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Download I Cannot Get You Close Enough: Three Novellas epub

by Ellen Gilchrist

In "Winter," "De Havilland hand," and "A summer in Maine," characters explore the love between parents and children
Download I Cannot Get You Close Enough: Three Novellas epub
ISBN: 0316313130
ISBN13: 978-0316313131
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Short Stories & Anthologies
Author: Ellen Gilchrist
Language: English
Publisher: Little Brown & Co; 1st edition (November 1, 1990)
Pages: 391 pages
ePUB size: 1422 kb
FB2 size: 1880 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 239
Other Formats: mobi rtf txt lrf

Ellen Gilchrist never disappoints. Her work is somehow both gritty and whimsical; realistic yet magical. The characters in these stories struggle to find meaning in their materialistically gifted lives, and their search is never boring. On the contrary, I'm always riveted to the page when I pick up Ellen Gilchrist's work.
Gilchrist is always terrific -- fun to read, great characters, enough plot to keep it interesting -- and this is one of her best. Second time I've read it, and I'm sure I'll read it again at some point.
Ellen Ghilchrist is amazing with her stories. I definitely loved this book and I could relate to Olivia of all.
I read and loved Ellen Gilchrist when her books were first published and when I was the same age as her younger generation of characters. I was entranced but I did realize that some of the portraits were of spoiled narcissists. I went back to these books twenty years later with trepidation.

My fears were unfounded. Yes, Gilchrist gives an uncomfortable portrait of spoiled, neurotic people but they aren't meant to be flattering portraits and the characters are also striving to be better, to fix their character flaws and live a good life. Gilchrist also has a strong physical and metaphysical sense and her wonder at life, whether spiritual or the beauties of the natural world is never far away from her prose or her characters minds.

In these three linked novellas, members of an two extended Southern families, love and scheme and search for happiness in a charming fashion. In the first, an aunt tries to save her niece from her irresponsible mother and is willing to go to Turkey to collect the evidence that will keep the little girl firmly with the Hand family. In the next, Olivia de Havilland Hand, the unknown, half Cherokee daughter of Daniel Hand lies her way back into her father's family by changing her grades and convincing her father and her aunt that the family can't live without her. However, her adjustment to rich Southern life after her loving upbringing on a Cherokee reservation isn't as smooth as she thought it would be and Olivia loses as much as she gains. And finally, the Hands and the Mannings take a vacation in a Maine mansion with all of the adultery and young love that an old-fashioned house party implies.

Gilchrist is always a lot of fun to read. Sex and love and the pain it causes us are a sure draw for most of us as are beautiful women and wealth that takes away many problems but not all. However, Gilchrist's portraits of the middle east and of Traceleen, the black maid who narrates quite a bit of the third novella could easily be interpreted as racist. Furthermore, Gilchrist clearly sees herself as a feminist but cannot quite convince the reader that she is such as it is clear that female beauty and the ability to attract and hold handsome men are still the best qualities and strategies a woman can possess. I re-read several Gilchrist books expecting to find something shallow and hateful and even though there are things here to criticize Gilchrist is too self-aware of the failings of her characters to condemn her out of hand - and again, she is a lot of fun and there is a wry awareness of the faults and shortcomings of the character. One criticism I will make is that I loved some of these characters enough to want to know what happened to them as they grew up. Gilchrist is unable to tell me, not because she hasn't continued writing about her repeating, linked characters but because she has never managed to give a portrait of maturity. Her characters get older but never grow up and Gilchrist definitely buys into the idea that once a woman stops attracting men in droves that her life and usefulness are more or less over - narcissism wins in Gilchrist's world and that makes me sad.

Gilchrist deserves to be more widely read than she is, especially as she won a National Book Award back in the eighties. All of her books and characters are linked by repeating characters but each stands on its own so they can be read in any order. Recommnded to fans of Southern literature, family sagas and coming of age novels. With the caveat that Gilchrist writes young people and young adults very well but has never managed a portrait of maturity. I for one would love to know the woman that Olivia de Havilland hand grew into but Gilchrist seems unable to tell us.
I loved these novellas. Each one could have been published as a "little" book (the size of HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT or ELLEN FOSTER) and most certainly "passed" for a novel.
"Winter" was a gripping tour-de-force of Anna Hand, the late author, on a madcap trip to Europe, trying to gather evidence on her evil sister-in-law. "Olivia DeHaviland Hand" introduces us to Olivia, the long lost daughter of Daniel Hand, and niece to Anna and Helen. I must say I loved "A Summer In Maine" because all of the characters talk, drink, make love, and stir up mischief.
I just hope Ellen Gilchrist writes as fast as she can. She's a poet, she's a philosopher, she's a genie, she's underrated!!! Some of her characters border on alcoholism, but they are so deftly drawn, they come across as flesh and blood; in lesser hands, these women would have come across as melodramatic vixens. Her work is loud and subtle, wild and innocent. I noticed on Amazon that she has another book coming out in 2000.
This book stinks. I kept on reading...thinking it would get better. NOT! All 3 stories are not separate. They are one continuous ton of drivel about some of the most self-absorbed rich idiots I have ever wasted my time reading about. This softcover was a discarded library I know why it was discarded.
There was only one interesting character and she was not fully developed. is a total waste of time. DO NOT BUY!