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Rawlings (Come Back Irish) follows the Wirth family from 1960s Long Island through a generation of transformations and shattered expectations. Bev "Binky" Cohen, a Jewish beauty à la Natalie Wood, marries high-school classmate Stephen Wirth, a mechanical engineer whose parents have a silent disdain for Jews. Bev cares for daughters Louise and Deborah, and gradually develops a career counseling women. As her body changes along with the times, Bev begins questioning gender and sex roles-with a predictable effect on the marriage-while Louise and Deborah have very different reactions to adolescence and beyond. Stephen's attempts to bring religion to what has been a Switzerland-like familial agnosticism marks the novel's turning point. Rawlings writes with vivid sensuousness and a palpable sense of purpose in throwing curveballs at her familiar characters. The result is a probing investigation into the unbearable lovelessness of modern life, and an attendant search for certainty.
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"Rawlings writes with vivid sensuousness and a palpable sense of purpose in throwing curveballs at her familiar characters. The result is a probing investigation into the unbearable lovelessness of modern life, and an attendant search for certainty."
I was reading The Agnostics on an Alaska Airlines flight. The woman sitting behind me saw the cover of the book I was reading. Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Puppy Out Of Breath
Wendy Rawlings is a truly gifted writer. I could not put this book down! I became so involved in each character's life that I could not stop thinking about them throughout the day. Read morePublished on February 2, 2009 by Molly Savoy
Wendy Rawlings bridges the gap between the characters and the narrator. The characters are continually developed throughout the book in a variety of ways, especially through their... Read morePublished on January 26, 2009 by M. Hawkins
Rawlings' empathy for all her characters is masterfully done at the level of both craft and insight. Read morePublished on November 23, 2007 by Kate Woodworth