About Relationships

  1. The Great Gatsby
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    A Great American Novel about money and love through an alcoholic mist. First paragraphs:  In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.” Quotes from critics: The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary classic and a contender for

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  2. The Newlyweds
    by Nell Freudenberger

    Marriage between Bangladeshi woman and American man who meet online.  Romance, families, and cultures.  Opening paragraph:  She hadn’t heard the mailman, but Amina decided to go out and check.  Just in case.  If anyone saw her, they would know that there was someone in the house now during the day while George was at work.   Quotes from critics: “The Newlyweds crosses continents, cultures and generations…It’s funny, gracefully written and full of loneliness and yearning. It’s also a candid, recognizable story about

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  3. Hunting and Gathering
    by Anna Gavalda

    Four screwed-up characters coming together. Opening paragraph:  Paulette Lestafier wasn’t as crazy as they said.  Sure, she knew what day it was, since that was all she had left to do now.  Count the days, wait for them, and forget.  She knew or certain that today was Wednesday.  And what’s more, she was ready.  She had put her coat on, found her basket, and gathered all of her discount coupons together.  She could even hear Yvonne’s car in the distance

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  4. Three Junes
    by Julia Glass

    The lives of a Scottish family over three separate Junes spanning ten years—as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love. Opening paragraphs:  Paul chose Greece for its predictable whiteness: the blanching heat by day, the rush of stars at night, the glint of the lime-washed houses crowding its coast. Blinding, searing, somnolent, fossilized Greece. Joining a tour—that was the gamble, because Paul is not a gregarious sort. He dreads fund-raisers and drinks parties, all occasions at

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  5. A Prayer for Owen Meany
    by John Irving

    A portrayal of an enduring friendship at the time when the Vietnam War had its most divisive effect on the United States. Opening paragraph:  I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. I make

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  6. How It All Began
    by Penelope Lively

    An old woman is accosted and all kinds of consequences ensue to her friends and to people she doesn’t even know.  Opening paragraph:  The pavement rises up and hits her.  Slams into her face, drives the lower rim of her glasses into her cheek.  She is laid out there, prone.  What is this?  Voices are chattering above her; people are concerned.  Of course. Quotes from critics: “An elegant, witty work of fiction, deceptively simple, emotionally and intellectually penetrating, the kind

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