Starting Out Sideways and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.41
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Dust jacket in Has dustjacket condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Starting Out Sideways Hardcover – May 15, 2007


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, May 15, 2007
$0.44 $0.01

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368210
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,221,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After her husband runs off with her best friend, Roseanna Plow thinks it can't get any worse, but the curve balls keep coming. Rosie's job as a social worker is made even more stressful as she's pursued by Milton, one of her developmentally challenged clients, and Mickey "Ham" Hamilton, Milton's boss at the SaveWay grocery. Her dad has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer; her relationship with her meddling mother, the tough-talking, cigarette-smoking Helen Pulkowski ("like a moll in the Rat Pack") is rocky. Rosie longs to swap her mother's tell-it-like-it-is approach for some maternal compassion, but instead finds a long-hidden skeleton in her family's closet. As the two fight it out, New England PEN Discovery Award-winner Mitchell writes prose that hums with vibrant characters, zippy dialogue and a poignant humor.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"New England PEN Discovery Award-winner Mitchell writes prose that hums with vibrant characters, zippy dialogue and a poignant humor." -- Publishers Weekly
 
"We live in hard times. That's one reason why a feel-good book like Mary E. Mitchell's delightful Starting Out Sideways is so valuable. But there are many more reasons to love this book: the characters, who, utterly endearing or deliciously fun to hate, are so fully fleshed out you'll feel you ought to offer them a chair. The full-of-surprises story that keeps you rapidly turning pages. The humor that makes you laugh out loud--literally--balanced by a well-earned poignancy. The writing is fluid and natural and smart. Most importantly, there is a humanity exhumed in this book that makes you feel proud and hopeful about being a human on planet Earth. These days, that's a rare and wonderful thing."
--Elizabeth Berg, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Pleasures
 
"Starting Out Sideways simply sparkles! Mary Mitchell's debut novel is a fabulous story of joy and heartache, laughter and love."
--Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs
 
"Heartbreaking, redeeming, and beautifully written." - Kim Gruenenfelder, author of A Total Waste of Makeup
 
"Hilarious and heart-wrenching, Starting Out Sideways is a superb debut from a fresh and funny new voice in contemporary fiction.  Mary E. Mitchell has crafted a story whose vivid characters jump from the page and hang out in your subconscious for days...you will root for Roseanna Plow with every fiber of your being."
--Tracy McArdle, author of Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa and Real Women Eat Beef

Customer Reviews

An easy, enjoyable read.
chall3432
Roseanna is a wonderful character who holds the deep tale together although the support cast is fully developed and enhances the plot.
Harriet Klausner
Her way of handling the mentally challenged person is done with grace, comedy and deep down emotion.
Rose Lamatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Roseanna Plow knows her life has fallen apart. Her husband Teddy has left her after admitting to an affair with her best friend Inga; they live together. Her vocation as a social worker focusing on career counseling is difficult yet rewarding when she places one of her developmentally challenged clients; however, now one of her successes Milton Beyer seems to be stalking her as he is everywhere. Her dad has prostrate cancer and now her mom the steamroller, who informs everyone with mirth that her daughter came down the birth canal sideways, has moved in temporarily to give her maternal support, TKO style.

The only positive note is Milton's boss at the SaveWay Mickey "Ham" Hamilton seems nice. However, before she can decide whether to forget cheating Teddy and move on perhaps with Ham, she learns a dark family secret. Soon she and her mom are going toe to toe over what she now knows.

This is a well written poignant family drama starring a likable heroine who believes she must be the female reincarnation of Job as everything suddenly has gone wrong. Roseanna is a wonderful character who holds the deep tale together although the support cast is fully developed and enhances the plot. Contemporary readers will enjoy Mary E. Mitchell's amusing yet discerning character study.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gayla M. Collins VINE VOICE on May 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roseanna Plow is one of the wittiest, wisest, most enjoyable characters I have read in ages. With humor she tells her tale of her cheating husband leaving her for Inga, her best friend. Roseanna's Ma vexes her with the most hilarious antics that are to "aid" Rosie. Her clients, mentally disabled people being acclimated to life in the main stream, all provide hilarity as well as warmth. She discovers a very hidden secret that totally unnerves her and yet the book never bogs with "woe is me" ideology. The cast of characters that support Rosanna are truly just that....eccentrically funny characters.

This is such a wonderful read; if you need your attitude adjusted, need a good laugh and a solid lesson in accepting life, or if you just want to have a breezy time putting your life on the back burner, then this book is tailor-made to fit.

Wonderful story that you should treat yourself too.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lowery on July 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a hoot... As I read, I wished I were a character in the book and could yell "Rosie! - WAKE UP!". Like Stephanie Plum, Rosie is a lovingly flawed heroine, helping others and blundering through her personal life, struggling and juggling with the lemons life hands her.

Rosie has 'Plan B' thrust upon her - time after time; and happily discovers that 'Plan B' was where she needed to be all along.

Ms. Mitchell's wonderfully oddball characters all love Rosie - but on their own terms, and in ways Rosie struggles to appreciate. I can't wait to see who plays Marcie, Rosie's cute, kinky, caring, and all-seeing supervisor in the movie!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chall3432 on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
How to describe this book?.....The characters are so diverse and all of their experiences so easy to relate to....as someone said, you feel that they are, or have been, a part of your life/neighborhood at some point in time.

Rosanna's "chosen" surname (Plow) was appropos, for she seemed to be "plowing" through her life, with all it's twists and turns, and yet, learned invaluable lessons along the way. Mary Mitchell dealt with common life issues (death, the mentally challenged, infidelity, divorce, conflicting family personalities, etc.) with UNcommon insight. The issues were deeply moving, but handled with the ability to see the humor in even the most difficult situation.

An easy, enjoyable read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lillian A. Kelly on March 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A nice read. I think it is definitely a girlie type of book. No big message to interpret. Nothing to strain your gray matter. Simply a fluffy, distracting, amusing and nice story that was PERFECT for a relaxing rainy weekend. You know, not every book has to be a "War and Peace" type of academic challenge. Not unhappy with the purchase. Passed it on to my daughter. I'm not big on anaylzing the story content in my reviews. The description tells you about the story line. If you think you are interested ...buy the book. I enjoyed it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erica Ferencik on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have about 5-10 books teetering on my bed at any one time, each one clamoring for attention, and I have to say this is the one I reached for in that precious half an hour of chill time before sleep every night. It was so refreshing to read a genuinely funny book that is NOT SNARKY (it's so easy to be a snark, harder to be funny and human). I really look forward to Mitchell's next book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cathie on June 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a fun book! My book group chose this novel and it led to a wonderful discussion full of laughter, but also personal sharing. It had a bit of everything - humor, sadness, conflict, loss and happiness. The characters were believable (all) and tremendously likeable (most!) We will definitely be reading Ms. Mitchell's next novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Asmus on June 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Sideways" is a wonderful story, perfect for summer leisure reading. Roseanna Plow and the other characters are so well developed, you will think they are people in your neighborhood. The story is as captivating as the cast. Nothing goes as you might expect!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

MARY E. MITCHELL is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and an essayist. She has published her work in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, First for Women, and Family Circle. She is a recipient of the New England PEN Discovery award. She lives with her husband in West Newton, Massachusetts.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?