We all would have liked to have had a babysitter as wonderful as this kind young woman. Taking care of rich summer people's children gives this heroine wonderful experiences in growing up and adds a richness to her own young life. Really nice audiobook.
***SPOILER*** I wanted to finish the book because I wanted to see the ending but I did not like it at all. If you are an animal lover, you will need to skip over the detailed 3 or 4 pages about a cat getting hit by a car and in detail every article of clothing its blood was on. Also, The 15 year old was constantly groped by grown men who she was a babysitter for and this continued the entire book. She did not tell her father or hull off and slap him. The girls' days were very repetitive. Quick book to read
Coming-of-age novel showing the summer for a girl and her life on the shore baby-sitting and caring for a cousin who is in failing health. The parents plan their life around giving every advantage to their beautiful daughter. The author gives insight and grace to everyday life in Theresa's summer season.
This is a very sweet and well written book. The main character,15 year old, Theresa, seems to have the deep wisdom of an old soul. Her uncanny ability to relate to children and animals enables her to draw her shy, fragile cousin, Daisy to emerge from her shell and enjoy the most special summer of her life.
This is a beatifully written summer read. You'll fall in love with Theresa and her "extended" family that she so tenderly cares for. She has something to teach us all about love and caring for little ones of the 2 and 4 legged variety.
The writing was fantastic; just drew you in to the little world of Theresa and her family/friends. But, a very disturbing and not-to-be-believed subplot of the 15 year old's romantic interest in the elderly painter. In real life, a healthy 15 year old girl would be repulsed by a 70 year old man (unless she herself had been abused or molested, or some other such thing, which she was not). Just hated the last 1/4th of the book, that gross and unbelievable subplot, the death of the cat, and most of all, the ending (we never find out what was wrong with Daisy, etc.). So, 3 1/2 stars for the wonderful storytelling and writing of the author, but just wish it would have headed in a different direction.
This book was recommended to me via FABIL, and it was a dud. I think it must have been recommended b/c I like ann patchett's writing. Alice McDermott is an Ann Patchett wannabe. The story was distractingly unrealistic, full of awkward metaphors and odd descriptions. I gave it 1.5 stars because it has a racy subplot that involves the unrealistically sweet and capable 15 year old protagonist seducing an elderly, world famous painter (with rotting teeth). When near-miss statuatory rape is the highlight of a book, you know it's time to move on.
The senseless, gruesome deaths of numerous scruffy little animals provide a not particularly subtle foil to the main plot line.
Reading this beautifully told story was like stepping into, and becoming a part of the story itself, to become an additional character, or wish you were. That is how real these characters became and how much you came to care about them. Told in a gently meandering stlye, full of the rich details of nature and emotion, each sentence a song unto itself. Theresa, the only child of older parents, smart, exceptionally pretty, living on Long Island and attending a private girl's school, spends her summers caring for neighbor's pets and children. Alone much ! of the time, though not lonely, she is not a part of any social group and doesn't appear to have any girlfriends.
The story takes place in the summer of her 15th year. Her young cousin Daisy, eight years old and a favorite of hers, comes to spend
a few weeks away from her large (eight children) family. Theresa has a genuine way with children and pets, gentle, respectful, patient, appreciative,wise, weaving magical, enchanting stories and making creative, intuitive games out of simple activities. They adore her, as you come to in the course of the story. She truly cares for them, in a way the other adults in the story can't seem to bring themselves to. In fact they fall shamefully short of not only understanding, but into the catagory of negelect. This summer is a turning point in Theresa's life, and although it includes a brief, strange entanglement with an artist, father of one of her charges, it is her relationship to Daisy, "poor Daisy" that closes the door on her own idealic childhood. The author, Alice McDermott is a master of both word and mood. I was moved by this book in a way I can't quite grasp or describe, except to say that as I read it, I lived it. That I can enter the story through the skill of and author is without a doubt, remarkable! Read this book
Fifteen is a year of clarity; you're still one of the kids, but you're finally beginning to unlock the mysteries of adult behavior. In her luminous novel Child of My Heart, Alice McDermott's narrator is a 15-year-old girl who has two qualities that give her access to the secret lives of adults: she's beautiful, and she looks after their children.
Another insightful and honest read from McDermott. She tells Theresa's story with sensitivity, but tells it nonetheless. Each page brings us face to face with our sweetest memories and our darkest moments.