The critically acclaimed author of Good-bye and Amen, Leeway Cottage, and More Than You Know returns with a sharply perceptive and emotionally resonant novel about all the ways we talk about one another, the sometimes fine line between showing concern and doing damage, and the difficulty of knowing the true obligations of friendship.
"Did you know that the origin of the word gossip in English is 'god-sibling'? It's the talk between people who are godparents to the same child, people who have a legitimate loving interest in the person they talk about. It's talk that weaves a net of support and connection beneath the people you want to protect."
Loviah "Lovie" French owns a small, high-end dress shop on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Renowned for her taste and discretion, Lovie is the one to whom certain women turn when they need "just the thing" for major life events - baptisms and balls, weddings and funerals - or when they just want to dish in the dressing room. Among the people who depend on Lovie's confidence are her two best friends since boarding school: Dinah Wainwright and Avis Metcalf.
Outspoken and brimming with confidence, Dinah made a name for herself as a columnist covering the doings of New York's wealthiest and most fabulous. Shy, proper Avis, in many ways Dinah's opposite, rose to prominence in the art world with her quiet manners, hard work, and precise judgment. Despite the deep affection they both feel for Lovie, they have been more or less allergic to one another since a minor incident decades earlier that has been remembered and resented with what will prove to be unimaginable consequences.
These uneasy acquaintances become unwillingly bound to one another when Dinah's favorite son and Avis's only daughter fall in love and marry. On the surface, Nick and Grace are the perfect match - a playful, romantic, buoyant, and beautiful pair. But their commitment will be strained by time and change: career setbacks, reckless choices, the birth of a child, jealousies, and rumor. At the center of their orbit is Lovie, who knows everyone's secrets and manages them as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn out - a fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.
An astute chronicler of everything that makes us human, Beth Gutcheon delivers her most powerful and emotionally devastating novel to date. Gossip is a tale of intimacy and betrayal, trust and fidelity, friendship, competition, and motherhood that explores the myriad ways we use and abuse "information" about others - be it true, false, or imagined - to sustain, and occasionally destroy, one another.
©2012 Beth Gutcheon (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I love to be drawn into the lives of the characters and still go away having learned something I can apply to my real life. I loved this story woven around characters I vaguely think I know whose depth I then experience. While telling the story, Beth treats us to both the good and bad about gossip, as well as, what it can and cannot accomplish.
First! Loved her reading!
The narrator as she saw and heard everything.
Sometimes friends recommend books to me and once in a while I am convinced to give them a try. This was one of those times. Apparently my tastes in reading material differ greatly from my friends because this book had no appeal to me whatsoever. It was as boring as gossip tends to be, but more so, it was irritating.
I'm not sure if I would try another book by Beth Gutcheon. If it was given at least a 4-star rating, I might try it. The same for Kimberly Farr.
I wouldn't recommend Gossip to my friends. I didn't dislike the book, but it was rather long with little action. I don't think the title of the book fit the story. Other than just a few times in the book where the main character "Lovie" mentioned overhearing someone say something about someone, there wasn't really much "gossip" in the book. In fact, since "Lovie" didn't ever repeat gossip, non of it spread among the characters. Also, Dinah, was a gossip columnist, but there wasn't really much gossip going on there, either, that really affected the storyline. The description of the book states that gossip is what leads to a tragedy, but I did not see that as the case at all. Dinah did mention something in her column that may have led up to the tragedy, but I think circumstances, rather than gossip, led up to it. Additionally, I don't think the characters involved in the tragedy were even developed well enough for the reader/listener to understand why the tragedy happened. I expected this to be a fun book with a bunch of ladies coming in and out of a dress shop with lots of juicy gossip, until the gossip went too far and a tragedy resulted, but the book was not fun, and there was little gossip. I don't regret reading it, and I don't feel it was a waste of time - I just wouldn't recommend it.
The performance was fine. The narrator's voice fit the main character well. She sounded like a proper, affluent person. Also, the tone of her voice fit the tone of the book.
I might depending upon the cast.
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