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Safekeeping : some true stories from a life
Thomas, Abigail.
Adult Nonfiction HQ1058.5.U5 T48 2000

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In a series of poignant vignettes, each complete within itself, Thomas succeeds in conveying an engrossing life story in surprising depth. A novelist (An Actual Life), teacher of creative writing and grandmother of six, Thomas is a fine writer who spells out the bare facts of her life with dispatch. Pregnant at 18, she married the first of her three husbands. After eight years, she and her three children moved to her parents' house in New York. After several years, she remarried. With her second husband, a physicist, she had one child before they divorced. Eleven years later, she married her present husband. Thomas looks back at her younger self with affection, drawing a compassionate portrait of a young woman seeking to make a life for herself and her children, coping with domestic chores and her own conflicting needs. Thomas writes with serious intent and dark humor about her parents, her sister, motherhood, her children and grandchildren, but her most affecting scenes describe the illness and death of the man who was her second husband. Even the structure of her memoir is elegiac, with its three parts titled "Before," "Mortality" and "Here and Now." Sorrow mixes with joy in this beautifully crafted memoir as she remembers her second spouse as a lover, husband and, finally, friend. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Snippets and vignettes from the late 1960s on magically unfold in the story of novelist Thomas's life. Amazingly, despite the short entries (some only several sentences), the reader grows emotionally attached to her husbands, sister, and children. With a flair for visual imagery, Thomas (An Actual Life) allows readers into her continued relationship with her second ex-husband, whose life is cut short by myelodysplasia. Interspersed are the details of conversations between Thomas and her sister. It's as if Thomas has allowed a camera to peer into her life while family, friends, and lovers narrate with running commentary. The humor and love intertwined throughout the book make it a surprisingly delightful story, just right for an afternoon or evening of reading, and Thomas's solid writing makes the characters rise out of the pages. This is an ideal purchase for libraries with discussion groups--there is a lot to talk about after the reader puts down the book.--Joyce Sparrow, St. Petersburg P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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