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- Publisher: Harper
- Format: Paperback | 624 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 197mm x 37mm | 440g
- Publication date: 9 October 1995
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0006490018
- ISBN 13: 9780006490012
- Sales rank: 12,711
The astonishing debut novel from international number one bestselling author Paullina Simons, beautifully repackaged Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, school friends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties, the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into young womanhood, marriage and a career. At last Tully Makker has life under control. And then life strikes back in the most unexpected way of all...
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Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she emigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.
By Christina 16 Jul 2011
This story is definitely not light-hearted or chick-lit.
Paullina has written it like as if the characters are real and the events have happened; the struggles, which involve a continuous strain of picking up the pieces throughout life.
The book is definitely not one that I believe is easily forgotten, a book that captivate's you in every emotion; when a character was depressed, so was I, when a character was jubiliant, so was I.
However, Tully's actions did get on my nerves sometimes, but I realise now that this helped keep the book alive, not knowing what she will do next and why.
If I could I would give it three and a half stars just because it is different and can be linked to everyday life.
By Melissa Trevelion 09 Sep 2010
Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, schoolfriends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties , the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into young womanhood, marriage and a career. At last Tully Makker has life under control. And then life strikes back into the most unexpected way of all.
The question is did she make the right choice?
A brilliant read.
By Nichole Steadman 11 Mar 2010
I have tried to read this book several times and can never get the whole way through it without being bored out of my head!
If you like Bryce Courtenay then I think you might like this.
I am not a Bryce Courtenay fan either obviously.
Good Luck with this one if you choose to have a go.
'You'll never look at life in the same way again. Pick up this book and prepare to have your emotions wrung so completely you'll be sobbing your heart out one minute and laughing through your tears the next. Tully could be any one of us - a young woman who is strong, full of hope and carrying a lot of childhood baggage. Her experiences of pain, despair and betrayal are offset by moments of dazzling joy, love and, above all, friendship. Read it and weep - literally' Company 'A lovely and resonant evocation of that first great bond between woman...It's deeply moving' Anne Rivers Siddons 'As a first novel this is quite astonishing' Bookseller
In her first novel, an opus with soap opera overtones, Simons uses a voice as flat as the Kansas prairie to relate the story of Natalie Makker, nicknamed Tully due to her brother's mispronunciation of her name. At times this voice is used to great effect. Tully's life is dramatic - her mother beats her brutally, her best friend commits suicide over a high school love, and as an under-age teenager she earns money by performing wantonly in dance contests - and a more enthusiastic narration could have made these incidents melodramatic. But the repetitious plot eventually grates. Tully finds herself having to choose between two men not once, but twice. She becomes pregnant while taking birth control pills twice as well, she habitually slits her wrists because she likes how it feels, and her mourning over the death of her teenage best friend Jennifer - a formerly autistic young woman who still counted compulsively - drags on well into adulthood. This is the weakest point in development of Tully's character, since Jennifer is only introduced as a depressed teenager and it is therefore difficult to understand why Tully would place this loss at the center of her existence. The Kansas setting is evocative in its emptiness, but there is also a certain hollowness at Tully's core that keeps her from human contact and staves off empathy; at one point she says of herself to a boyfriend: "There is no center. There is only the outer edge. Inside is a black hole" - and that is all too easy to believe. An overload of angst and unnecessary length finally do this novel in. (Kirkus Reviews)