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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 Reprint edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400075777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400075775
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

SignatureReviewed by Lydia MilletThe fictional palate of Julia Glass, bestselling author of 2002's Three Junes, is one of dog-breeding women and foxhunts, tony Manhattan galleries and boutiques, European travel and haute-cuisine chefs. In common with Rebecca Wells's Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood franchise, Glass's third novel, I See You Everywhere, has female bonding among the landed gentry, a focus on relationships, and devil-may-care, enigmatically charming women of great romantic allure. Like Three Junes, the novel is a series of vignettes across the years, in this instance from the points of view of two sisters with different personalities. Louisa, the elder, is the steady sister on the lookout for love, while Clem is the younger sister, an adventuring, restless spirit with an unfortunate habit of chewing men up and spitting them out. Their parents, too, resemble those in Three Junes: the mother is obsessed with raising and training expensive dogs on a country estate (this time in Rhode Island instead of Scotland); their father is a good-natured, kindly soul who plays second fiddle to a powerful wife. Louisa, not unlike Glass herself, is an urban woman who inhabits the New York art world and moves from making art (pottery) to writing; Clem, being a wilder sort, has a passion for wild animals and moves around the remoter reaches of the continent as an itinerant biologist to do contract work with charismatic fauna ranging from seals to grizzly bears. It's not entirely clear how the sisters relate to each other's livelihoods; Clem seems largely uninterested in art, whereas Louisa alternates between lavishly praising her sister's work to save animals as heroic and referring to polar bears, in 2005, as like Al Gore... suddenly all the alarmist rage. City and country mouse have a wary, competitive, sometimes antagonistic relationship grounded in affection; they occasionally steal each other's boyfriends, but are usually there for each other in times of need, up to and including possible drowning, maiming and cancer. Both cook well, though Louisa is the true gourmet. Clem is better in the sack, at least if we take her word for it: as she says in a letter—reminding us, perhaps inadvertently, of the piña colada song—what she likes most in life are laughter, sex, champagne and sunsets. The sisters do have music in common: though both white, they listen almost exclusively to music by black performers, from Billie Holiday to Bob Marley.I See You Everywhere has a bourgeois, chick lit sensibility, minus the proud vacuousness of the Bushnell set and plus a somewhat unexpected, sad vanishing act by one of the protagonists. It should prove an engaging and intelligent, though not literary, page-turner for sisters who like to revel in sisterhood.Lydia Millet's most recent novel isHow the Dead Dream(Counterpoint).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From The New Yorker

This quietly powerful family history is the author�s third novel; her d�but, �Three Junes,� won the National Book Award. At the center of the story are two sisters: Louisa is four years older than Clement, and �also nearly four inches shorter and about four decades more full of opinions.� Over the course of twenty-five years, the two grow up, fall in love with startling frequency, and confront challenges that reveal the impossibility of truly knowing another person, even a sibling. At first, the sisters seem dangerously close to stereotypes�the elder bookish and reserved, the younger boisterous and boy-crazy�but the book�s almost Biblical scope does not come at the expense of strikingly sensual detail. Glass sees the bond of sisterhood as �a double helix, two souls coiling around a common axis, joined yet never touching.�
Copyright ©2008 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I rarely stop reading a book before I finish it but this book is terrible.
Bubbles
Glass' characters are so shallow and self-absorbed that they never connect in any meaningful way with themselves, the other characters in the book, or even the reader.
Amazon Customer
There is a family--two sisters who don't get along very well and their well-meaning but somewhat eccentric parents.
Melanchthon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julia Glass has flair for what Flaubert called the mot juste, the exquisitely right expression or word. She spins straw into gold with wise witticisms, well-crafted metaphors, and meaningful meditations on life. Her language has a layered intelligence; her inner dialogue reverberates and resounds, mirrors and bounces. As she demonstrated in a previous novel, The Whole World Over, Glass is capable of handling a versatile range of characters in a balanced, compelling story. She is also a National Book Award winner for Three Junes (which I have not yet read). However, in this latest novel, her talents did not coalesce--the whole was not a sum of its parts.

Although her insights were just as evident as ever, the story suffered from constriction and a one-note tone for most of the narrative. Yet, it is Glass' ability to conjure ripe phrases with robust philosophizing that kept me intermittently riveted through to the end of the novel. I was glad that I finished it, because she redeemed much of the sagging story in the final chapter.

In this double narrative of well-bred Rhode Island sisters, she spans twenty-five years (1980-2005) of their adult lives. She depicts the connections, disconnections, and missed connections to each other and to their own ideas of self in isolation and in relation to others.

Written in a quasi-diarized style, Glass alternates between older sister Louisa, who has more conventional aspirations, and Clem, her buccaneer sister. Louisa is a Harvard grad art editor and self-proclaimed failed potter desiring true love, babies, and recognition. Wily Clem, a wildlife scientist, eschews love and seeks sexual adventures as she travels to remote areas of the country studying fish, whales, birds, and bears.
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62 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Melanchthon VINE VOICE on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is a family--two sisters who don't get along very well and their well-meaning but somewhat eccentric parents. There are many boyfriends and hangerson and an eccentric aunt who dies quickly. The sisters don't get along with each other and then a tragedy occurs and the family has to cope. This is the stuff of dozens of novels, and I usually like the genre, but this book left me almost completely cold. By about page 40 I despised both of the protagonists, from whose alternating viewpoint the book is written. So the tragedy left me unmoved, because I had learned to dislike the characters, and I had little interest in finding out how the plot resolved. I think that the "family problem" novel needs to have at least one person with whom one can identify or for whom one feels at least a little liking, but these women were egotistical and erratic and treated each other and their family poorly. I resented the time I spent with them.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the novel I See You Everywhere , the two sisters, Louisa and Clem, speak to us in their alternate voices, to reveal their distinctive qualities; as unique as each one is, the bond they share is heightened by their distinct individuality.

Louisa is the oldest - the conscientious student and the one who longs for marriage, children and an art career - while Clement (Clem) is the daring one - the rebel, uncontainable, and irresistible to men.

Their story begins in the eighties and continues for more than a decade - and then veers off in a new direction when their bond is tragically severed.

In Clement's voice, we learn how she feels about her life, her choices: "Sometimes I feel uncommitted to life, or to mine. I feel as if what I thought was going to be My Life (the Siamese twin) quietly snuck off on her own when I wasn't looking, chose a different fork in
the trail a ways back, and sometimes our two paths cross, so I bump into My Life by accident, and I say, `Here you are! Where have you been?' "

An excerpt from Louisa's story reveals and sums up how different she feels from Clem - how different she is... "About the only thing we had in common that summer was solitude. Or so I was led to believe. Mine was a solitude of retreat and longing, fraught with wishes and sighs - but Clem's I imagined as sure and intrepid, a flight from everything soft about civilization. I was copy-editing ruminations on art. Clem was counting seals...We communicate best by mail. On the phone, we argue. In person, we tend to become sarcastic. Our letters, though, have a touch of romantic collusion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Lee on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Julia Glass wrote one of my favorite books, "Three Junes", so I have bought her two later books the moment they came out, AND been extremely disappointed. The structure of "I See You Everywhere" got on my nerves. I would find myself reading and not realizing who was talking. The sisters never became clear characters for me, and their inherent jealousy was annoying. I, too, as others have pointed out, did not care about any of the characters. Finally, at page 120, I quit.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Aleksandra Nita-Lazar on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"I See You Everywhere" follows two Jardine sisters, Louisa and Clement, from their early twenties in 1980, to 2005. The sisters are as different as can be - Louisa, the older one, is the artistic type, who worries a lot about her future and obsesses about Clement being the favorite of their parents. Clement, or Clem, is the naturalist, working with animals, opinionated, fit and sensuous, changing men like gloves. The sisters have a complicated relationship... and this is about all I could say about this novel, which I found rather unsatisfying.

I love books about sisters, having a younger sister myself. I liked Julia Glass's first novel, "Three Junes". Maybe I expected too much, but this novel was for me something like a cup of cocoa - nice for a cold, long evening, but ultimately clogging and sticky. I think the theme is so promising, that the book had the potential to be very good, but it was wasted. The beginning, the chapter of the year 1980, is also intriguing enough, suggesting the family saga with secrets and warmth, and connections between family members, but later it all falls apart. The girls were from good, rich family, there was a parade of boyfriends and husbands, each one very original and different from others, but I did not care about them and the twisted plot around them. The parents' characters are sketched with rough lines and unrealistic (like most of the men around the sisters). Even the weighty themes are described somehow superficially, and there are too many (cancer, depression, suicide, accidents, unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage...). Nothing unusual happens and the "deep" conclusions and thoughts are banal and shallow.
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