This emotional debut by Randy Susan Meyers tells of two sisters torn apart by domestic tragedy. When her mother throws her father out, young Lulu is told never to let him in again. But Lulu disobeys, and the consequences are heartbreaking. Lulu’s mother ends up killed, and Lulu and her sister Merry are orphaned. Now, as the sisters grow into adulthood, they find the ghosts of their past are difficult to outrun.
©2009 Randy Susan Meyers (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
“First novelist Meyers draws on the eight years she worked at a batterer intervention program. Much like Janet Fitch's White Oleander or Jacqueline Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean, her book takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Readers, get out your handkerchief and prepare to care.” (Library Journal)
Compelling drama that instantly captures the reader's attention. Meyer's artfully crafts the lives of two young sisters as they experience the ultimate tragedy related to domestic violence and betrayal. The author takes us through their life experiences after the tragedy and their individual coping and healing processes into adulthood. A wonderful testament to the power of love.
Meyers has gone far beyond the traditional take on domestic abuse, examining the relationship between abuser and abused. Rather, her debut novel examines what happens to the other survivors, the children. How do you grow up being know as "the murderer's daughters? How does that affect the next 30 years of your life? How do two sisters, Merry & Lulu, take care of each other while taking care of themselves? Once you hear that one of them open's the door and lets their father in, you are in for a roller coaster ride of emotions and insights that will grip you and keep you thinking, "what if" , "if only." and, "wow!" Her descriptions, beginning with the "no macaroni necklace - wearing mama" will make you both laugh and cry.
The relation between the sisters.
The end when the youngest sister was getting ready to have dinner with her Dad in her new apartment, and the fact that in their own way each character eventually found closure with the past.
Great story, and very tragic.
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In a nutshell: Dad kills Mom, badly injures younger sister, older sister too late to get help and blames herself.
The rest of the book is a series of vignettes in the sister’s lives spanning 30 years, demonstrating how the tragedy has impacted their lives as children and adults.
Not a bad story, but I felt like something was missing most of the way through. On the whole… I was bored.
Things got a little interesting in the last ¼ of the book, but that just made the long middle-part seem even longer and more drawn out. Where was the focus? On the minutia of their lives, or the aftermath of the actiony-bits at the end of the book?
I finished the book feeling like missed the point.
How strong lulu and merry's bond was. No matter if they were getting along or at each other's throats they still remained family.
Lulu. I felt her pain and her unwillingness to forgive. I know some people say being unforgiving means you are holding yourself prisoner but in her case she did just fine. I don't think I would've done anything different than she.
Her ability to make me believe in the characters.
The aunt. I can't understand for the life of me why a person so close to them made herself seem so far away. She could've helped but for her own nastiness and selfish reasons she chose not to. I guess there really are people like her in this world and that scares me.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
When I began this book, I was not sure that I could finish it because it begins with a gruesome act of violence but having read many rave reviews, I persevered and am so glad that I did. As one who works with traumatized children and families, I found the author's understanding of recovery from trauma over a lifetime of the two main characters to be true to life and incredibly interesting. While reading the book, I felt I was intimately getting a look into the lives of the two sisters, how each coped and developed. The book not only explored personality development and trauma recovery from many angles, but also explored the intricate nature of family relationships and the burden of the difficult choices people face in life. Not only is the author an extremely talented writer, but also must be a scholar of psychology, trauma and culture to be able to portray relationship and personality complexities as beautifully as she has with this novel. Bravo Ms. Meyers.
The story is poignant, kept me interested from beginning to end. Well performed. some really good phrasing.
A very good - though not necessarily great - book.
What's good: Tells a story over 30 years or so. Ties the story to the times.
What's not so good: A little too much stereotyping of Italian- and Jewish-Americans in NY.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
I was expecting to read about an abusive, dysfunctional family. Actually, this is a dysfunctional and abusive family, but that is not what the story is about. The story could have been about something tragic that you hear on the news. Actually it is the journey through the lives of two sisters; very different, both holding on to their own memory and interpretation of what happened that night. Through foster homes, relatives, adoption and finally on their own. The sisters stay together even though they don't agree on much and have even less in common.
I loved it. I hated it. Depended on where I was in the story. Lulu and Mary were complex characters. I wanted to hug them and smack them. This is a book I have to think about. Personal actions and choices have consequences for many others -- not just yourself.
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