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Rise and Shine: A Novel Hardcover – August 29, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Bridget Fitzmaurice, the narrator of Quindlen's engrossing fifth novel, works for a women's shelter in the Bronx; her older sister, Meghan, cohost of the popular morning show Rise and Shine, is the most famous woman on television. Bridget acts as a second mother to the busy Meghan's college student son, Leo; Meghan barely tolerates Bridget's significant other, a gritty veteran police detective named Irving Lefkowitz. After 9/11 (which happens off-camera) and the subsequent walking out of Meghan's beleaguered husband, Evan, Meghan calls a major politician a "fucking asshole" before her microphone gets turned off for a commercial, and Megan and Bridget's lives change forever. As Bridget struggles to mend familial fences and deal with reconfigurations in their lives wrought by Meghan's single phrase, Quindlen has her lob plenty of pungent observations about both life in class-stratified New York City and about family dynamics. The situation is ripe with comic potential, which Bridget deadpans her way through, and Quindlen goes along with Bridget's cool reserve and judgmentalism. The plot is very imbalanced: a couple of events early, then virtually nothing until a series of major revelations in the last 50 or so pages. The prose is top-notch; readers may be more interested in Quindlen's insights than in the lives of her two main characters. (Aug. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Years as a New York Times op-ed columnist have honed Anna Quindlen's writing style, and critics have nothing but praise for the sharp-eyed narration and eloquent dialogue in this novel, her fifth. Opinions differ, however, on other aspects. Some critics say Meghan's arc in the novel is too dramatic, the contrasts between the gritty Bronx and sparkly Manhattan are overly sharp, and class distinctions are sometimes glossed over. Others, however, find charm in this very modern retelling of the ancient riches-to-rags, humble-sister-saves-the-day story. Even those who struggle with the plot and characterization agree the novel is worth reading simply for the prose.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Enough about me. The story is a wonderful study of the character and relationship of two sisters, one a famous morning news anchor, the other the director of a poverty program in the Bronx. Quindlen brilliantly captures the ups and downs of sibling relationships, where the two women absolutely care about each other despite their disparate circumstances.
The plot follows the consequences of an on-air gaffe that threatens careers, complicated by a sudden relationship earthquake, all tied together by a tragedy that I never saw coming. Wonderful characters abound, the dialogue sparkles, and, in the end, hope trumps despair.
This book has complex, wonderful characters. Utterly believable.
It takes me into three worlds I know little about: Early morning TV; Homeless women and kids in NY; and Jamaica.
It treats of wealth; immutable family connections and transformation.
I look forward to reading it again. There are always new paragraphs in it!