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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Catching Genius Paperback – March 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1ST edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425214354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425214350
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kiernan tests the bonds of sisterhood and goes to the well of family secrets and stunted connections in her easy-reading if maudlin debut. Sisters Estella and Connie grew apart early-Estella, a genius, began college at 12 and was the apple of their father's eye, while the younger Connie was blessed with good looks and a charming personality. Now in their 40s and after eight years of not speaking, the sisters are forced together to pack up their childhood home in Florida as their mother prepares to sell it. There are amends to be made and old wounds to be opened, and Kiernan handles the melodramatic moments with a light touch, though her prose can wander into purple territory ("It was as if we were both sunburned, flinching and shrieking at every touch, real or imagined"). Chapters that alternate between the sisters' perspectives reveal the miscommunication between them, and though Connie's self-deprecating humor keeps the novel from becoming too heavy, the climax is overdone and drawn-out. Still, it is a moving novel about forgiveness and the fragility of family.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Kiernan's debut novel tells the story of two all-but-estranged sisters, Estella and Connie, who grew apart after Estella was discovered to be a math prodigy at the age of seven. Now in their forties, the sisters come together to clean out their childhood home on the island of Big Dune. Connie, a married mother of two boys, has finally grown tired of her husband Luke's constant infidelity and is contemplating ending their marriage. Estella tutors college students in math and boards several of them in the house she shares with her boyfriend, Paul. Neither sister is looking forward to the task at hand, and when they arrive, they find things are just as strained between them as they feared they would be. Gradually they start opening up to each other, but as the rest of the family joins them on the island, Estella realizes that she has to make a confession that could end their newfound friendship. A warm, moving novel about the power of familial bonds. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Kristy Kiernan was born in Tennessee and raised on the beaches of southwest Florida.

She is the author of CATCHING GENIUS, published in 2007 and an Ingram Book Club selection.

MATTERS OF FAITH was published in 2008 and was chosen as an IndieNext Notable Title and won the Florida Book Award bronze medal.

BETWEEN FRIENDS was published in 2010 and was a featured selection for the Literary Guild, Doubleday, and Rhapsody book clubs, and was also chosen a Best Summer Beach Read by Women's World.

Customer Reviews

Book clubs will love discussing this novel!
book_junkie35
It's a great read, well written and just complex enogh to keep you interested and wishing for another couple of chapters by the time you get to the end.
Nancy A. Michaels
It is also very insightful about parent/child relationships, sibling rivalry, love and growing in wisdom that many will relate to it.
Fully

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Raised in affluence in Florida, Estella and Connie Sykes may be sisters, but are also best friends. That is until Estella, two years older than Connie, catches the dreaded "eyecue", whatever that is. Fearing for her beloved normal sibling, Estella drifts away from Connie, hurting her sister who does not understand why. Estella is a math prodigy while Connie is a norm.

Now years later, the two sisters still not close, return to their Gulf Coast home to help their mom sell the family house. As they work on what to toss, what to give away, what to sell, and what to keep, their past as precocious partners and the subsequent split when they were seven and five respectively surfaces forcing both especially the elder to reveal family truths.

Alternating perspective, CATCHING GENIUS is a delightful look at how childhood relationships make the adults. Out of innocence and a real concern for her younger sister, Estella finds the road to hell paved with her good intentions. Though the Connie sections seem more insightful as the audience feels her decades old still lingering hurt while not quite understanding how Estella coped over the years, readers will appreciate Kristy Kiernan's poignant look at the changing relationship between two sisters.

Harriet Klausner
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MrsY on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
First off, one of the bad reviews had some incorrect information and apparently the reviewer did not read through to the end. I don't typically write reviews (more a fan of listmania) but I enjoyed this book quite a bit and was sad to finish it. It's about Connie and Estella, two sisters who were close in their childhood but then are separated by a parent who is clearly consumed by one child's "giftedness". The story unfolds with the perfect amount of information and drama to keep one wanting more. The author wrote a solid, believable story, she certainly did her research.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Schaefer on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Okay - I'll admit - I read the reviews and thought, "Oh, no - another "sister" book - filled with anger, guilt, recriminations, angst and reconciliation. I decided not to read it. But, luckily someone recommended it to me, and since I didn't have anything else to read, I read it. This book was so good that I couldn't bear to put it down. And it's by a new author so I can look forward to more books from her! I'm recommending Catching Genius to everyone I know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Caldwell on February 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Admittedly, my interest and enjoyment of Catching Genius went through a few stages as I read. The beginning quickly drew me in to the tale of the two sisters - Estella and Connie - and their fragmented past. The next bunch of chapters tended to drag on a little bit, but thankfully by the middle and throughout to the end, Catching Genius grew on me and I sped forward to the end happy with the story overall.

As of late, I've found myself really enjoying books that are set by the beach and tell the stories of characters that grew up in beach houses in beach communities. I personally grew up in a residential community in the mountains which somehow makes the idea of growing up by the beach take on a very foreign, very romantic, "oh that sounds so nice," type of feel. It just sounds incredibly peaceful, and I enjoyed the second half of this book much better than the beginning probably due in good part to that fact.

I like that Kiernan moved the novel forward, that the characters had progressions, but at the same time that she didn't end everything all tied nicely in a bow. Sometimes I appreciate that, but I think in this case, a little sense of the uncertain is necessary. The novel is about rebuilding and repairing relationships and at the novel's end it appears as if more of the journey is still to take place.

Overall, Kiernan's style suited me. She had a pretty balanced mix of flashbacks and chapters that covered present day, and her transitions flowed well between the two. She had details, but not too many that I got bored, and her writing was clear and not overdone. I was impressed with her debut novel and will definitely look to read her next book in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doreen Orion MD on December 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
My book club started with the author's 2nd book, Matters of Faith, and quickly decided to read this one, as well. Both are wonderful discussion books. For Catching Genius, it's especially hard to believe this is a first novel.

A couple of the women in our group said they thought they'd have to force themselves to finish it when they realized the main character was being repeatedly cheated on by her husband. We've read some books like that and well, enough already. Plus, most of us just don't find those characters too likeable. Yet, this stuff happens and what was refreshing about Catching Genius was getting to meet the character just at the time when she decides she's had enough, so rather than have to slog through all the familiar affair stuff with her, we instead get to see how and why she makes the changes that she does - all rendered in a very belieavable way. That, plus the sister and mother relationships made for a wonderful book club discussion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read Catching Genius because I was intrigued by the subject matter. Two sisters who have to deal with the high IQ of one and the average IQ of the other. This difference in IQ and the resulting attention to one sister over another led to the eventual estranement of the two. It was very entertaining and thought provoking. The story held me from beginning to end. I thought the ending wrapped up a little to perfectly. It almost seemed as if the author tired of the characters and wanted everything resolved and done with. The book was enjoyable for the most part.
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