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Mary & O'Neil

Book by Justin Cronin

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Cronin before Zombie book Passages, Recommending Mary & O'Neil

  • Jun 15, 2010

it isn't often I find an author I've missed who can write with the intensity and insight of Justin Cronin about real people. Like Wallace Stegner.  In Mary & O'Neil, Cronin gets it so right about the mother/wife who's just discovered a breast tumor, about the husband who contemplates adultery but can't let himself, and the post-college son who's unsuccessfully searching for a career in his liberal arts education, and the brother who nurses his sister through her final illness. I cried, I laughed, I read it again right away, back to back. I wanted those people for my friends.

And then when I rushed to Amazon to find the books he must have written between the first novel and today, 9 years later, I find out he's the author I ranted about months ago who received the huge advance for a trilogy about a virus that turns Americans into zombies. ARRGGH. I'm in pain to think he may have wasted his talent on a fad, but because Mary & O'Neil was so perfectly executed, I am going to withhold my opinion until I read Passages. Woe is me, I have to read about zombies.

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November 17, 2011
Great review, this sounds like a great read!
June 15, 2010
It speaks volumes that you wanted to re-read this book multiple times and I'm definitely curious to check it out now. Don't think I would be able to stomach zombies though:) I'll look forward to your reaction about Passages.
About the reviewer
Sarah Collins Honenberger ()
Ranked #1554
Changed careers at 45, writing fiction now, some inspired by almost 30 years of rural law practice.
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