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Portrait of Jennie Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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''So brilliant is Nathan's execution that one is entirely lost in the tender love story of two immortally designed for each other, one a spirit out of the past seeking to catch up with the present, the other a man rooted in the present and caught in an urgency to accept the gift of the past . . . Portrait of Jennie will perhaps most vividly recall Balderston's Berkeley Square, for, like that, it is a love story that transcends the boundaries of time. It is told with tenderness and with beauty. Its mood lingers in the heart, and its planes challenge the mind.'' --New York Times
About the Author
ROBERT NATHAN (1894-1985) was born in New York City and educated at private schools in the United States and Switzerland. While attending Harvard, where he was a classmate of E. E. Cummings, he was an editor of the Harvard Monthly, in which his first stories and poems appeared. After becoming a full-time writer, Nathan's work strengthened his reputation with both the public and peers. F. Scott Fitzgerald once referred to Nathan as his favorite writer. Five of his novels have been made into films, including Portrait of Jennie and The Bishop's Wife. Nathan ultimately authored more than fifty volumes of novels, poetry, and plays, and from this body of distinguished work he acquired a reputation as a master of satiric fantasy.
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The not as good: A bit too wordy at times and full of description that doesn't drive the story very much. NO SPOILER, but it also ends in a way that doesn't live up to the rest of the story. It's almost not credible how the character at the end reacts to one thing in particular. The entire emotional arc falls off a cliff at the end.
To the Kindle: Again, no spoilers, but this book ends with a word, a comma, and another word, like this:
Well, this edition is missing the second word. And the first word is so out of left field, you can't guess the second word. In fact, it looks like a paragraph--or a CHAPTER--is missing. So, you get to the end and don't know for sure how the book ends! I had to go back online and ORDER THE PAPERBACK to find out what was missing. That's how I know it's just one word. The publisher needs to fix their epub file. Ridiculous to have to go order the book in a second format to find out how it ends!
Gets 3.0 for crummy last-page formatting. The LAST PAGE, of all pages, to be missing text. Unreal!
Part supernatural love story, part story of living life for one's passion, this novel is one of my all-time favorites. It is the story of a forlorn painter, Eben, who one evening meets a little girl named Jennie. This one meeting changes his life. His outlook on life and his accomplishments both dramatically improve. Their brief meeting leaves Eben with such a strong impression that he decides to paint a portrait of Jennie. When Eben next meets Jennie several days later, she seems a few years older. He tries to find her in the city, but it seems that she may have lived a long time ago...and every time he sees her, she appears to have impossibly grown older in a short time.
Nathan's poetic descriptions help the reader feel as though they are there with Eben and Jennie. There are also many words of wisdom on life and love throughout that I find myself reading certain passages over and over. I highly recommend this book.
It was a quick read and I found myself wishing it was longer. I liked the characters and they stayed with me for quite a while.