The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano Summary and Reviews

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano

by Donna Freitas

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas X
The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2021
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A deeply moving novel about a woman who thought she never wanted to be a mother--and the many ways that life can surprise us.

In every woman there are many stories...

Rose Napolitano is fighting with her husband, Luke, about prenatal vitamins. She promised she'd take them, but didn't. He promised before they got married that he'd never want children, but now he's changed his mind. Their marriage has come to rest on this one question: Can Rose find it in herself to become a mother? Rose is a successful professor and academic. She's never wanted to have a child. The fight ends, and with it their marriage.

But then, Rose has a fight with Luke about the vitamins--again. This time the fight goes slightly differently, and so does Rose's future as she grapples with whether she can indeed give up the one thing she thought she knew about herself. Can she reimagine her life in a completely new way? That reimagining plays out again and again in each of Rose's nine lives, just as it does for each of us as we grow into adulthood. What are the consequences of our biggest choices? How would life change if we let go of our preconceived ideas of ourselves and became someone completely new? Rose Napolitano's experience of choosing and then choosing again shows us in an utterly compelling way what it means, literally, to reinvent a life and, sometimes, become a different kind of woman than we ever imagined.

A stunning novel about love, loss, betrayal, divorce, death, a woman's career and her identity, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano is about finding one's way into a future that wasn't the future one planned, and the ways that fate intercedes when we least expect it.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Freitas's prose is engaging and precise, and her what-if format proves ideal for elegantly unpacking the tensions of the plot. She balances tightly written scenes of confrontation with Rose's poignant reflections on how much she can compromise without losing herself completely. This isn't one to miss." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Reminiscent of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life or the movie Sliding Doors, Freitas' novel explores nine (but certainly not all) possible outcomes when a woman who has never wanted children marries a man who gradually decides he does….Following the maze of numbered takes becomes an addictive game, highly literate escapism, like watching The Queen's Gambit…Highly readable and provocative." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fans of Kate Atkinson's Life after Life, Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot, and the film Sliding Doors will find themselves happily lost in this charming, heartfelt, thought-provoking novel." - Booklist (starred review)

"Many of us have had that moment where we wondered what might happen if we took a different path. Rose is adamant that she doesn't want to be a mother, but then she caves to save her relationship. But what if she makes a different choice? In this inventive novel about love, loss, identity, and compromise, we get to find out." - Woman's Day

"Ambitious, compelling, and provocative, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano delves deep into love, motherhood, and the complicated dance that is navigating the world as a woman—its intricate structure kept me turning pages and the questions posed therein kept me awake at night." - Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

"A structurally ambitious, deeply thoughtful and even-handed consideration of many of the most complex decisions women make about their families and futures—not to mention a generally wise meditation on the control we all do and don't have over our fates." - Linda Holmes, host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over

This information about The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Donna Freitas Author Biography

Photo: Allen Murabayashi

Donna Frietas is a Brooklyn-based author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as memoir and novels for young adults and middle grade readers. Her first novel for adults, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano was released in April 2021. She is also a professor and researcher on topics related to sex on campus, Title IX, and sexual assault, as well as social media and young adults. She has appeared on NPR, The Today Show, and many other radio and news programs to talk about her work, and her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the LA Times, among other places. She has been a professor at Boston University and in Hofstra University's Honors College, and is currently on faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University's MFA in Creative Writing.

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