Elegies for the Brokenhearted

Elegies for the Brokenhearted

Book - 2010
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Who are the people you'll never forget? For Mary Murphy, there are five: A skirt-chasing, car-racing uncle with whiskey breath and a three-day beard. A "walking joke, a sitting duck, a fish in a barrel" named Elwood LePoer. A dirt-poor college roommate who conceals an unbearable secret. A failed piano prodigy lost in middle age. A beautiful mother haunted by her once-great aspirations.In five quirky elegies to lost friends and relatives, Mary tells us the story of her life. We begin with a restless childhood spent following her mother between multiple homes and husbands. Then comes the disappearance of Mary's rebellious and beloved sister, Malinda. By the time Mary leaves for college, she has no one to write home to, and we follow along on her difficult search for purpose. From a series of miserable jobs to her "reborn" mother's deathbed, Mary finds hope in the most surprising places. With a rhythmically unique voice and pitch-perfect wry humor, Christie Hodgen spins an unconventional and moving story about identity, belonging, and family.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2010
ISBN: 9780393061406
Branch Call Number: HODGEN
Characteristics: 271 p. ; 22 cm

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n
ndp21f
Jun 06, 2012

All your life your name was synonymous with a kind of humiliating, pathetic stupidity. You were a walking joke, a sitting duck, a fish in a barrel. That you eventually died in an accident came as no surprise to anyone. When word of your death went through the neighborhood people received it as if a letter they’d been expecting in the mail. The only wonder was, they said, it hadn’t come sooner.

n
ndp21f
Jun 06, 2012

All of our problems became your problems. When our teachers sent us home with notes (three times Malinda had burst into tears for no reason at all; I spent most of the day staring out the window and often failed to respond when called on; when Malinda and I were together, at lunch and recess, we held hands and wouldn’t speak to anyone else; we tended to show up to school wearing the same clothes for several days in a row. And all of these things were considered, in the language of the school, to be “red flags”), you were the one who received and addressed them (Quit crying, you said to Malinda. Quit staring out the window, you told me. To us both you said, Change your clothes, and quit holding hands, for chrissakes).

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KaiteS_KCMO Oct 26, 2016

Great book for book groups!

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