least about their lives after the book ended.
Joan V. (Miller Place, NY) (03/28/13)

Trying to let go of the past
This is the first book that I've read by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I felt it should have been a short story rather than a book, although it is a very short novel. I really enjoyed her writing style; it was descriptive without being flowery. You could clearly picture the characters. I did not understand why the author included the diary of Emily's grandmother. I supposed it was to compare the marriages of "Ma," "Lucy" and "Emily." My first impression was on the negative side, but after giving it some thought, I decided it would make a good book club choice. The last part of the book and the ending would make for a very interesting discussion. I would like to read more by this author.
Deb Y. (Blanco, TX) (03/28/13)

It's Not "The Cheerleader"
I read "The Cheerleader" by this same author years ago and always wondered if she had written anything else really enjoyable. I will continue to wonder.

It's also puzzling to me why Ms. Peart picked this as one in her new line of books that should be reprinted. Of course, I didn't like "The World According to Garp" either, so you might want to read this book and judge for yourself.
Kathy S. (Danbury, CT) (03/27/13)

One Minus One Doesn't Add Up
I read Nancy Pearl's introduction, I read the book, I read the the reader's guide and all of the pages that followed, and I have to ask: What was the point of this book? Yes, it attempts to explore the contrast between decisions of the head vs decisions of the heart; the tug of war between moving on and moving backward; pining for old love and discovering new love. The story was flimsy at best, the characters didn't especially interest me, and the ending was abrupt. On the plus side, it was a very short book.
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