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Treasure Box Hardcover – August, 1996
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
When naive computer-nerd and millionaire Quentin Fears meets the woman of his dreams at a posh Washington, D.C., party and then marries her, he thinks his life is complete. But in this low-key horror novel, appearances can't be trusted and people aren't always in control of their actions. Although Madeleine seems quite sophisticated, there are deficits in her memory and her background is vague. She claims a large, well-to-do family but invites no relatives to the wedding. When Quentin finally meets his in-laws at their palatial Upstate New York mansion, they strike him as eccentric, almost as cartoons of real people. The domineering grandmother, whom Madeleine hates, sits in a trance, eyes closed, refusing to speak. There are hints of past child abuse?and of the possibility that a young boy may have been murdered. Why do so many of Madeleine's relatives have names identical to those buried in the family cemetery? And why doesn't Madeleine leave any footprints in the snow? Although the story moves toward a powerful climax, its primary pleasures are more subtle: strong character development and complex motivations, a mystery to solve, the discovery of wheels within wheels. It's rare that Card, renowned for his science fiction (see the review of his Children of the Mind, below), switches genres. But when he does, here as in his Lost Boys (1992), there's little lost and a rare pleasure gained. $50,000 ad/promo; author tour; U.K., translation, first serial and dramatic rights: Barbara Bova.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
At age 11, Quentin Fears is devastated by his older sister Lizzy's death. Subsequently, he grows up to be a lonely man, obsessed with memories of Lizzy. He becomes extremely wealthy, yet everything he does centers around Lizzy. He even picks a wife who reminds him of her. Madeleine, the woman with whom he falls in love and marries in a matter of weeks, turns out to be an apparition invented by an evil witch. Once the story turns to Quentin's wife and her family, the plot degenerates into the script of a B-movie, with wild explanations for the comings and goings of ghosts and the mysterious treasure box that Madeleine wants her new husband to open. Card, the author of many highly acclaimed works (e.g., Children of the Mind, Tor, 1996) is more handy with quick and witty dialog than story content. There is not enough humor here it to be funny and not enough horror or fantasy for it to be either. Recommended only for large collections.?Shirley Gibson Coleman, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib, Mich.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
In time, he manages to make a life for himself but he keeps others at a distance, still wounded by what has happened. Then he has a chance at love, the kind of love that apparently comes along once in a lifetime. In time, things start to become stranger and stranger and this is where I'm afraid to give away too many details. I read this one with very few breaks because I was totally hooked by the tale.
One of the most rewarding parts of reading ANY book by this author is that even the lesser ones have nuggets of wisdom about how to live one's life as well as think about death. Pay attention and you'll note yourself jotting down complete sentences worth thinking about. The sentences which grabbed me might not be what grabs you but I guarantee that there will be ones worth savoring. This is one of the reasons why I find myself to read this author's works. Yes, it is a ghost story and may give you shivers but there is depth in this one.
As a side note, some readers may be interested to learn that some of the ideas in the book come from Card's Mormon faith. I refer especially to the idea that disembodied spirits are less powerful than embodied ones, because they can't directly affect the physical world. One of the foundational teachings of Mormonism is that we came to this earth to receive physical bodies so that we could eventually become deified. Another Mormon concept in the novel is that summoning the dead requires use of the person's true name. Mormons believe that husbands will call their wives forth from the dead on the day of resurrection by invoking their sacred temple names.