An unsuccessful pregnancy forces a woman to reassess her life, and she finds that many of the issues troubling her lead back to the strange childhood spent with her twin sister and their eccentric mother, who was obsessed with Judy Garland.An unsuccessful pregnancy forces a woman to reassess her life, and she finds that many of the issues troubling her lead back to the strange childhood spent with her twin sister and their eccentric mother, who was obsessed with Judy Garland.Read Less
Fine in fine dust jacket in Like New jacket. 9 1/4" x 6 1/4", 290 pp, copy is in near-MINT condition with just a hint of page toning, dust jacket is protected by a mylar sleeve, flat SIGNED by Cooley on the title page.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-31 Bravely venturing into several recently well-mowed fields (most obviously identical twinship and eating disorders), Cooley gamely searches for fresh insights in this quirky, initially intriguing but ultimately wearying debut about a family of women fascinated with WWII-era Hollywood glamour. Narrated by Alice, who has returned to her hometown of Sarasota with Owen, her linguist husband, in a misguided attempt to avoid mourning the intrauterine death of their baby, the novel is actually dominated by Madeline, Alice's estranged, unbalanced twin sister. The siblings reunite to track down their mother, Lily, in New Orleans. Lily bore the girls when she was a teenager and disappeared when Alice and Madeline turned 18, long after she had prodded them into bulimia (a habit she learned from her grandmother, also a twin). She also passed on to them her obsession with Judy Garland and the Hollywood mystique. "I lost my daughter, but I'll get my mother back," Alice determines, yet the equation isn't that simple. Instead, Alice loses her sister once again but regains her future. Although Cooley, a Walt Whitman Award-winning poet (Renaissance), emulates more accomplished writers such as Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler in this multigenerational story of neurosis, she burdens her flimsy domestic drama with symbolically loaded (but too often misfiring) references to Frida Kahlo, Alice in Wonderland, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the Emerald City. The novel's primary drawback is the characterization of Madeline, whose mania is exhausting both for sane sister Alice and for readers, who may long for a mild sedative by the end of this tiring road trip. Agent, Sally Wofford Girand; first serial to the Paris Review. (Sept.)
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