Under the Influence: A Novel (Anglais) Relié – Séquence inédite, 23 février 2016
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“My to-do list had umpteen items on it, but I let them all go to hell as I tore through Joyce Maynard’s latest page-turner. . . . To-do list? What to-do list? Under the Influence is a riveting read.” (Wally Lamb)
“It’s a story about the pull of consuming friendships, of seeking to escape into the lives of others, of possession and illusion — and you will not be able to put it down until Maynard herself releases you. Utterly captivating.” (Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and The Fever)
Présentation de l'éditeur
The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.
Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He’s drifting away from her, fast.
When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, edgy art, and dazzling parties.
Then Helen meets Elliott, a kind, quiet accountant who offers loyalty and love with none of her newfound friends’ fireworks. To Swift and Ava, he’s boring. But even worse than that, he’s unimpressed by them.
As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, questioning her relationship with Elliott—Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.
Ollie witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, and the daughter of the Havillands’ housekeeper. With her young son’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The story leaves me thinking about the lives of people who cross our paths and even captivate us throughout life. Who is a real, true-blue friend? Who is not who he or she seems? And, are the lives that people show us on the surface the lives that they are really living? As the story moves along, I found later that I missed some particular plants that show up later and give me chills when the pieces come together.
Once I am half way through the book, I can't help but wonder how Joyce will turn the story on its side, but I know she will. I sense a major twist is coming, but what?
When it all comes together, I can't read fast enough.
As a writer myself, I know that it is important to end each chapter with a something special to keep the reader turning the pages -- a bit of special drama, a double-meaning, intrigue, a twist. I found that Joyce excelled at varying these techniques throughout the chapters and indeed, they kept me engaged. Bravo!
However, before I quit, a new character was introduced. An interesting man who was kind and intelligent! That caught my interest. I did finish the book to see what happened to this person. Fortunately Helens character did improve and the ending was good. But I regret all the time I spent reading about how generous and kind the couple were. It went on and on and on. Helen was an airhead for way too much of the story. The new character who came in about one third through and the last 20 percent of the book only changed my rating from 1
At this low point in her life, Ava and Swift Havilland enter Helen's life offering her friendship and a purpose as she works to maintain her sobriety. Ava and Swift are wealthy, generous, and have the kind of loving relationship Helen never had and wishes for herself. Throughout this story, which weaves themes of friendship, control, intimacy, family, and parenthood, you get the feeling that something is off about the Havillands and their life. It is this sense of unease which keeps you engaged and turning the pages. Though I was tempted to skip to the end to see how the story was resolved, I am glad to say I controlled myself. I am glad I did because the story unfolds at the appropriate pace.
I highly recommend this book and if you are new to Joyce Maynard and her writing then this is an excellent introduction to her works.
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