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The Myth of You and Me: A Novel Paperback – April 25, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400098076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400098071
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stewart peers into the complicated heart of friendship in a moving second novel (after 2000's Body of a Girl). Ever since a cataclysmic falling out with her best friend, Sonia, after college, Cameron's closest companion has been Oliver, the 92-year-old historian she lives with and cares for in Oxford, Miss. Oliver's death leaves Cameron alone and adrift, until she discovers that he has given her one last task: she must track down her estranged best friend (whose letter announcing her engagement Cameron had so recently ignored) and deliver a mysterious present to her. Cameron's journey leads her back to the people, places and memories of their shared past, when they called themselves "Cameronia" and swore to be friends forever. It was a relationship more powerful than romantic love—yet romantic love (or sex, anyway) could still wreck it. Stewart lures the reader forward with two unanswered questions: What was the disaster that ended their friendship, and what will be revealed when Cameron and Sonia are together again and Oliver's package is finally opened? The book is heartfelt and its characters believable jigsaw puzzles of insecurities, talents and secrets, and if Cameron's carefully guarded anger makes her occasionally disagreeable, readers will nevertheless welcome her happy ending.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Cameron Wilson, 14, is an overly tall army brat and a new kid in town. She begins an intense friendship with classmate Sonia Gray after the two meet while literally saving one another from disastrous situations. The friendship blows up in college, and Cameron struggles through a small, uninspired life until, at age 29, she ends up as caregiver to elderly Oliver Douchet, a famed historian. Then a letter arrives from Sonia telling of her upcoming marriage and wondering why the two of them had gone their separate ways when they had shared so much. Cameron chooses to do nothing until Oliver dies and leaves a package for her to deliver personally to Sonia. So begins Camerons journey to find and understand her lost friend and, ultimately, herself. The novel unfolds at an unhurried, graceful pace, moving through flashbacks and memories, but the interest in what Oliver could have sent to Sonia sharpens the edge and drives the plot. Teens will appreciate the high-school beginning of this relationship and Stewarts notion that friendship can define a life. A poignant and bittersweet story of love.–Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I finished reading this book in two days as I was unable to put it down.
Leah Stewart has the perfect method to tell this deep story and uses the most amazing words in the process.
Stewart deftly weaves a story that poignantly touches on love, trust, friendship and loyalty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Leah Stewart's "The Myth of You and Me" is a touching and intimate character study of two girls who become best friends at the age of fourteen. The story is told mostly in flashback. Twenty-nine year old Cameron Wilson is a live-in aide in the home Oliver Doucet, a ninety-two year old Pulitzer Prize winning historian. One day, Cameron is startled to receive a letter from her former friend, Sonia Gray, whom she abandoned after the two had a major quarrel. Sonia is about to get married and she wants to reconcile with Cameron. Although Oliver encourages Cameron to make amends with Sonia, she decides to ignore the letter. Only after Oliver's death does Cameron decide to look Sonia up and try to make peace with her.

With delicacy and compassion, Leah Stewart examines the pain that both Cameron and Sonia suffer as they grow up. Cameron is an Air Force brat who is forced to move six times in fourteen years, and to make matters worse, her classmates taunt her for being the tallest person in her class. Sonia has a severe learning disability, and she endures repeated beatings and tongue lashings from her abusive and psychotic mother. Sonia puts up a brave front in school, but she reveals her weaknesses and insecurities to Cameron. Cameron has never been in one place long enough to get to know her peers, but with Sonia, she feels right at home. After the two girls spend their high school and college years together, it appears that their friendship will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, when they have a bitter falling out over a man, their relationship abruptly ends.

The author beautifully captures the bittersweet nature of female friendship, which can be a source of great comfort or, when things go wrong, of deep anger and hurt.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am the type of person who doesn't always get around to finishing the assigned book club selection. I picked up "The Myth of You and Me" on my own and read it in one sitting. Other recently-hailed novels have failed to draw me in, but Leah Stewart's story presented an emotionally true to life tale, wrapped in the structure of an unfolding mystery, that kept me reading to find out what had happened.

The characters in "The Myth of Your and Me" are not always honest with themselves or others, but that is part of what makes the story true to life. Characters are kept apart by the unresolved gap between perception and reality. I think that each of us has a fear that it people really knew us, they wouldn't like us, and that current is present throughout the novel. Each of us has a guilty memory of a friendship lost due to mutual fault and failure to forgive. As Cameron and Sonia's friendship is revealed in facets, turned around as though viewed through a kaleidoscope, the story will provoke readers to re-examine their own personal events from a more objective viewpoint. Both characters are at fault for the end of their frienship, but perception of who has committed the greater wrong, at what price, shifts as the full story is revealed.

It's refreshing to see a novel where truly shocking behavior doesn't involve overt violence, but consists of actions born of thoughtlessness and cruelty in a moment of anger, without thought for the consequences. How much do we want to punish the ones that we love? What is the cost to ourselves? Stewart provokes tantalizing ambivalence by challenging us to forgive her characters once we really know them. Can these characters forgive one another? Can we forgive ourselves?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jessica M. Schlick on October 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever left a friend behind or been the one left behind - it was truly touching and at times scary to me how much I could relate to parts of the story. I was looking for something light to read and I picked this up - Leah Stewart has a very straightforward and appealing writing style, so it's definitely an easy read. But more importantly, the story she tells about Cameron and Sonia and all of the other characters in their lives was so REAL that I missed them all terribly when the book ended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emily on September 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While looking through my local library for something new to read, the cover of Leah Stewart's second novel caught my sight. I was intrigued by both the cover picture and the title of the book. As I opened the cover and read the inside jacket I couldn't wait to get home to start what I believed would be (and was!) one of the best books I'd read in quite some time.

As I began to read the story of Cameron and Sonia, I quickly realized that this book was no ordinary read. The words and language used portrayed the story of two young girls who were so much in love with each other that there lives were never the same even when they were no longer a daily part of each other's lives. As I read the story I thought of my own life growing up and the friends that I had loved and lost. I thought of the pain that both Cameron and Sonia had felt when their relationship fell apart. I thought of how lonely they must of felt in those days and weeks after they had quit speaking.

This novel is one that I would recommend to anyone who as ever had a best friend - even if they are still best friends. It touches on just how fragile a friendship can be and just how little it can take before your whole world comes crashing down around you and you feel like a hollow shell of a person instead of the vibrate and wonderful person that you were just minutes before.

The story of Sonia and Cameron begins when they are just 14. The two become inseperable and struggle together through the hard times including Sonia's struggle with numbers and her struggle with her mother - whose strong words and emotions are always with Sonia.
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