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Paperback Child of My Heart Book

ISBN: 0747568227

ISBN13: 9780747568223

Child of My Heart

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. In Alice McDermott's first work of fiction since her best-selling, National Book Award-winning Charming Billy , a woman recalls her fifteenth summer with the wry and bittersweet wisdom of hindsight....

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I loved this book

I read this book "Child of My Heart" twice in one week. I loved the characters. The Moran Children, Flora and mostly I loved Daisy. I wanted Daisy to be saved and was saddened by "we lost Daisy in March." When Teresa, Daisy and Flora decorated the tree with lollipops I was visualizing it. When they were on the beach I felt I was there with them. I was with them every minute. I did not understand why Teresa had this sexual encounter with the painter. If she was a young and beautiful girl, she could have had an encounter with a young and handsome boy near her own age. I decided that she was impressed with his reputation as a painter and a lover. Teresa was only 15 years old and a 15 year old looks at situations differently than a mature person. She had no idea how serious the situation was with Daisy's health. I read "Charming Billy" and did not like it. So you see we are all different.I cannot wait until Alice McDermott writes another book. Maybe she will write one about a grown up Teresa and the Moran Children.

Six stars

The narrator is Theresa, and her story recounts events of a summer long ago when she was fifteen and her little cousin Daisy came to visit. Most of the action takes place among the mansions of Long Island, where Theresa with Daisy in tow walks dogs and babysits, trying with heart and soul to protect the innocents who fall to her care. Dogs love her. Children love her. Men love her, too: she's gorgeous. And what she's up against as she tries to defend her little kingdom includes adults, corruption, disappointment, and-we are told from early on-death. The characters include a famous seventy-year-old artist, who, like Theresa, wants to remake the world to his own liking; her dear but remote parents; a houseful of neglected children, including a little boy whose gifts go wrong in heartbreaking fashion; a great many wonderful dogs; and little Daisy herself, who when asked if she's afraid of heights replies "I'm only afraid of falling." We learn more about Theresa than she comes out and tells us. For one thing, while she wants to create a world like that of "Midsummer Night's Dream," she knows all along that her own is closer to "Macbeth." Certain imagines stick with you: an abandoned baby in a potato field, a toddler suspended underwater in the ocean, a tree covered with candy, a lonely girl lying in bed with tears running down into her ears, and three baby rabbits, like the children of this book, unformed and doomed. McDermott is brilliant about children and about the moment that ends a childhood. You won't find a writer who writes more brilliantly about love and caring, about beauty, or about loss. A gorgeous, shattering book: not just one of the best of the year, one of the best in the language.

Child of my Innocence

With the knowledge that Alice McDermott had already won the NBA for "Charming Billy" it was my expectation that the this book would be good. I had not read her previous books, but nonetheless, no one wins the NBA and then writes trash after that, or at least, almost no one.I was not at all disappointed. While McDermott's plot line is a bit prosaic, the plot is not what is truly brilliant about this book. McDermott takes the plot, and allows it to unfold through the eyes of a pretty, intelligent and 16 year old girl way out at the end of Long Island. With a superb writing style, a truly wonderful sentence structure and an articulation that is simple but truly elegant, McDermott paints a vivid picture of a smart girl facing not so much the realities of life in coming of age, but much more, the Loss of Innocence.In virtually every way, McDermott's protagonist loses her innocence in a span of about 3 weeks. And yet, the book is subtly disguised as a sweet story about a young girl. Only when the reader scrapes below the surface of McDermott's truly elegant prose, does the reader fully appreciate the message that is being conveyed.It is with great praise, that I recommend this book to all readers of fine contemporary fiction. The book is truly worthy of being classified as current modern literature.

Deep breath...

...Wow. One might be tempted at first to say that this doesn't live up to "Charming Billy." The story of "Child of My Heart" isn't much of a story at all, when compared to Ms. McDermott's previous novel. Where "Charming Billy" spanned decades and told the stories of the lives of several people and how they were all affected by Billy, "Child of My Heart" confines itself to a few days in the life of the beautiful Theresa and her summer charges. Simple, yes, but utterly heartbreaking. I found myself stopping to re-read sentences that merely told of a gesture or a breath. There are chapters in Ms. McDermott's sentences -- things untold that mean the world and explain even more. The color of a girl's shoes, the way sun shines off a man's hair, it's the details in this novel that make it a wonder. It's the details that make the world of "Child of My Heart" so believable that not one plot point seems forced or even expected -- you are lulled by the sound of the wind on these summer days, the movements of the shadows on a porch, and are satisfied enough simply to follow Theresa, Daisy, and company to the beach or to an attic.This book will stay with you long after you are finished. You won't expect it to, and you may even be skeptical when reading of lollipops and rabbits, but just go on and read it and do yourself a wonderful favor.

A Small Miracle of a Book

To read Alice McDermott is to enter a wonderland made up of familiar terrain but you still need a road map. With her clean, economical prose she cuts right through the arrogance of the wealthy and the submissiveness of the poor. Fifteen year old Theresa is unlike anyone I have ever encountered in fiction but have known in real life. Thoughtful, kind, and confident, she marches through Long Island, ministering to the neglected children of the rich. When her eight year old cousin Daisy comes to spend a few weeks with Theresa's family, Theresa recognizes how much in need of repair Daisy is. Physically but also emotionally, for Daisy is one of many children of a poor family and has been not abused so much as over looked. Theresa's own family seems to emotionally neglect her too, so caring for Daisy is, in a way, also caring for Theresa. They have a strong bond and Theresa creates a lovely summer for her. The thoughtless and careless ways of the rich are balanced by the thoughtless, careless, ways of the poor. Reading Child of My heart is like reading a primer in how to behave. Do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book. Thanks goodness for Alice McDermott!
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