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The Wonder Spot Paperback – May 30, 2006
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We first meet the Applebaum clan on their way to cousin Rebecca's bat mitzvah in Chappaqua, New York, where Sophie ends up sneaking cigarettes in the woods with a handsome eighth grader one year her senior. Yet even this minor rebellion is more charming than anything else; as with most of her future transgressions, Sophie is less the instigator than the innocent witness. Defining moments in Sophie's life are revealed through her relationships: an almost mythical college roommate named Venice; her charismatic yet capricious older brother; her brilliant younger brother; her unpenetrable father; and her hilarious grandmother, who takes it upon herself to save her "Sophila" from "impending spinsterhood." Of course no real journey into young womanhood is complete without a series of committment phobic, potentially deliquent, overly nice men whose appearances seem less about love than about demonstrating our heroine's inability to ever truly be comfortable with herself. As Sophie observes during a seventh grade skating party, "I felt sure that everyone was looking at me and then realized that no one was, and i experienced the distinct shame of each."
Undeniably clever, occasionally hilarious, and often poignant, The Wonder Spot is captivating enough for readers to forgive Sophie's indecisive, self-destructive tendancies and simply bask in her sincerity. --Gisele Toueg
|Wonder Woman: An Amazon.com Interview with Melissa Bank|
Melissa Bank's bestselling 1999 debut, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, took readers by storm and heralded the wave of Chick Lit to follow in its wake. Bank is back with her new book, The Wonder Spot, a series of interconnected stories chronicling the bittersweet misadventures of middle-child Sophie Applebaum, from adolescence to adulthood. Amazon.com senior editor Brad Thomas Parsons exchanged e-mail with Bank to talk about writer's block, Curtis Sittenfeld's very public take-down in the Sunday Times, and the dreaded "c" word--Chick Lit.
|Wonder Woman: An Amazon.com Interview with Melissa Bank|
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
She wears that dress three times. The last time, she meets an ex-boyfriend. She was glad she was wearing the dress; it put extra emotion in his voice when he asked if she remembered him. She had been waiting for this moment: "I'd pictured turning my back to him or slapping his face or pretending that I couldn't quite place him." And then, this killer line: "I'd had so many lovers since him, my first, and all of them so much more memorable." And then, the real killer line, the truth: "But when our eyes met and his look asked if I remembered him, my look answered that it did."
May I simply say: "Wow."
Out of college, and into the struggling years. A job happens, and an office, and the inevitable problems of people getting shoved into roles. But it gets better with the boyfriend --- could Sophie be Getting Somewhere?
New story. Shift. Her brother has the Girlfriend from Hell, and doesn't see it. New story. Shift. Her father dies, and she's living, with her mother, at home. There's a weekend in the country with her oldest friend and Matthew, her friend's friend, and a set of complications that give Sophie hope and end a friendship. New story. Shift. There's Bobby Guest, cloudy and lost, and, ultimately, not really available --- we've all had our Bobbys.Read more ›
Ms. Bank completely captured what it's like to be a somewhat insecure woman, and how those feelings of insecurity change as you get older. Sophie is so much like myself and people I know, and such a funny and true voice. I think women from the East Coast (particularly Jewish) will especially appreciate Sophie and her sense of humor. Any fans of "Girls Guide", or Susan Isaacs and Elaine Kagan, are sure to love this book. I wish I hadn't read it so fast because I already miss Sophie. I hope Ms. Bank's next book comes sooner than 6 years from now.
It's a book about feelings more than action, relationships and exquisitely drawn characters more than high drama. It's warm and real and honest. Bank can take a seemingly mundane topic, like a Bat Mitvah or a micro-managing boss, and find a wealth of subtle drama, hypocrisy, and humor there. Her character observations are spot on, her descriptions are captivating, and her narrator's poetic sarcasm is infectious.
It is very similar to The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing, but this book made a deeper impression on me for some reason. Perhaps the subject matter was relateable for me personally. Or perhaps Sophie's character is infused with a touch more vulnerability. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed it immensely and reccomend it highly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved her first book and was excited to see that she had finally written a second. This book is funny, poignant and endearing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Meredith Betzhold
Her voice and eye for how things are is do exact and funny. Great read as was her other book.Published 9 months ago by Ellen Zaroff
I really loved this author's first book but this one almost seemed to be mirroring her debut book a little too much. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Colleen Kant
There's not a spare word in this collection of short stories. The dialogue is immaculate, spot on, full of the author's great heart for love's foibles. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Magdalene Brandeis
I loved it!! Melissa Bank has once again created funny and poignant characters that kept me interested and wishing there were more. Read morePublished on June 30, 2014 by maria fadiman
Bank’s first book is often cited as kick starting the “Chick Lit” trend, with an emphasis on “Lit”. Her debut in 1999 was refreshing, touching, witty and wise. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by katie78
Cut to the Chase:
A series of connected short stories, The Wonder Spot chronicles a young woman’s maturation from awkward young woman (black sheep of the family) into... Read more
I love this book. I don't understand why people don't. I read Girl's Guide. I liked it fine, but I never read it again. Read morePublished on November 12, 2013 by J. Newman