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Publisher's Summary

It's Monday morning when Meghan Fitzmaurice blows her perfect life to bits. The host of Rise and Shine, the country's highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break, but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike. It's the end of an era, not only for Meghan, a household face who is not equipped to deal with disgrace, but for her younger sister Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan's long shadow.

The effect of Meghan's on-air profanity and truth telling is felt by her son, her husband, her friends, her fans, and even the city of New York, the capital of appearance over reality. But above all it transforms the sister with whom she's shared everything, even the mixed blessings of fame.

What follows is a story about a city big enough to find prep school rappers, rich poseurs, familiar strangers, and autograph seekers in the same ladies room at a black-tie ball. But ultimately, it's about how, in very different ways, the Fitzmaurice girls whip the place into shape. Meghan and Bridget, Bridget and Meghan. They share smart mouths, a fractured childhood, and a powerful connection that even the worst tragedy can't rupture.

©2006 Anna Quindlen (P)2006 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Fiction, Unabridged

"The prose is top-notch." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    79
  • 4 Stars
    118
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    106
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    43
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    30
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    40
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Marie
  • Tyler, TX, United States
  • 10-31-06

Don't waste your time or credit

I generally like this author, but this book could not keep my interest. I listened all the way through, but my mind kept wandering and I kept rewinding. I could have saved the effort. I never missed anything, because nothing ever happened.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not her best

I have enjoyed all of Anna Quinlens previous books, so downloaded this one without hesitation. It does have good prose, but no good story. Until the last hour nothing of particular interest happens. I had no interest in the events that befell the two main participants.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A big disappointment

Anna Quindlen's "One True Thing" is one of my favorite books. I also loved "Black and Blue". But I am really struggling with this one. I am halfway through. I keep taking breaks to move on to other, more interesting books. My biggest problem is that I find all of the characters to be unrealistic. I don't feel any kind of a bond or empathy for any of them. I feel a sarcastic undertone throughout the whole thing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Dull

My first Anna Quindlen novel and probably my last. The characters were not particularly believable or even interesting. The narration didn’t help either.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not terribly interesting

The book is well written and the story has its moments, but generally, nothing really happens. I think my credit would've been better spent on another book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Manhattan Novel

Perfect symmetry: two sisters, one living the life of service to those who cannot serve themselves, a social worker. The other, living the self-centered, shallow life of a media personality. The third character is the city of New York, presented in all its consumerist, elitist glory. In spite of this obvious formula I thought the novel was elegant, sensitive, and beautifully written. Great characters, great dialogue, and great learning experiences for both protagonists.

I'm only giving it a 4, though 1) because there were some elements at the end that I found inconsistent with the alleged epiphany experienced by the shallow media guru, and 2) because the narrator's quirky pronunciation of the name "Meghan" was annoying, drawing out the first syllable a bit too long.

Other than that, this book, just like New York, is a perfect jewel. How could one look anywhere else?


5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

kept my interest until the end

seemed to stall a bit towards the end. I struggled with the sisters relationship. I don't know if one sister admirers another to that extent. doesn't seem believable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Disappointing narration

I've read this book on paper and enjoyed it, and I usually like this narrator. But the narration here is very disappointing. The reader ends 2/3's of the sentences with the kind of lilt you associate with books for children. She reads "We had a conversation about genital mutilation" in exactly the voice one would expect for "Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy talked about Christmas." Moreover, she characterizes the voices inconsistently. The protagonist's boyfriend is sometimes from Brooklyn, sometimes from the deep South, and sometimes just gravelly. It's not so bad that I won't finish the book, but it's disappointing as heck.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pam
  • NC
  • 05-16-08

Excellent listen

It appears I disagree with the other reviewers here--I love this book, particularly in the audio form. I find the characters fascinating and well-described, and their interactions, motivations, and lives are the real plot-- the "action" at the end seems a bit tacked-on. The narration is excellent. This audiobook is a true "comfort-listen" for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • E. Setauket, NY, United States
  • 11-27-07

Sorry it had to end

I thought this was a great story and written with so much detail. I felt like I was a part of the story and knew the characters inside and out. The ending was very unexpected and had lots of twists and turns. I was sad when the story ended as it was all encompassing. I absolutely recommend this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful