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Saturn's Return to New York Paperback – July 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569473056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569473054
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The protagonist of Gran's first novel is a young Manhattanite who works in publishing, dodges ex-boyfriends at parties, practices yoga and smokes the occasional cigarette. While this may suggest a certain urban singleton on the other side of the Atlantic, Gran, herself a New Yorker, offers instead a character who is not in search of the perfect man. Mary Forrest is finally coming of age. She lost her father when she was a young girl, and now that she's an adult, is making a conscientious effort to forge a better relationship with her mother, Evelyn, the aging founder of a prestigious literary magazine. For her 29th birthday, Mary's friend Chloe gives her a session with an astrologer, who tells her that when she reaches age 29, the planet Saturn returns to the same spot it was in when she was born, so it is now that she really becomes an adult. What this means for Mary is learning to love her job at Intelligentsia, an online bookseller, and to enjoy Evelyn's company. But she comes up against some resistance: at work, an obviously nutty colleague tries openly to steal Mary's job; on the family front, Evelyn is beginning to lose her memory and her mind. Gran has crafted an almost unbelievably strong character in Mary; her optimism and sturdy staying power are admirable. Although many of the book's New York publishing scenes may alienate readers who don't frequent the same circles, Gran has written a smart, discerning story that will appeal to readers seeking to break out of Bridget Jones tedium. (Sept.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As a Christmas gift, Mary's best friend takes her to a psychic, a beautiful Indian woman with extra toes and fingers who tells Mary she's in for a tough year. When you turn 29, she explains, Saturn returns to where it was when you were born, precipitating the last, painful struggle before true adulthood. And Mary is indeed having a hard time: her mother, Evelyn, is sick, a recent spate of forgetfulness having turned into a full-fledged disease. Mary's parents were the founding editors of a popular New York literary review, so Mary grew up surrounded by the brightest literary talent. After years of working in publishing, she has finally settled into her current job at Intelligensia, an Amazon.com-like entity where she writes reviews. Whether it is Saturn's return or Evelyn's illness that forces Mary to reevaluate her life, the result is an entertaining first novel with a New York literary edge. Best of all, it is enjoyable without being cotton candy fluff. Recommended for public libraries. Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sara Gran is the author of Saturn's Return to New York (2001), Come Closer (2003), Dope (2006), and the forthcoming Claire DeWitt & The City of the Dead (2011), the first in a series of novels featuring private eye Claire DeWitt. Her work has been published in over a dozen countries and as many languages. Her books have been optioned for film by Miramax, Dimension, and Paramount. Born in Brooklyn in 1971, Ms. Gran lived in New York City until 2004. Since then she has traveled widely and lived throughout the US including Miami and New Orleans. She now resides in the state of California. Before making a living as a writer, Ms. Gran had many jobs, primarily with books, working at Manhattan bookstores like Shakespeare & Co, The Strand, and Housing Works, and selling used & rare books on her own.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By catharsis1977 on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read SATURN'S RETURN TO NEW YORK in one sitting and all I can say is, "Wow. What an amazing read."
Mary Forrest is witty, difficult, scathing, but a sympathetic character. When a close friend performs an astrological reading , Mary doesn't expect it to be the harbinger for the upheaval that would soon be her life. She is told that the planet Saturn will return to the same place it was the day of her birth when she reaches the age of twenty-nine and a half and that this is the time to resolve all unresolved issues and the time to tie up all loose ends, or else have to wait another 29 years to resolve them.
True to the astrologer's words, Mary's world is soon turned upside-down. She is beleagured by a bad tooth, and embarks on a mission to Save the Tooth-which she likens to a Jerry Lewis telethon; an ailing mother, a famous literary immenence in her own right, whom she speaks with exactly once a month; an inherent fear of abandonment, spurred by her father's suicide at the age of seven; and a fellow employee who is looking to steal her job, at an Amazon.com type of outfit where she reviews books. Due to her childhood experiences, Mary has an intrinsic inability to cultivate any form of personal attachment and breaks up with her boyfriend (whom she truly loves and who loves her in return) over some psychotically imagined slight.
Mary is faced with the difficulty of living in the the dog-eat-dog literary world of New York and the daunting task of emotionally exposing herself to the people she cares about.
This is a humorous, touching, poignant portrayal of a New York heroine fulfiling her destiny. Sara Gran is a brilliant new writer with an amazing future ahead of her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was a good book on dealing with your parents getting older and dependent and the inevitability of care taking, to some extent. It chronicled the subject's feelings very well in dealing with these issues. Not as good as I expected, but still a good book and worth reading, especially if you are experiencing or have experienced this subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Lilia on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This novel was quick and easy to read. It really is the story of a woman's relationships based on the life of her mother, Evelyn, a successful and popular publisher of a book review which is prominent in New York City. I was to the middle of the novel when I stopped to ask when the stories about the main character, Mary Forrest were going to start. They were nuanced in there but not really the focus of the novel. The best thing about the novel is the voice of Evelyn, Mary's mom. You can really hear what she could be in real life through the author's dialogue. You get a good sense of her New York/Greenich Village lifestyle, too. Not my favorite, but a tidy nugget of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Casselman on October 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book when it was first published in 2001 because it gave me something to cry about that wasn't related to 9/11 and the fact that I had to work down there every day and pretend to care about my stupid corporate job. I reread it yesterday because I'm culling the herd, so speak, thinning out my book collection and attempting to become more Zen about my possessions. My close friends get to stay on the shelf...Jane Austen, Jack Kerouac, Anne Lamott, Russell Banks and now, Sara Gran.

I'll read anything, but I'll rarely love a book, hold it to my heart, wipe my nose on my sleeve. I love this book. I love that Sara Gran said in fiction what none of us who lived in NYC said out loud, you can't get a good haircut in NYC. Thank you, Sara, for this wonderful book with real characters you wish were your friends because their lives are just as messy and uncomfortable as everyone else's.
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By D. A. Lachance on July 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting book that touches on real emotions, real people. Difficult to read for the first few chapters until you get use to her style. Well worth the read. Very enjoyable.
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