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Songs in Ordinary Time af Mary McGarry…
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Songs in Ordinary Time (udgave 1996)

af Mary McGarry Morris

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,139257,584 (3.36)30
It's the summer of 1960 Atkinson, Vermont. Marie Fermoyle is a strong but vulnerable divorced woman whose loneliness and ambition for her children make her easy prey for dangerous con man Omar Duvall.
Medlem:erix.73
Titel:Songs in Ordinary Time
Forfattere:Mary McGarry Morris
Info:Penguin Books, Paperback, 740 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Værk information

Songs in Ordinary Time af Mary McGarry Morris

  1. 00
    What We All Want af Michelle Berry (flippinpages)
    flippinpages: Very different storylines but similar writing styles, dry sense of humor, with a focus on dysfunctional characters.
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How does Mary Mcgarry Morris hold all these threads together?
She has encapsulated the rage,bitterness, loneliness, and desperation of small town life. All the threads connect to 12 year old Benjy, who has vowed to keep to himself all the things he has secretly witnessed, just to keep his lonely mother happy. Small town life can be a horror, even before strangers snare one into their web of deceit. Chilling. ( )
  juliechabon | Apr 15, 2024 |
Character-driven novel about the people living in a small town in Vermont in 1960. The storyline revolves around a con artist involved in an act of violence, who hides in plain sight by taking advantage of a lonely divorcee. The woman is supporting three children with no help from her alcoholic ex-husband. The story branches out to cover numerous people residing in the town, including the police chief and his family, the former police chief (now blind) that runs a popcorn stand, a dishonorably discharged marine trying to get his life back on track, an insurance salesman with financial issues, and many more.

None of the main characters are very likeable and it would have been nice to have at least one or two in such a large cast of characters. Surely the entire town isn’t populated with unpleasant people. It was a struggle to keep reading this at times. I kept waiting for a bright spot. There are a few small glimmers of hope, but not many.

Here’s a sampling of primary characters:
- A con artist selling pipe dreams to people that can’t afford much of anything
- A woman who constantly berates her children
- An alcoholic father that neglects his family
- A priest taking advantage of a minor
- A thief stealing from local businesses
- A woman that poisons her husband’s dog
- A “heavy breather” making crank calls
- A man that has an affair while his wife is dying of cancer

All that said, it is very well-written. Themes include the ramifications of choices and how people can be entrapped by their hopes, fears, and desires. The characters are multi-layered. The author does a great job of getting inside the heads of the three children, ages 12, 16, and 17, as well as the divorced wife, alcoholic father, and various colorful characters living in this small town. The rationalizations of the con man seem very realistic, as he comes up with excuses to justify his atrocious behavior. For example:

“People were just dying to find someone they could trust, and intimate, someone who not only understood, but knew things without having to be told. And he didn’t regard it in any way as taking advantage or preying on their troubles, because the truth was, he cared about people. He really did. Even when they turned on him. It pained him to see anyone hurt. There were still nights when he could not close his eyes, but what images of Earlie came to mind, that most headstrong, stubborn, and selfish young man who in a very real sense had been the instrument of his own harm. And of this he had no doubt. None whatsoever.”

I appreciated the writing and would have probably liked it more if it were shorter and less repetitious, but after almost 750 pages, I am glad to be finished.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
With writing like this, HOW can people give this book low ratings and negative reviews?

[On a bus trip] He was distantly aware of the wheels turning under them, the stench of exhaust through the dusty sliding windows, and beside him, the wet crunch of Lucille's pointy teeth into a pear.

[Keep in mind this is happening at a formal business dinner!!!] Biggs was a carpet installer from Detroit whose bad knees had ordained a new line of work. His life's savings as well his mother's had been invested in Presto. "Hear that?" he'd asked Omar during the cocktail hour, raising each leg up and down. 'That's cartilage crunching."

I enjoy so much, getting to scrutinize other people's miserable lives. And I love how we get into the characters heads and know all their dramatic thoughts.

Please, Mary McGarry Morris, let all your other books be this good!!! This one goes on my favorites shelf, but, I put the paperback itself directly into the trash. Why? Because the printer or bookbinder really screwed up. There were 60-ish pages missing in the middle and then a whole section of pages were in the book twice!! Luckily, the ebook is an "always available" title on Hoopla so I was able to download it, read the missing pages on Hoopla, and then return to the paperback. ( )
1 stem Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
A story about a family. Marie, divorced, caring for her two teenaged children, Alice and Norm, and near-teen Benjy, twelve. It is 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont.

Marie is having a hard time of it and makes sure everyone knows it, especially her children. Desperate for appreciation and caring, she falls for a man who shows up on her doorstep one day. Omar Duvall has just escaped from the clutches of his former associates in a con game, and is, of course, an excellent con man. He knows a good thing when he sees it. Although Marie is poor she helps him with money and the loan of her car, and invites him for dinner every night. She is, however, scrupulous about appearances in some ways, so resists his sexual advances.

Meanwhile, Benji, who wants nothing more than to please everyone and to have everything run smoothly, hides what he knows about Omar. It isn't certain anyway, just who the man is. He sees that Omar makes his mother happy and he wants her to be happy more than anything else.

Norm and Alice are not starry-eyed about this intruder. Over time, however, Omar manages to insert himself into their lives as well, bringing about a kind of acceptance.

This lengthy, detailed tale revolves around Omar and how his presence affects this family. It is also very much about Alice and her search for something lost, her "fall", you might say.

I kept wanting Omar to be gone and a few times I had reason to hope he was, but the bad penny kept showing up. Thus the suspense builds and the lives bend to adjust. All while a neighbor watches. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I hated it. This book turned me off of Oprah picks forever. ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
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On the day that Duvall come Benjamin Fermoyle was twelve.
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It's the summer of 1960 Atkinson, Vermont. Marie Fermoyle is a strong but vulnerable divorced woman whose loneliness and ambition for her children make her easy prey for dangerous con man Omar Duvall.

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