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The Resource There your heart lies : a novel, Mary Gordon

There your heart lies : a novel, Mary Gordon

Label
There your heart lies : a novel
Title
There your heart lies
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Mary Gordon
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Marian cut herself off from her conservative, wealthy Irish Catholic family when she volunteered during the Spanish Civil War--experiences she has always kept to herself. Now in her nineties, she shares her Rhode Island cottage with her granddaughter Amelia, a young woman of good heart but only a vague notion of life's purpose. As the narrative unfolds, their daily existence is intertwined with Marian's secret past--the blow to her youthful idealism when she witnessed the brutalities on both sides of Franco's war, and the romance that left her adrift in Spain with yet another family who misunderstood her. When Marian is diagnosed with cancer, she speaks at last about what happened to her in Spain--which compels Amelia to journey to Spain herself, to reconcile Marian's past with her own uncertain future."--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Gordon (The Liar’s Wife, 2014) performs another astute and powerful variation on the Jamesian theme of American innocents abroad. A student at Vassar in 1936, Marian Taylor breaks the bonds to her wealthy, harshly conservative Irish Catholic family in the wake of her father’s disastrous reaction to her beloved brother Johnny’s homosexuality, sailing off to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War with Johnny’s lover, a doctor. Marian’s enmity toward the church intensifies as she witnesses the consequences of its unholy alliance with the brutal dictator Franco. Gordon dramatically illuminates Marian’s grueling, even gothic ordeals, first as a medical assistant steeped in atrocities, then during her near-incarceration in a Spanish village as a war widow after the briefest of marriages. The time frame shifts between the past and 2009, when Marian, 92 and ailing in Rhode Island, reveals her hidden past for the first time to her thoughtful granddaughter Amelia, another innocent on the verge of a harsh awakening. Gordon’s masterful pairing of passionately descriptive, stunningly revelatory action scenes with Marian and Amelia’s churning interior monologues convey with arresting insights and startling immediacy the intersection of brutality and faith, the “voluptuous appeal of tyranny,” the infectious nature of fear and hate, and the lifesaving courage of love. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Gordon is a go-to writer for serious fiction lovers, who will be rallied by a national promotional effort and author tour. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 4/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 16, p36)
  • In 1937, Marian Rabinowitz (née Taylor) is 19 years old and newly married—in name only—to a Jewish doctor who had been her brother’s lover. She has left behind Vassar and her bitter, Catholic Park Avenue family and is on her way to Spain with her husband to tend to the wounded fighting against Franco. Their marriage is a ticket out of Dodge for Marian and a respectable cover for Russell, and Marian in particular is giddy with the possibilities she hopes her courageous new life will allow. Her idealism, however, doesn’t last long. Working in hospitals, she quickly comes to face the grim reality of both war and the limitations of her own circumstances. In this commendable new novel, Gordon (The Liar’s Wife) presents Marian both at the beginning of her adult life and at the end, a woman in her 90s, living in Rhode Island with her 20-something granddaughter Naomi, who knows nothing of her grandma’s earlier escapades until, not quite on her deathbed, Marian begins to tell the story of how, after her first husband left Spain, she fell in love with a Spanish doctor who died suddenly. Marian went on to spend 12 years in Spain, finding both despair and resilience. Marian’s story eventually compels Naomi to begin an adventure of her own, hoping to understand more of the loss and renewal that shaped her grandmother. While much of the novel relies on heavy exposition and a structure that feels somewhat artificial, Marian is a delightful, absorbing character, illuminating both a period and a place. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/20/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 12, p)
  • Who are you? Who am I? Those are the questions that echo throughout Gordon's (Final Payments; Pearl) latest novel. In 1937, Marian enters into a marriage of convenience with Russell, her late brother's lover, and goes with him to Spain, where he works as a doctor in support of the Republicans opposing Franco's Fascist regime. Both Marian and Russell are horrified and disillusioned by the infighting between the communists and anarchists, and by the atrocities committed on all sides of the struggle. In 2009, Marian's granddaughter, Amelia, stays with Marian while she tries to find direction, and eventually hears the stories of Marian's turbulent past. While this novel's structure of building a narrative across alternating timeframes is common in contemporary fiction, an unusual element here is that we sometimes get the same events depicted twice: first through the third person, and then through Marian telling her story to Amelia. This way, we see Marian's attempts to attach meaning and significance to particular events, and Amelia's disinterest or boredom with parts of the story, as well as her interpretations of her grandmother's meaning. VERDICT As Amelia explores her grandmother's story in this sharply observed text, her misguided attempt to bring closure flirts with, but thankfully doesn't succumb to, a Hollywood ending. All Gordon fans will appreciate. [See Prepub Alert, 11/7/16.]—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis --Christine DeZelar-Tiedman (Reviewed 02/15/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 3, p77)
  • /* Starred Review */ Shifting points in time and points of view reveal a young woman shaped by the zealotry that can emanate from family, faith, or war.In the late 1930s, Marian Taylor breaks with her wealthy New York family after their righteous Roman Catholic persecution forces her beloved gay brother to hang himself. She sails off to Spain with his lover, Russell, a medical doctor she has married for mutual convenience, to join the forces fighting Franco by caring for the wounded. She is 19 and uncommonly naïve, prey to "the vague ideas of a privileged girl," while her new friends, who are fiercely debating fascism and communism, "are the most wonderful people in the world." Gordon (The Liar's Wife, 2014, etc.) writes from within the character's fledgling sensibility to provide a baseline for innocence soon to be broken, as is the narrative. The chapters on Spain alternate with others in which Marian is 92 and living on Rhode Island's coast with her granddaughter, Amelia. Back in Spain, Marian loses Russell as he flees the war's horrors and returns to the U.S. She marries a Spanish doctor and soon loses him to sepsis. She has their baby and loses him to her domineering mother-in-law. Gordon touches often on the sadism of soldiers, clerics, and citizens under Franco, encapsulating it in a devastated priest, Father Tomas, emerging from a confessional after three hours of listening to—and perforce absolving—penitents and their litanies of cruelty. The narrative lightens considerably with the shifts to older Marian in 2009 as she gives Amelia an elderly woman's perspective on that terrible time in Spain—before Gordon sends the younger woman off on her own little crusade, a nice parallel without much point. An emotionally and historically rich work with a strong character portrait holding together its disparate parts.(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2017)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10562239
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1949-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gordon, Mary
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Civil War (Spain : 1936-1939)
  • Grandmothers
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • FICTION
  • Grandmothers
  • Spain
  • Spain
Label
There your heart lies : a novel, Mary Gordon
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1795301
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
320 pages
Isbn
9780307907943
Lccn
2016038634
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307907943
  • (OCoLC)956957291
Label
There your heart lies : a novel, Mary Gordon
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1795301
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
320 pages
Isbn
9780307907943
Lccn
2016038634
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780307907943
  • (OCoLC)956957291

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