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The Atlas of Love: A Novel Hardcover – August 17, 2010
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"Frankel's debut is a wonderful literary treat that offers a fresh twist on the modern family, one that relies on the bonds of women." --Library Journal (starred)
"It’s been a long time since I’ve been as charmed by a book as I was by this beautifully written, highly literate story of friendship, parenthood, and every other kind of love you can imagine. I was captivated by Janey, a narrator whose wit and generous spirit caused me to forget that she wasn’t a flesh and blood person—and to wish that she were.”
--Marisa de los Santos, author of Love Walked In and Belong to Me
“Immensely likable, playful and literary, this is a novel full of love."
--Cathleen Schine, author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport
“Once in a great while, a book is so beautifully written that when you close it, all you can do is sit quietly and hold it to your chest. Laurie Frankel's The Atlas of Love is that book.”
--Sandra Kring, author of The Book of Bright Ideas and Thank You For All Things
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; First Edition (August 17, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312595387
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312595388
- Item Weight : 13.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.81 x 1.14 x 8.52 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,169,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But. To me there was a huge problem which quickly prevented me from getting immersed in the story, and it was that Atlas was completely not believable as a baby. Whereas some novels made me laugh with their very realistic descriptions of motherhood, this one didn't even come close. I'm a mother and I kept wondering : where are the interrupted nights and the exhaustion of the first months? What about all those times you feel like you have no clue at all? what about the all-consuming emotional rollercoaster? These aspects may be mentioned in passing but I never felt they came alive. I felt the girls were mere babysitters. The lack of realism in this respect pretty much ruined the book for me.
No matter how we plan our lives, right down to the smallest detail, our lives often take an unexpected turn. For Jill, this occurs when she learns she's pregnant and her boyfriend isn't thrilled to become a father. As he fades from her life, best friends Janey and Katie step in and offer to co-parent. The three friends are also graduate students and devise a plan that will allow each to attend and teach class, study and take care of Jill's baby. After Jill gives birth, neither woman is prepared for what comes next.
The Atlas of Love is told in Janey's voice. Janey is the peacemaker of the group. She definitely takes care of everyone (she cooks all the meals) and puts her friends' needs in front of her own. Katie is the romantic. She is looking to marry and have children. Each time she dates a new guy, she looks at him as being The One. And then there's Jill. She's the hardest one for me to describe. At times she can be kind and sweet, while at other times she's downright selfish and entitled.
Despite their planning, this new living arrangement begins to spin out of control. A medical emergency will cause each woman to evaluate her life as well as their friendship. As each woman begins her own journey, the meaning of family will begin to take shape. How each defines family will be different, however necessary as all three women begin a new chapter in their lives.
The Atlas of Love is a novel that should not be missed. Frankel is a talented author. I am looking forward to reading her future works.
Top reviews from other countries
There was something about this book that kept me wanting more. There was a lot of dry humor which I found quite addictive and I was a little disappointed when it petered out toward the middle/end and became a lot 'deeper'. I could have done without the 'english literature' referencing which became a little too frequent after a while but I enjoyed the plot. I enjoyed the friendship dynamics and I found the ending quite refreshing. Nice!
I didn't think the characters were realistic a lot of the time. I didn't like them. I wouldn't want them for friends. I guess it's a good example of chick lit so if you're into that kind of reading, go for it.