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Dale Loves Sophie to Death: A Novel Paperback – September 19, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is beautifully written and Dew subjects her cast of characters to deep analysis -- she is much more penetrating and observant when examining her invented people than most real humans are about themselves. She sees and hears everything but she refuses to judge.
The author remains studiedly neutral even when the husband has a brief and foolish affair and the wife willfully neglects the health of one of her kids. The characters are sometimes appealing and sometimes maddening and always quite real.
That's the strength of the book. The weakness is that by the end one can't help wondering a little why it's been worth the time and investment to get to know these people who are so uniformly ordinary and mediocre.
But I think the author's intentions go beyond that. She's using these people to compose a portrait of a specific time and place -- the place being Smalltown Aywheresville America (the midwestern "heartland" venue being quite deliberately chosen) and the time the end of the 20th century.
So we're left with a very well-composed study of ordinary people living ordinary American lives with their pluses and minuses, their strong and weak points. By the end of the book, the reader reacts almost like one of the characters looking back at one of those golden summers of childhood and wondering what made it so wonderful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was one of the most uneventful, anticlimatical books I have read. It did not even give mental illness a creative twist. No stars! Read morePublished on September 23, 2012 by TMAC
Because I read Dew's later novels first, I found this one not quite as good. It is, however, a very interesting 'novel of character. Read morePublished on January 2, 2006 by Mary Kirtz
This is the WORST book that I have ever read! Every page reads like the author went a little too crazy with the Thesaurus tool on her computer! Read morePublished on August 7, 2004 by Lorapan
I will read anything - truly anything. I always make a point of reading a book from cover to cover. Read morePublished on May 17, 2004
I saw a blurb about this book in another novel I was reading awhile ago and it sounded interesting. Then when I got it, I saw it had won the National Book Award and that the author... Read morePublished on March 21, 2004
It is obvious that Ms. Dew has great writing talent but the characters in this book are so distasteful that it was difficult for me to read. Read morePublished on June 24, 2002
I don't know why it won the National Book Award. This book is very slow, & very boring. Where is the action? I forced myself to finish it.Published on March 24, 2002