Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb

The sequence in which I read this book (following my Nay votes) inclined my vote toward Yay, but now that I've read 101 Ways to Dance and Does My Head Look Big I This?, I don't know if Cures for Heartbreak can compete. Looking for other input before I go back and read this again.

I will rely on Booklist's review published on Amazon to do this justice (and a bit lazy/behind on my postings)

From Booklist
*Starred Review* "I was ashamed of my family for having such bad luck." In the same year, teenage Mia's mother dies of cancer and her father has a heart attack. In stand-alone chapters (versions of some have been published in magazines), Raab gives Mia a distinctive voice, leavening her heartbreak with surprising humor and dark absurdity. Rabb is an exceptionally gifted writer who draws subtle connections between abstract history and intimate lives, particularly in scenes contrasting the dry school coverage of the Holocaust with Mia's Jewish family's personal history--"the kind of history that seeps in slowly and colors everything, like a quiet, daily kind of war." In Mia, Rabb creates a remarkable character whose ordinary teen experiences--crushes, friendships, sexual fumblings, mortification over her family's behavior--seem all the more authentic set within the larger tragedies. With almost unbearable poignancy, Mia talks about how to grow up, survive loss and family history, and heal her heart: "If grief had a permanence, then didn't also love?" Readers will cherish this powerful debut. Gillian Engberg


At July 11, 2007 at 12:52 PM , Blogger Deb Motley said...

I read this a while ago, but I remember liking it a lot. I think it had lots to say about the grief process and how different family members cope. Anyway, I'd give it a YAY.

At August 7, 2007 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Ms. Zandra said...

I was drawn into this story at first, but it lost me in the middle and end. There are so many other things the book could have focused on to keep my attention. I was curious to know what Mia's relationship with their mother was like and also why their dad seemed so distant from his daughters.
I read that this book is basically made up of short stories that have been published in Seventeen and The Atlantic Monthly so I would say that as a book it fell flat. I think the strength of this author's work is in short stories. I would have to give this book a NAY.

At August 15, 2007 at 12:37 PM , Blogger Katie said...

I agree with Zandra. I think each of the stories stood alone nicely, together there wasn't enough to make it an outstanding novel. I'll be interested in reading her forthcoming work. This one gets a NAY from me.

At October 6, 2007 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Kip said...

I'm going with NAY as well. It had some strong points, but I think the disjointed story and as other have said, some things were kind of glossed over.


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