Saturday, May 11, 2013

WHEN SHE WAS GONE By Gwendolen Gross

Congrats to LeslieGC who has won the copy of When She Was Gone! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address so I can get you your book! Thanks!


 


But first, the winner of Jennifer Weiner's The Next Best Thing is: THE GANG's MOMMA who has actually been away doing some very exciting things of her own! Congrats for many reasons! Please send me an email at stephanieelliot@gmail.com to get your autographed copy of Jen's book! YAY!


  I love Gwendolen Gross and have ever since I read The Other Mother which was a character study of sorts between a working mother and a stay-at-home mom. I loved The Orphan Sister also and just finished When She Was Gone, a story about a young woman who goes missing a week before she is supposed to leave for college.



It's told from the perspective of her family and those in her neighborhood. While I originally expected it to be a story about Linsey, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that while, yes, it was essentially a story 'about' Linsey and her disappearance, it really was more of a story about those surrounding her - her family, her boyfriend, the people in her neighborhood and their lives. It was almost a character sketch and it was fascinating and so vivid. There were so many times I stopped at various phrases and thought, "HOW DID GWENDOLEN GROSS COME UP WITH THAT?" It's one of those books where I wish I had a highlighter with me to mark all the cool phrases of imagery cuz I'm a geek like that. I was so intrigued because we learn about Linsey and her life through the eyes of her neighbors and in turn, we are also 'hearing' the stories about them as well. It's really fascinating how we are essentially getting several stories in one.



Before I get to the synopsis of When She Was Gone, here are Gwendolen's These Three Things that she wanted YOU to know about her! They are very interesting!



THESE THREE THINGS FROM GWENDOLEN GROSS.
Three things about me! Who doesn't like to talk about themselves?

First: I was very small as a baby and toddler, and I spoke very early. My parents describe a chatter-box one and a half year old startling diners at a restaurant, speaking full sentences as if possessed.


Second: One boring but glorious summer in Vermont, my mom drove my sister and I all the way to the Bread and Puppet Circus to practice, build, and then participate in the show--the Domestic Resurrection Circus about Washerwomen, that year. We spent our days learning to strap on tall stilts by sitting atop a school bus, and to dance in both ends of an elephant costume. We ran through the lupins purpling our jeans shorts. We helped make the washerwomen, maybe twenty feet high held with wooden frames, eerie flapping white fabric, for the resurrection portion of the program. We did not learn to make the strange black bread the puppet master served at the free bread booth with the most potent aioli I'd ever tasted. And, being nine and twelve, I'm pretty sure we had no idea what the sweet smoke that rose over the grounds indicated--we just knew the adults there were terrifically mellow.


Third: When I was in high school, I was a boy scout. Well, technically, anyway. I belonged to Explorer Post 507, a group of adventurous souls who felt the need to get out of the ordinary world by hiking, biking, rock climbing, ice climbing, and generally getting out (the title of my second book, as well). Once, I got lost in a cave with my friends Lisa and Paul. Paul was in his twenties, so he was technically one of the advisers (maybe half the group was advisers?). We split off from a group following the underground river through the lake on the inflatable boat Sean had packed in (rappelling down a muddy cliff into the cold womb of the earth) and rolled down a silt cheek of the earth in the dark, the ceiling just a few feet above our heads. We followed a trickle of river toward an exit, only it wasn't an exit, and we didn't realize that until we'd been swimming in the cold and black, and came up against a wall instead of an opening. There's a happy ending. We retraced our steps and came out, late and gasping, into the absurd green of late-afternoon timothy grass, but I'll never forget that feeling of absence: not knowing where to go, seeing hardly anything, feeling wet and cold and permanent under the earth. Poor Gollum.



Here's the synopsis of When She Was Gone, which, by the way, I LOVE THE COVER!!



What happened to Linsey Hart? When the Cornell-bound teenager disappears into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning, her quiet neighborhood is left to pick apart the threads of their own lives and assumptions. 


Linsey’s neighbors are just ordinary people—but even ordinary people can keep terrible secrets hidden close. There’s Linsey’s mother, Abigail, whose door-to-door searching makes her social-outcast status painfully obvious; Mr. Leonard, the quiet, retired piano teacher with insomnia, who saw Linsey leave; Reeva, the queen bee of a clique of mothers, now obsessed with a secret interest; Timmy, Linsey’s lovelorn ex-boyfriend; and George, an eleven-year-old loner who is determined to find out what happened to his missing neighbor. 


As the days of Linsey’s absence tick by, dread and hope threaten to tear a community apart. This luminous new novel by the acclaimed author of The Orphan Sister explores coming of age in the shadows of a suburban life, and what is revealed when the light suddenly shines in…


If you'd like to win a copy of When She Was Gone, leave a comment here and tell me if you ever thought about running away when you were younger, and if so, where would you go? I once got so mad at my parents, I opened the window in my bedroom, and hid in my closet for WHAT SEEMED LIKE HOURS, HOPING FOREVER that they would come searching for me, only to discover that I had run away. Unfortunately, they never came looking for me and I got bored hiding in my closet so I came out. So much for my extravagant plan to 'run away.' How about you - where did you dream of running away to? Leave a comment to enter to win When She Was Gone!

If you're new here, you should probably read this:
If you're new to Booking with Manic, thank you for stopping by! We love new readers! Some notes - If you're entering to win a book, please leave a comment on this post and use an identifying name when commenting. It's usually a great idea to include an email, which I will never give out to anyone else. You can only enter once please. You'll need to check back here in a few days to see if you've won the book -- I will either list the winner in a new post OR highlight the winner's name at the top of this post, or tell you where you can find the winner's name at the top of this post. I do NOT personally contact the winners. It is YOUR responsibility to come back to see if you've won. Most books are supplied directly through publishers, publicists and the authors. Winners will receive books directly from the publisher or author within 3 weeks from the time you provide me with your address, unless I send you the book (sometimes I will). Sorry, but we can only ship to U.S. and Canada so if you're from another country, thank you for coming by to read and discover new authors, but we can't send you a book. Any questions on how I run the blog or suggestions on who you would like to see featured, please email me at stephanieelliot[at]gmail.com. Thank you for your support!




33 comments:

Terri said...

Nope, I never wanted to run away. It seemed like too much work. I did always wonder how much you could actually get in that bandana on a stick bag like the cartoons always show runaways carrying. :)

Terri M.

jdstec said...

I "ran away" when I was about 6 or 7. We had a row of shrubs in our backyard and so I sat in them for hours and was amazed that no one came looking for me. I was surprised when I went back in to find out that I was visable to my Mom the entire time.

Bev V said...

I never ran away, but there were days during the summer, I think I was middle school aged, that I would leave in the morning and not come home until dinner. We had adventures and didn't really need to "run away"!

Juliet Farmer said...

i often thought about running away, but never had a plan of where to go or anything like that.

Mary Jo Burke said...

Never thought about it. I have older brothers who were rarely home. Much of my life I felt like an only child.

Holly Bryan said...

Hi, I'm new! Saw a tweet from Gallery Books about this post and hopped over right away because I have REALLY been wanting to read this book! I have not read anything by Gwendolyn Gross before, but when I saw the info about this book somewhere I also saw The Other Mother mentioned in her bio, and I know that is also one I'd love to read. I have Gina from a professional working woman/mom to a SAHM, and I still struggle with my decision even though it's been a year and a half now. Anyway....

To the actual question you asked! No, I never really thought about running away when I was younger. I was way too "good" not just to DO something like that, but even to THINK about doing it! Of course I had times where I argued with my parents, thought they were being ridiculously unfair and even spiteful or mean (they weren't, of course), and even indulged in wondering how they'd feel if I was no longer there, but I never really thought about running away. Not sure how I thought we'd end up in a situation where they had to face life without me, if I wasn't thinking about running away, but you know sometimes kids aren't really rational about things like that!

I am looking forward to reading this book, and thank you for the chance to win a copy. If her amazing writing just in that short three things bit is any indication, I can see why you'd wish you had a highlighter to mark her use of language!

Thanks!
Holly Bryan
hmbryan (at) alumni(dot)duke(dot)edu

slm8803 said...

I never really wanted to run away. There were days though when I wanted to "escape" for a few days. LOL

Ally said...

I did, but I was too realistic to actually come up with a plan.

equinn726 said...

When I was younger I thought about running away a few times but the only place I ever thought to go was my Aunt and Uncle's house about 2 miles from where we lived!

karenk said...

I never thought of running away...Thanks for the chance to read this novel...a great interview/posting :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Marlene Engel said...

No, never wanted to run away. Being home was too much fun :)

mengel2@nycap.rr.com

absolutahnie said...

when i was young i never wanted to run away...now that i'm nearly 49, yes, i would LOVE to run away!

Emma S. said...

No, I never ran away, but when I would get mad, I would disappear to a friend's house for a few hours without telling my parents where I was.

Kimmi said...

I was packing to run away when my mother caught me and informed me that runaways are caught by the police and thrown in jail. I didn't do it again.

Susan Coster said...

I never thought of running away. My imagination wasn't developed enough to even THINK about it. Now, (at 62), I think about running away all the time.......oh, too much information!

Lisamarie said...

When I was little probably about 4 or 5 I was mad at my parents for not getting me my dish set for my play house. So I did state I was running away. They proceeded to help me pack my Holly Hobby suitcase! I did get out the door and they did shut it. I begain wailing! My parents love to remind me about that story.

Nova said...

never ran away...my sibling and I always hung out together and did stuff together. we weren't confined to our 2 acre yard, so we had adventures all the time.
sparkle40175AThotmailDOTcom

Kimberly Pearlman said...

Of course I wanted to run away at some point. I'm the middle child. So it was always about the trouble my sister was in or how cute my baby brother was. :( I ran away to a friends place in our apartment complex. Of course her mom knew I was there evne though I snuck in when she wasn't looking. My mom let me stay there overnight...on a school night even. I went to school the next day & back home after. LOL Sometimes I truly miss being a child. :)

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I never really ran away per se, but I had a best friend who lived at the other end of the block and I always knew if I wanted to get away, I could just go down there and hang with her

your invisible pixie said...

I wanted to run away, so I thought about running to my friend Aly's house, who lived around the corner. Never really made it out without my parents knowing where I was going though! :)

EKB said...

ha. please. when didnt I want to run away when I was younger. but my dad was a cop. I knew I would be found...and in BIG trouble. so I just pouted in my room.

Caroline N. said...

I ran away under the porch and fell asleep with the dog when I was about 7. Oddly enough, this story was brought up at Mother's Day yesterday. Haha. I believe the reason was because I couldn't get the Honey I Shrunk the Kids movie (VHS style).

Krystal said...

I packed a bag and ran away to my friend's house across the street. After being over for about an hour she started to annoy me and I went back home. Turns out that I wasn't as sneaky as I thought, my parents knew I was there there the whole time!

kndyer

TaraUB said...

I never really thought about that, although when I was 3 I wanted to go to school with my brothers, so I just walked out the door and started following them. Good thing the neighbors saw me, otherwise I might have made it.

TinaB said...

I never wanted to run away. But, if I did I'd probably just have gone to my grandparents house. They lived right next door!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

CAnative said...

I don't remember ever wanting to run away as a kid. As an adult however....lol

Nicole

Nanette said...

I think more about running away NOW then I ever did as a kid. Is that wrong? LOL! I would never do it but I sure like the idea of a "do-over" of sorts. I'd love to escape the working, paying bills, parenting, answering to a spouse...yada, yada, yada. Can anyone relate? I'm sure there's plenty out there that can. They just might not admit it so freely. LOL! Thanks for another chance to win a great book. I hope this means things have settled down at home. Love ya, Manic!!

Nan XO

Bridget O'Neill said...

I never ran away, or even thought about it.

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Margie said...

I never dreamt of running away, but now I would love to escape to the beaches of Mexico.
Margie T

Hailey Fish said...

Yes I thought about running away. What child doesn't? My mom was watching As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. She wouldn't let me watch it with her because it had adult themes in it. I got so angry I decided to run away. I even went as far as to write a note and pack a suitcase. It was too cold though so I never even left the house.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Luvschocolate said...

I was always running away, we had some woods behind our house and I would pack a bag with snacks form the fridge and off I'd go, at least until it started getting dark.

Kelleyc said...

I don't remember ever wanting to run away. I was the younger "good" kid! Lol I think my sister wanted to run away though!! And like other people have said, I would totally run away now! Just a few days at the beach with some frozen drinks.... Just saying'!!!!!! :)'

LeslieGC said...

I never did attempt to run away. I did wish my parents would go away, but that was all! LeslieGC