I See You Everywhere

I See You Everywhere

Book - 2008
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Louisa Jardine is the older one, the conscientious sister who is a good student, and yearns for a good marriage, a career and a family. Clem Jardine is the younger sister -- the uncontainable rebel, daring and irresistible to men, and a constant source of frustration to her more reliable sister. Alternating between the sisters voices, I See You Everywhere unfolds across a 25-year span, from 1980 to 2005, beginning when Louisa and Clem are in their early twenties. A tale of jealousy and anger, affection and devotion.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375422751
0375422757
Branch Call Number: F GLASS
FICTION GLASS
Characteristics: 287 p. ; 24 cm

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Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 07, 2014

There's not much material here for a novel, and what there is only comes together in the last third of the book, by which time it's too late to care much about the characters. The novel's drama comes from a sudden and unexpected tragedy, but it feels like the reader has been ambushed into taking interest.

l
LDPBLM
Nov 05, 2012

Somber , compared to "5 Junes" , but I liked it . Julia always develops interesting characters : however , her work tends to fade away , like a wisp of smoke .....

brianreynolds Oct 22, 2012

I tend to rate or describe books in terms of “story” since that seems fundamental to fiction. In that respect alone, <i>I See You Everywhere</i> by Julia Glass is disappointing. While its genesis is a collection of separately published short stories (signalled by the repeated brief but unnecessary backstory passages where the first-person narrator babbles about things the novel-version reader already knows) there is a compelling and consistent narrative that ties each titled story/chapter together. In the broadest sense, one could build a case for the whole thing being a comedy of sorts where two sisters who fail for the most part to appreciate each other, finally do. But the fact that, in the end, one of them is no longer living, gives the whole thing much more the feel of a eulogy than a celebration of their union.

To stop there, however, would be a great disservice to a piece of literature that is brilliant in its development of character and its sense of timing. Even on the first, somewhat confusing pages where I struggled to grasp the alternating points of view, I was aware of the treat in store regarding its duet of feminine “voices.” I recalled vividly a time in my own life, a half-century ago, when a then-famous writer dragged me through a porch window in order to eavesdrop on “what women say to each other.” At the time I had no real appreciation of how exclusive and intricate that conversation could be. And here it is in print, in prose that sensually delights, prose so honest I sometimes felt embarrassed to be overhearing ii. The scenes Glass creates can bring both tears of sadness and joy. I laughed aloud in places. In short, if indeed this is “only” a eulogy, it’s a damn fine one.

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