From the award-winning author of The Gardens of Kyoto comes this witty and incisive novel about the lives and attitudes of a group of women -- once country-club housewives; today divorced, independent, and breaking the rules.
In Our Kind, Kate Walbert masterfully conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage, and child-bearing during the 1950s. Narrating from the heart of ten companions, Walbert subtly depicts all the anger, disappointment, vulnerability, and pride of her characters: "Years ago we were led down the primrose lane, then abandoned somewhere near the carp pond."
Now alone, with their own daughters grown, they are finally free -- and ready to take charge: from staging an intervention for the town deity to protesting the slaughter of the country club's fairway geese, to dialing former lovers in the dead of night.
Walbert's writing is quick-witted and wry, just like her characters, but also, in its cumulative effect, moving and sad. Our Kind is a brilliant, thought-provoking novel that opens a window into the world of a generation and class of women caught in a cultural limbo.
Bambi Breaks for Freedom
Come As You Were
Back When They Were Children
The Hounds, Again
The Beginning of the End
Chapter One: The Intervention
It was one of those utterances that sparkled -- the very daring! Could you see us? Canoe shrugged, to be expected. After all, Canoe was our local recovering; it was she who left those pamphlets in the clubhouse next to the men's Nineteenth Hole.
Still, the very daring!
Canoe cracked her knuckles, lit a cigarette. We sat by her swimming pool absentmindedly pulling weeds from around the flagstones. The ice of our iced tea had already melted into water and it was too cold to swim, besides.
"It's obvious," Canoe said, blowing. "He's going to kill himself in less than a month. I don't want that blood on my hands."
He was someone we loved. Someone we ...
Despite glowing media reviews, these connected short stories are hard going and not as enjoyable as Walbert's earlier book, 'The Gardens of Kyoto' It is not clear if it was the ephemeral writing style or the subject matter that didn't gel...the characters would work better if they said what they had to say, instead of making the reader do the work of understanding them - especially as the reader may not be interested enough in the characters' lives to make the effort.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (496 words).
made her writing debut in 1998 with Where She Went, a collection of
interlinked stories about the lives and travels of a mother
and daughter. Marion moves frequently, a lifestyle that
never permits her to form a stable identity. Her daughter
Rebecca, by contrast, travels with the intent of "finding
herself," but only becomes more and more rootless in the
process. The New York Times named
Where She Went a Notable Book of 1998 and said that it
"contains many quick flashes of beauty. . .it goes far and
takes us with it."
In 2001 ...
If you liked Our Kind, try these:
Two couples meet in a luxurious Caribbean resort - one pair older, the other younger. As their paths cross during the week, each couple struggles with what has been keeping them apart.
Funny, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families, and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the worlds wrongs.
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