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The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

by Cherise Wolas

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas X
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2018, 544 pages

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There are currently 41 reader reviews for The Resurrection of Joan Ashby
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Beth B.

Beyond amazing
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby MUST win literary awards and millions of accolades from readers who have been swept away by this debut novel. The technique of stories within stories is so seamlessly skillful that I'm in awe. Wisdom of motherhood, marriage, creativity, and the art of writing are to be read and pondered. Unforgettable!!
Lola425

My new literary idol
Wow. Joan is my new idol. A strong female protagonist who unapologetically feels what she feels, who is creative and believes in her genius, believes that her art and her desire to create that art is important, even if she finds herself on a different path than the one she mapped out for herself. That Joan holds onto herself throughout her marriage and child raising without heartbreaking trauma is amazing. That she commits to that life, that she both chooses and doesn't simultaneously, and does the best that she can, knowing that her real self is out there, knowing that she can slip back into it as soon as she is able, as soon as life releases its grip a little bit is in a strange way empowering. Part of me was furious with her, but part of me got it. And the complex way that Wolas weaves stories within stories is nothing short of amazing. I will need to go back and read it again since there are levels of understanding that I think eluded me the first time through. The book is like an onion, revealing itself layer by layer. Would be an outstanding book group choice for the right group.
Paula

Excellent
This book is stunning, one of the best I've read this year. Comparable to "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. Simply amazing how this debut writer has the chutzpah to create a world-famous writer, immerse us in her excellent stories, and she pulls it all off very successfullly. Her characters are deep and believable.
Andrea B. (Pleasant Prairie, WI)

Food for the Reader's Soul
Joan is a celebrated young writer who has a passion for words. She just published a second collection of short stories and is working on her first novel when she falls in love. Joan does not plan to get married or have kids because she wants nothing in her life that will take time away from writing. Best laid plans...
Wolas' writing is fabulous! She obviously loves words as much as Joan because her word choice is exquisite. The characters are well-developed in all of their glory and foibles. This book is definitely a feast for book lovers.
Kay B. (New Brighton, MN)

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby
While the length of the book may intimidate it is indeed a worthy read. Wolas writes gradations of her themes through stories within stories. They reflect societal expectations of gender roles as well as family roles. The book explores the conflicts and tensions that arise from trying to meet those beliefs. Joan, the main character, struggles appear the most challenging but each of her sons face similar battles as well.
The book gives insights to how invisible forces in our lives shape us. It is a read that expands understanding of self and provides great fodder for book club discussions.
Charlene D. (Saugus, MA)

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby
I loved this book. It reminded me of Isak Dinesen - stories within the story. Sometimes it was hard to believe that Joan Ashby was a fictional character. The author really brought her to life. I lost myself in the book every time I picked it up and hated for it to end. The story and the characters were unique. This would be a great book for a book group discussion. It makes you think about the choices that you make, how you can lose yourself in the "wrong" life and how to create the life you really want to live.
Margaret H. (Springfield, VA)

Resurrection ofJoan Ashby
When I first opened this book I wondered why the different type faces, why the characters that suddenly seemed to appear, and then I understood and delighted in reading the tale of a famous writer who stops her writing to marry a successful doctor and raise two very different boys. Told from Ashby's point of view the book covers more than twenty years in the life of the family melted with the stories that Ashby has written and is writing. One is quickly caught up with family differences including two very different sons who follow two very different paths, one becoming a very wealthy man and one not finding success on his own. Without telling the story one of the paths leads to India where Ashby (that is how she is remembered) finds herself again. Scattered throughout the main story are the novels which Ashby is trying to write. Once the reader catches on to this it is easy to follow as there is still one voice. Ashby. The reader is quickly caught up with the different characters, including the minor characters. Such descriptive writing carries the reader along, including the role of swimming pool in the life of the family, as well as things that happen historically, such as 9/11. At time the author uses lists of events which make the scenes amazingly believable. The book is well constructed. I enjoyed the varied themes: motherhood and fulfillment, as well as the recurring symbols, such as water, birds, weather, and love. This is a wonderful work by a new author and would make for a good discussion. It was a joy to read.
Lea Ann M. (Seattle, WA)

Such a fun book for word lovers
I am so sorry to not have written a review of this interesting book sooner. But, I must share with you that I have serious eye problems and must use a magnifying glass to read even large print books. Since The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is not in large print and is very long, I have not been able to finish reading it. But, I'm impressed by what I have read and was caught up in the book at the first chapter. I love words and the author uses them with skill and abandon. Her characters are well formed and the details of the scenes readily available to the reader. Again, I apologize for my lateness and for not having as yet finished reading the book, but I hope my fellow readers here will understand and send good wishes to me re: my vision problems.

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