14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2000
After reading Getting Over Tom, An Actual Life, and Herb's Pajamas, I was thrilled to get Abigail Thomas's new book. This book is brilliantly written, revealing emotions that I before now didn't think could be expressed through written material. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read anything by Ms. Thomas before, and to those who have not yet been introduced to this author's wonderful writing style. The book will make you laugh and may even make you cry. Ms. Thomas courageously reveals things that many people keep to themselves. I thank Ms. Thomas for sharing her life with us and writing such a wonderful book.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2000
weep and laugh and most of all feel all the emotions life holds...Thomas writes______"this is not what I expected. I expected pure joy, and here are joy and sorrow mixing into the same moment." Doesn't that express so often how we feel, this book is filled with so many moments that I identified with...how can you not love a woman who writes ..the truth was she didn't keep the can opener anywhere. The can opener was wherever she'd last left it; the can opener was where she found it. Abigail Thomas reveals so much of herself in this book but even more one finds so much of theirself as well...it does leave one wanting to know even more about Thomas and her life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2000
As a writer and university professor of literature, I have rarely seen a new work as lovely and startling as Abigail Thomas's "Safekeeping." This raw, unsentimentalized portrait of an "average" woman -- from lost girl, mother of three, wandering barefoot through the wilds of '60s Manhattan, to secure, established, apple-cake-baking grandmother -- gorgeously rendered in short-short, wrenching, often hilarious vignettes, should top this summer's lists. Buy and read this elegant little volume, and give it away; then buy it and give it away again. "Safekeeping" is a keepsake for all time. Perfect for reading clubs -- Oprah's or yours.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2000
I first read Abigail Thomas' work several years ago in the literary journal, "Glimmer Train." I never forgot those stories: smart, funny, real, brilliant. And her new book held up to that standard. I read it in one day. I just couldn't put it down. It was like a box of chocolates--I kept thinking, okay just one more...each "chapter" is very short, each packed with intelligence, grace, love. This is a great book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2000
to read this honest, large-hearted, memoir, told in a series of short (often only a paragraph, sometimes a page) vignettes. You won't regret it. Thomas reveals a life lived fully, with all senses engaged, smell, taste, touch, in these pieces about her first marriage when she was a pregnant teenager, to a second with a much older physicist ("Dance for me while the chicken is cooking," he says to her) whom she divorces and later becomes very good friends with, to her third, happy coupling, and the children she had during them. I could not stop reading this and suspect you won't be able to either. This book makes you feel full inside.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2004
A life told in pastiche, favoring small moments of telling quietness over the Big Events that feature in most memoirs. Divorces and births are passed over with little comment, but scenes from marriages and parenthood and the friendships that persist after marriage ends are beautifully rendered.
Thomas shifts point of view, sometimes telling a piece in first person, sometimes in third. Her sister makes occasional appearances in the book, "correcting" Thomas and questioning her motives. The book jumps back and forth in time, and part of the pleasure of reading it is encountering the life in the order that makes most sense to its author, and piecing together the chronology as you go along.
Very short sections, nicely managed. Almost a collection of prose poems.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2000
I absolutely loved this gem of a book. I found so much to relate to in Thomas's beautiful, honest descriptions of love, loss, grief and growing up. Reading it, I alternately laughed out loud and teared up. As deeply personal as the writing is, the emotions depicted in this unusual memoir are universal.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2000
Now here's a good Mother's Day present. I picked up this book because of its jacket, which shows a young woman gazing into the middle distance--perhaps the distance of her life to come. I began reading the book and couldn't put it down, the writing is so sharp and unsentimentally poignant. The perspective is that of a middle-aged grandmother whose memory is organized around the death of her second husband. Her life comes back to her the way lives really are remembered--in pieces transported by emotions of pleasure, regret, pride and shame. I felt absorbed in a life that was entirely someone else's but which had become my own. What an amazing book!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2000
I saw Abigail Thomas read at a library bookfair in my town. She was wonderful. I bought the book and inhaled it. You will become a part of her life. Her food, her children, her parents, her husbands. Her. There is no other book like this. It stands completly alone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2008
I had very high expectations for Safekeeping after having devoured Ms. Thomas's excellent memoir, A Three Dog Life. Safekeeping is nothing like A Three Dog Life and so I was left disappointed.
A Three Dog Life is a moving memoir which displays Ms. Thomas's keen insight and hyper-self-awareness as well as her beautiful way of being able to translate her thoughts and feelings into words. Safekeeping also showcases, Abigail's unique and talented writing style, however, Safekeeping is a collection of short vignette's and does not tell a complete story or recount contiguous events in her life. The stories were disjointed and jumped around.
I should note that I am not a huge fan of short story collections to begin with, so I am perhaps not the best critic of a book which is basically mini short stories. Abigail Thomas's writing is sparse and insightful. Those who love short stories will like this book.
I recommend reading a Three Dog Life first so as to gain knowledge and backstory on Abigail's life. I feel that this knowledge enables a greater appreciation of Safekeeping despite the fact that it was written before A Three Dog Life.