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My Real Children [Format Kindle]

Jo Walton
1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

Prix éditeur - format imprimé : EUR 11,58
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Présentation de l'éditeur

It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War-those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton's My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 989 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 321 pages
  • Editeur : Tor Books; Édition : Reprint (20 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00HTJ058C
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°296.319 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Enorme déception 28 juillet 2014
Par Armalite TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Patricia est en maison de retraite. Et malgré son diagnostic de sénilité, son problème n'est pas d'avoir oublié des choses, mais de s'en rappeler trop. Elle jurerait avoir mené deux vies différentes. Dans l'une, on la surnommait Trish. Elle était mariée avec Mark, un homme froid et désagréable qui la rabaissait constamment, refusait qu'elle travaille et lui avait fait quatre enfants - mais bien que malheureuse, elle vivait dans un monde de tolérance et de paix. Dans l'autre, on l'appelait Pat. Elle avait une relation merveilleuse avec une autre femme, trois enfants conçus à l'aide d'un ami qui avait bien voulu servir de géniteur, une belle maison de vacances à Florence et une carrière épanouissante d'auteur de guide de voyages, mais le monde avait été ravagé par une guerre nucléaire...

Très motivée par cette idée de base prometteuse, je me suis jetée sur "My real children" dès sa sortie. Hélas, j'ai vite déchanté. Narrées en parallèle, les deux existences de Patricia se résument à une énumération d'événements, une chronologie sèche et dépourvue d'émotion. Je me rends bien compte que 300 pages, c'est court pour raconter deux vies entières, mais il m'aurait semblé plus judicieux de se focaliser sur des moments-charnière ou des anecdotes parlantes, comme le fait Kate Atkinson dans "Life after life" - autre uchronie personnelle nettement plus réussie.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  63 commentaires
31 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What really matters in life 20 mai 2014
Par OtterB - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I'm finding it hard to put into words what was so gripping about this book. It is a quiet story, in a still-waters-run-deep way. A woman marries (or doesn't), takes a job (or doesn't), has a same-sex partner (or doesn't), has 3 children (or 4), makes a home here or there, lives through this world event or that one. It is an alternate history story - two of them, really - but the focus is not on the big, sweeping movements of history. Stroke by stroke, in Patricia Cowan's two parallel histories, Jo Walton paints a picture of the way our choices shape our lives, and our lives shape our choices. Really an excellent, thought-provoking book.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good writing, but not entirely satisfying 2 juin 2014
Par E. Smiley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Jo Walton's books always seem to come out around 3.5 stars for me: I like them, but not as much as I want to. I keep coming back because she is a good writer, and because, unlike most fantasy authors, she has a talent for telling a story in one book without padding, and for telling a unique story every time. That holds true here, though again my response was lukewarm.

Patricia Cowan is a very old woman with dementia, but her symptoms go beyond the expected: she remembers two distinct lives, two different partners, two sets of children - who both come to visit her in two different nursing homes. This book follows her throughout both of her lives: through her childhood, to the point of divergence in 1949 (when she accepts a proposal of marriage, or doesn't), and then through alternating chapters in two increasingly different worlds. There are actually two alternate histories here - one a more peaceful and accepting version of 20th century history, the other more violent and ugly. The history plays out in the background, however, in asides while our protagonist goes through her life as either Pat or Trish.

This is a story told largely in summary, as it tries to capture all important events in two different lives in just over 300 pages. In some ways that's a strength, as Walton captures the scope of two entire lives with relatively few words. The children in particular come vividly to life with just a few deft strokes. The way the two lives unfold in counterpoint is clever and well-done, and for narrative summary, the story manages to be quite compelling. On the other hand, this technique also distances the reader from the characters, a problem particularly evident in both of Patricia's relationships. Her husband, Mark, is an awful person with no redeeming qualities (the best that can be said of him is that he doesn't actually hit her). We're told his conversation on their first meeting is scintillating, but we don't see that; what we do see is all warning signs and no charm, so it's hard to imagine why anyone would marry him. Meanwhile her partner, Bee, is a great person with no bothersome qualities, and it's hard to say anything about their relationship except that it's apparently perfect.

And sometimes the summary is rushed to the point of improbable omissions in the characters' lives: for instance, Pat and Bee don't talk about their prior sexual experience (or lack thereof) until several years into their relationship? This seems to happen not because of any reticence on their part, but rather because from the author's standpoint, they've only been together for a chapter.

As for the alternate history, I found it unsatisfying, particularly when the book indicates that the path the world takes depends on Patricia's decision. If one obscure woman's choice to marry or not is meant to determine the fate of the world within a few short years, I want to be shown how and why, not just have all explanations waved away with the words "butterfly effect."

So I am left where I so often am with Jo Walton's books: the writing is good, the ideas are great, and the story and characters have a lot of potential but would have been more effective with more development. As is, this isn't bad, but for alternate lives and possibilities I would recommend Life After Life before this - a much longer book, but for me a more memorable and satisfying one.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliant, compelling alternate-world novel on the personal scale 5 juin 2014
Par Cissa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
While I don't have dementia, I do have very vivid dreams. Often, they are powerful enough that it takes me some time as i wake up to unwind what was true in my dreamscape from what is actually real. And as I try to unwind this- I feel like Pat/Trish in this novel.

The framing story is that Pat/Trish has inherited dementia, and is in a nursing home, and is "confused". Part of her confusion is that she distinctly remembers two different and incompatible lives, both with their joys and sorrows. Her own live diverged when she said "yes" or "no" to a marriage proposal; however, while I don't see that her life caused history to change, the world was also very different in these 2 threads, implying a greater range of alternatives than are depicted here.

I really loved that this was so focused on the personal, rather then Saving The World. Pat/Trish's choices do make a difference... but mostly for herself and her families.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." This book is about that.

One of the most powerful, and best, novels I've ever read.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Lovely Life 2 juin 2014
Par book beach bunny - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Books like these… they make me sad. That’s not really an observation on the book as much as my general feelings about books (or movies or television shows) in which we are with an older character near the end of her life looking back over the life that they have lived. In the book the main character actually gets two fully realized lives with lovers, children, friends and the whole nine yards. In one life it’s a crap marriage and some personal tragedies but a fairly nice normal world to live in while in the other it’s a happy personal life but the world itself sucks- nuclear bombs, horrible cancers. For her both of those worlds are currently running together. Which one did she chose? Which one should she have chosen?
Honestly whether Pat or Tricia it’s very well written. You do care about her. It does get kind of boring as it winds down but again most of life gets kind of boring as it winds down- it felt like a lot of reading off a list the last years; people died, people were born, Pat did this, Tricia did that and then the kids did this and that but those books always get me. The other issue for me was she sees the split in her life as whether or not she decides to marry Mark. While I definitely agree it’s a life choice even before she married him I couldn’t see any reason why she would. Meanwhile her partner in the other life is so perfect that she handles being crippled with the kind of aplomb that could be ascribed to a saint. Not much subtly in the romantic partners so when Patricia sums up her question as which life would you chose for me I couldn’t see how there was any question which one a person would chose.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 When you come to a fork in the road...take it! 8 juin 2014
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Would, coulda, shoulda: how many of us have contemplated how different our lives might have been had we taken that other path? It'a an intriguing concept for a book, the parallel lives of one woman living in two divergent worlds, but Walton's failure to develop it results in a flat, unremarkable pair of stories.

Part of the problem is that Patricia, the protagonist, just isn't that interesting a character, split or whole. Both her lives are relatively uneventful, with choices about as impactful as "should I wear blue or beige today?" I could not feel invested in the protagonist, and the more important secondary characters seemed unidimensional: husband=evil, partner=perfect, children=overachieving.

Another part of the problem is that the two worlds that her selves inhabit are different, and at the end, there's a fantastical suggestion that Patricia's marital decision profoundly affected the course of all humanity. Walton was striving for some kind of universal truth, but as an explanation for the significant differences between the dual universes, it's more than a little farfetched.

Although I've read a lot of time-twister novels, the last half of the book felt more like a genealogical exploration than a well-crafted novel. Family names, dates, and places zipped by at whirlwind speed. So many names, in fact, that I was tempted to draw family trees to track the dozens of children/spouses/partners/friends/grandchildren who popped in for a moment and then didn't reappear for a chapter or two.

Walton's not a bad writer, and it's a quick read. But it's disappointing to contemplate what this book could have achieved, and how little of its potential was realized.
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