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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a book I read a while ago, and recently downloaded for a reread.  A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton (Oprah’s Book Club), is my favorite by this author.  I also have the DVD and watched it the other night.






Beginning: (Alice)

I used to think if you fell from grace it was more likely than not the result of one stupendous error, or else an unfortunate accident.  I hadn’t learned that it can happen so gradually you don’t lose your stomach or hurt yourself in the landing.  You don’t necessarily sense the motion.  I’ve found it takes at least two and generally three things to alter the course of a life:  You slip around the truth once, and then again, and one more time, and there you are, feeling, for a moment, that it was sudden, your arrival at the bottom of the heap.

(I just had to add the extra lines:  I loved the intricacy of these opening lines).


56:  I groped for Howard’s arm, his wrist, his suit coat, anything to grab hold of, and at the same moment something from behind that felt like a large vinyl purse poked me.


Synopsis:  From the author of the widely acclaimed The Book of Ruth comes a harrowing, heartbreaking drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives.

The Goodwins, Howard, Alice, and their little girls, Emma and Claire, live on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Although suspiciously regarded by their neighbors as “that hippie couple” because of their well-educated, urban background, Howard and Alice believe they have found a source of emotional strength in the farm, he tending the barn while Alice works as a nurse in the local elementary school.

But their peaceful life is shattered one day when a neighbor’s two-year-old daughter drowns in the Goodwins’ pond while under Alice’s care. Tormented by the accident, Alice descends even further into darkness when she is accused of sexually abusing of a student at the elementary school. Soon, Alice is arrested, incarcerated, and as good as convicted in the eyes of a suspicious community. As a child, Alice designed her own map of the world to find her bearings. Now, as an adult, she must find her way again, through a maze of lies, doubt and ill will.

A vivid human drama of guilt and betrayal, A Map of the World chronicles the intricate geographies of the human heart and all its mysterious, uncharted terrain.  The result is a piercing drama about family bonds and a disappearing rural American life.


What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Does the blurb captivate you?



  1. This book seems like it could be okay. I’ve never read anything by the author before, and its not one I would normally pick for myself. But, I’m glad that you enjoyed it enough to give it another read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read it years ago, and loved it so much that I plan to reread it. In the meantime, I have the movie, which I’ve watched several times. (Julianne Moore and Sigourney Weaver). Thanks for stopping by, Catherine.


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