Generosity of Women

Generosity of Women

2.61 (34 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

MEET:

Joyce, the foul-mouthed and wildly successful curator of a controversial art exhibit on surveillance, who unexpectedly finds herself under surveillance--in her own bedroom.

Her best friend, Bobbie, a gynecologist--driven, poised, and in control--a woman who finally finds love at fiftysomething and watches, horrified, as her perfectly ordered world crumbles around her.

Bobbie's patient, Lisa, a former juvenile offender and habitual runaway, who once dreamed of fame working as Joyce's gallery assistant and is now struggling with her new identity as a banker's wife and doting mother.
Lisa's sister, Lynne, a middle-aged suburban mother whose penchant for home decorating conceals her troubled marriage and blinding desire to exact revenge for a childhood injustice.

Jordan, Lynne's sixteen-year-old daughter, a former straight-A student and aspiring model who, no longer fitting in at school or at home, takes a part-time job at a supermarket to spite her mother--and finds a close confidant in her thirtyyear-old male boss.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 353 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 566.99g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • 015101101X
  • 9780151011018

Flap copy

Meet: Joyce, the foul-mouthed, controversial and wildly successful curator of a controversial art exhibit on surveillance, who unexpectedly finds herself under surveillance--in her own bedroom.Her best friend, Bobbie, a gynecologist -- driven, poised and in control -- a woman who finally finds love at 50-something and watches, horrified, as her perfectly ordered world crumbles around her.Bobbie's patient, Lisa, a former juvenile offender and habitual runaway, who once dreamed of fame working as Joyce's gallery assistant, and is now struggling with her new identity as banker's wife and doting mother.Lisa's sister, Lynne, a middle-aged suburban mother whose penchant for home decorating conceals her troubled marriage and blinding desire to exact revenge for a childhood injustice.Jordan, Lynne's 16-year-old daughter, a former straight-A student and aspiring model, who, no longer fitting in at school or home, takes a part-time job at a super market to spite her mother, and finds a close confidante in her thirty-year-old, male boss.And finally, meet Adela, Bobbie's beautiful 23-year-old daughter -- and Joyce's goddaughter -- who has returned to New York for a long weekend under the guise of meeting her mother's new boyfriend, but has a bomb of her own to drop.You will see these women at their best and worst--as loving and hateful, vengeful and vulnerable, hilarious and heartbroken. But mostly, they are simply six very real women, any of who could be your mother, daughter, sister or friend. They are women who you already know and who, over the course of five days, will divulge their secrets to you until the pieces of their story fit together and the whole picture is unveiled with all its intricacies, shocks and joys.
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Back cover copy

""The Generosity of Women" is wonderful, dramatic, comic, deeply felt and possessed of a beauty that is both quotidian and rare."--Mary Gaitskill, author of "Veronica" "Courtney Eldridge is one of the most interesting young writers I've read in years. "The Generosity of Women" is a lovely and difficult book that rewards its readers page after page. A stunning novel."-- Frederick Barthelme, author of "Elroy Nights"
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Review quote

Eldridge, Courtney: THE GENEROSITY OF WOMENShort-story author Eldridge (Unkempt, 2005) gives distinctive voice to six very different characters in her challenging debut novel.Joyce is a curator whose abrasive personality is a perfect match for her provocative art shows. Elegant, beautiful Bobbie, her first-year roommate at Barnard, is now a gynecologist and still Joyce's best friend. Bobbie's patient Lisa, Joyce's aggrieved ex-assistant, is adjusting to life as a banker's wife, mother and reformed bad girl. Lisa's sister Lynne is her temperamental opposite. Lynne's teenage daughter Jordan, who has always been fascinated by her aunt's wild ways, is now in trouble herself. Then there's Adela, Bobbie's adopted daughter and Joyce's goddaughter, a young woman whose close relationship with her mother might not survive a big revelation. Each character has a story to tell, and it's not entirely easy to keep track of these intersecting first-person narratives. Eldridge does not use any typological signs to designate dialogue, and she employs an elliptical style that forces the reader to approach each woman's story from the outside. It takes a while to fully grasp the various overlapping conflicts that compel the plot, but readers willing to do the work will be rewarded with a rich, emotionally and intellectually engaging experience. Eldridge's craft enhances the verisimilitude--quotation marks and long passages of exposition tend not to occur in real life--and there's something exciting about a book that combines technical daring with concerns generally relegated to the nongenre known as "women's fiction." The author takes her characters seriously, she takes her work seriously, and she takes her audience seriously too. Brave and accomplished.



-- (04/16/2009) "The Generosity of Women is wonderful, dramatic, comic, deeply felt and possessed of a beauty that is both quotidian and rare."--Mary Gaitskill, author of Veronica

"Courtney Eldridge is one of the most interesting young writers I've read in years. The Generosity of Women is a lovely and difficult book that rewards its readers page after page. A stunning novel."--Frederick Barthelme, author of Elroy Nights
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About Courtney Eldridge

COURTNEY ELDRIDGE is the author of Unkempt, a collection of short stories and a novella. Her work has appeared in numerous literary publications, including Post Road, Bomb, and the Mississippi Review.
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Rating details

34 ratings
2.61 out of 5 stars
5 9% (3)
4 18% (6)
3 21% (7)
2 32% (11)
1 21% (7)
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