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The Gin Closet: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, May 3, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
On the material surface, The Gin Closet is a novel about two women, one trying to find herself, one trying to survive. When Stella learns she has an estranged aunt she packs up her meaningless New York City existence and moves to the desert to help this broken woman cope with alcoholism and loneliness. Tilly is a mess, she seems to only hurt the people around her and has been that way she since she was young. She hasn't had an easy life so when Stella turns up Tilly surfaces from her gin-induced waking-coma to think of the life she could possibly have, a life that means something, a life near her son in San Francisco. Together, Stella and Tilly embark on a trip, not a journey to somewhere even though they have a destination; more a sort of movement, fumbling many times along the way.
Told from both women's first-person points of view, Stella is damaged, and Tilly is lost. The dueling narratives juxtapose these women, and give the reader a unique sense of being each of them, as well as watching each of them. This is a novel about family paradigms, but more specifically, female family paradigms: what it means to be a mother, a daughter, or a sister; what we do to our family and what is done to us. Jamison draws a true, poignant portrait of the dichotomy between female relations.Read more ›
The Gin Closet … Leslie Jamison’s debut novel is a gritty work that drives the reader across the country in an attempt to solve a family puzzle (or two); a missing daughter/aunt/sister. Matilda (Tilly) was the directionless odd daughter compared to her determined and focused sister, but how (and why) does a mother let a daughter go? The opening scene is a grabber for sure; Stella (not me) finds Lucy (her Grandmother) on the floor—she’s been there for a while. While being cared for, Lucy mentions her missing daughter. Stella is Tilly’s idealistic niece and after learning from her grandmother about a missing daughter, an aunt Stella never knew about, she wants to know more. Stella has been anorexic (definitely not me) and has been on the bad end of a relationships with a married man (pregnancy = abortion). Before her grandmother (Lucy) dies, Stella confronts her overly focused/rigid mother (Dora) about her Mom’s missing sister (Matilda/Tilly), then seeks Matilda to tell her in person (before her missing aunt receives a cold letter from a lawyer) about the death of her mother … and a journey begins.
Tilly has lived a dire life. Prostitution and booze haunt her.Read more ›
Jamison's prose is lyrical but never protrusive, each moment of language perfectly distilled and woven into the narrative.
Its intimacy, its flashes of humor, its unrelenting honesty--this novel is often challenging and always magnificent.
Recommend? Yes and No. Yes, if you enjoy reading about the inner demons of women and the destructive ways that they punish their bodies as if that will somehow make their life right again. No, if you don't enjoy reading about dysfunction. I do want to add that I thought the author's voice was exquisite and that the story flowed beautifully. The subject material was depressing and made me sad. The book elicited emotions from me and that counts for something.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jamison's first-person, two party piece is beyond eloquent and poetical. The language is absolutely beautiful, but the themes are dark, darker, and darkest. Read morePublished 4 months ago by L. Clark
Great writing style.......sex,love and power.......a story worth talking about.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful language. The talent of this first time author is apparent. The story is very dark. Implausible ending for a character who was completely passive throughout her life.Published 17 months ago by Johanna C Stevens
Dark, yet very very good. Well-written and not a single gratuitous passage. The unexpected is around every sad corner and yet the way the author explores the different facets of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Britton Swingler
Blown away. Such powerful work. I could hardly breathe through parts of it. I just finished this book and feel the desire to open it to page one and dive right back in. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jayne Martin
This isn't an easy book to read (emotionally) and not one for those who only like predictable, happy endings. Read morePublished on June 8, 2014 by T. L. Borden
I think this book will appeal to two disparate groups: those who revel in the misery of others, and those who understand that we humans are capable of falling into the depths of... Read morePublished on April 20, 2014 by Geri Fitzpatrick
I bought "The Gin Closet" after reading a piece in the NYT Book Review about Ms. Jamison's new book, "The Empathy Exams. Read morePublished on April 10, 2014 by beepclick
I am just half way through this book and already feel it offers some of the finest writing I have ever had the pleasure to devour. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by zelda143