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Rise and Shine: A Novel Paperback – April 24, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073947992X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739479926
  • ASIN: 0812977815
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bridget Fitzmaurice, the narrator of Quindlen's engrossing fifth novel, works for a women's shelter in the Bronx; her older sister, Meghan, cohost of the popular morning show Rise and Shine, is the most famous woman on television. Bridget acts as a second mother to the busy Meghan's college student son, Leo; Meghan barely tolerates Bridget's significant other, a gritty veteran police detective named Irving Lefkowitz. After 9/11 (which happens off-camera) and the subsequent walking out of Meghan's beleaguered husband, Evan, Meghan calls a major politician a "fucking asshole" before her microphone gets turned off for a commercial, and Megan and Bridget's lives change forever. As Bridget struggles to mend familial fences and deal with reconfigurations in their lives wrought by Meghan's single phrase, Quindlen has her lob plenty of pungent observations about both life in class-stratified New York City and about family dynamics. The situation is ripe with comic potential, which Bridget deadpans her way through, and Quindlen goes along with Bridget's cool reserve and judgmentalism. The plot is very imbalanced: a couple of events early, then virtually nothing until a series of major revelations in the last 50 or so pages. The prose is top-notch; readers may be more interested in Quindlen's insights than in the lives of her two main characters. (Aug. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Years as a New York Times op-ed columnist have honed Anna Quindlen's writing style, and critics have nothing but praise for the sharp-eyed narration and eloquent dialogue in this novel, her fifth. Opinions differ, however, on other aspects. Some critics say Meghan's arc in the novel is too dramatic, the contrasts between the gritty Bronx and sparkly Manhattan are overly sharp, and class distinctions are sometimes glossed over. Others, however, find charm in this very modern retelling of the ancient riches-to-rags, humble-sister-saves-the-day story. Even those who struggle with the plot and characterization agree the novel is worth reading simply for the prose.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

That was the question I was left with at the end of the book.
California Reader
And I, too, found some of the characters' names to be distracting, unnecessary, and, frankly, a little racially insensitive.
Her writing style in this book was fresh and her characters were realistic and the dialog was excellent.
Julia Bond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mom of Sons VINE VOICE on October 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Anna Quindlen's, but other reviewers here are right when they call this book a disappointment. Anna Quindlen has a great way with words, but that alone isn't enough to make a wonderful novel. "Rise and Shine's" premise is so interesting--yet the incident at the heart of the story is never described clearly. And it was unbelievable that one incidence of saying an unflattering and vulgar word when you thought your mic was off would prompt the firing--and resultant nervous breakdown, which we never really see or understand--of a Katie-Couric-level superstar, anyway. Confusing, implausible, go-nowhere storyline. Most of the time, these characters never really came to life for me. They just seemed like convenient mouths to deliver clever Quindlen words and phrases.
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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Nancy S. West on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Three-quarters of the way through this book, I had a flash of insight. Up to that point, I couldn't understand what had happened to the clever, insightful Anna Quindlen we all know and love from the New York Times, Newsweek, "One True Thing," and "Black and Blue." Then something occurred to me. Does the rise of the Oprah book club phenomenon mean that there are simply a lot more stupid people reading contemporary novels? Because I honestly felt that I was being treated like a backwoods idiot throughout this book. Understand, I have never lived in Manhattan and I don't personally know any A-List celebrities -- but nonetheless, I GET THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A BLACK TOWN CAR. For crying out loud, the vice presidents of the midsize technology company where I work use car services -- I don't need three pages of explanation for what they are and the degree of prestige they confer. For that matter, most of what Quindlen offers up as an insider's view of celebrity culture is already familiar to anyone who reads People Magazine.

Throughout the whole book, I felt as though Quindlen felt compelled to explain every detail of New York life to me as if I were a 1940s housewife from rural Nebraska, and that's when the Oprah insight came to me -- perhaps the reading public really has changed so much that the overall sophistication of Quindlen's audience has taken a nosedive. But as a writer myself -- one who will never see the well-deserved earlier successes of Anna Quindlen, whom I really do consider a fantastic essayist -- I felt like asking, "Whatever happened to the rule 'show don't tell'? Remember that one from Creative Writing 101?"

Here's the best example of what I mean, but it's only one of dozens in the novel: simply showing the 18-year-old son of a celebrity address the doorman as "Mr.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Terrie Whitten on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was captivated through the first third and s--l--o--w--l--y "worked" my way through the second third and now I give up. I don't open the book with excitement and can easily read less than a chapter and not care what is happening and go to sleep. I'm done with it. Disappointed for sure.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hussion on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Anna Quindlen's for many years and eagerly await her next book. She has been one of my favorite authors for several reasons. She is willing to address unpleasant issues and creates living breathing characters who I get attached to. Usually I don't stop thinking about her books for awhile after I've finished them.

This book was a major disappointment. I did not finish it because it was simply torture to read. The characters had no depth even in their shallowness. They were one dimensional and I could not care less if they lived or died. The reader is led to believe that some big catastrophe occurs on the air...Miss Rise and Shine swears...that's it...in today's world that is almost a joke. Anna, I hope you can do better than this because obviously you are a great writer. I think your fans deserve better.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mangus Review on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a story of two sisters living in Manhattan. One, the biggest celebrity in the nation, a host of a morning television show called "Rise and Shine," and her sister, a social worker. The story bores you until the talk show host, Meghan, has what's referred to by one character as "a meltdown" and the entire nation is just SHOCKED by her action one morning. What did she do, did she beat the pope with a hammer on air, attempt to kill the president with a plastic fork and knife or admit to her killing over 200 men, women, and children for sport over the past two months? The answer: none of the above. Before a commercial break, under her breath she calls a much loathed guest on her show an f-ing a-hole. In this day and age, it doesn't warrant the reaction it receives from everyone. I couldn't get into the rest of the story because of the absurdity of the s-storm brought down on Meghan.

Another aspect I tired of quickly was the non-stop witty banter between Meghan and her sister, Bridgette. Instead of the Fitzmaurice sisters they are more like the Smothers brothers. It doesn't matter if they're eating breakfast, at a dinner party or jogging, they are always "on." I'm not saying I dislike witty conversation; I'm saying I dislike it when it's contrived and not believable dialogue. I can see a sharp ultra-famous talk show host being that witty but her social worker sister matching her blow for blow? Why aren't they both on television too?

Last but not least, the language is simple. There is no doubt this book was written by a "newspaper person." If you're looking for wonderful sentences constructed to wow you as much as the sisters' dialogue is supposed to you're not going to find them here. This is not literature folks.
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More About the Author

Anna Quindlen is the author of three bestselling novels, Object Lessons, One True Thing and Black and Blue, and three non-fiction books, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud and A Short Guide to a Happy Life. Her New York Times column 'Public and Private' won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. She is currently a columnist for Newsweek and lives with her husband and children in New York.

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