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Carol Shields
Adult Fiction SHIELDS

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Summary: Im not interested, the way some people are, in being sad. Ive had a look, and theres nothing down that road. Well now What about the ripping sound behind my eyes, the starchy tearing of fabric, end to end; what about the need I have to curl up my knees when I sleep? For all of her life, 44 year old Reta Winters has enjoyed the useful monotony of happiness: a loving family, good friends, growing success as a writer of light summertime fiction. But this placid existence is cracked wide open when her beloved eldest daughter, Norah, drops out to sit on a gritty street corner, silent but for the sign around her neck that reads GOODNESS. Retas search for what drove her daughter to such a desperate statement turns into an unflinching and surprisingly funny meditation on where we find meaning and hope. Warmth, passion and wisdom come together in Shields remarkably supple prose. Unless, a harrowing but ultimately consoling story of one familys anguish and healing, proves her mastery of extraordinary fictions about ordinary life.

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main characters Reta Winters
Age: 44
Content with her life and career.

Tom Winters
Age: 40s
Reta's husband.

Norah Winters
Age: Teenager
Reta and Tom's daughter; living on the streets.

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