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A Map of the World
A Map of the World
Author: Jane Hamilton
Pen /Hemingway Award-winning novelist Jane Hamilton follows up her first success, The Book Of Ruth, with this spectacularly heartbreaking and haunting drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives. A Map of the World is the riveting story of how a single mistake can forever change the lives of everyo...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780385720106
ISBN-10: 0385720106
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 352
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 534 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

mimibottoms avatar reviewed A Map of the World on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I thought this is a good, but very different book. I was engrossed in the story almost immediately, although I couldn't put my finger on why. The book starts in the perspective of Alice, an unhappy and persevering wife of a dairy farmer. Alice is an odd character; she sees things in a way that no one else does. Sometimes I couldn't decide whether she was just eccentric with a wide-ranging and vivid imagination, or whether she was just mentally ill. The events of the story could send anyone into a downward spiral of questioning all that you hold true in life. The perspective changes for the middle of the book to that of Alice's husband, Howard. The contrast is very interesting and gives much insight into Alice's character as well as the background of their lives. Then, for the last part the perspective is Alice's again. All in all, there valuabel themes of perseverance, love despite adversity, forgiveness, and respecting others. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys character-based stories. This is not a fast-moving story though, so if you enjoy action and lots of twists and turns in plot, this probably isn't the book for you.
reviewed A Map of the World on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Beautifully written, but I have to agree with another reviewer on this list that I basically couldn't stand the main character here. She seemed to me to be self-absorbed and just plain weird. Her husband seemed nasty. Her friend Theresa was almost just a sketch of a character. Anyway, blah....I don't mind a depressing story, but give me something to grab onto to already......
stocktonmalonefan avatar reviewed A Map of the World on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is one of those books that stays with you for a long time after you read it. Have you ever wondered what a fine line we walk between our happy everyday lives and sudden total disaster? One lapse in attentiveness sets into motion a series of events that will forever change the main character's (Alice) life and those around her. Having endured bouts of depression during my life, I could totally relate to the Alice's feelings--the author puts you inside her head with so much ease that you find yourself thinking the same things right along with Alice. A fantastic, easy to read book. The only negative comment I have was that the ending left me unfulfilled--it was too abrupt.
reviewed A Map of the World on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I did not really enjoy this book. A tragedy turns the characters absolutely bitter. It was a depressing read.
reviewed A Map of the World on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The beginning of this book was especially painful to read, and I believe anyone with a child will find it so. But, the book touched so great a nerve within me that it was a most memorable read. You just can't help but sympathize with the main character, and constantly imagine how her (ex) best friend, and all family members felt. It really is a case of a tragedy occuring by accident. Preventable? Of course. But, that's the case with all true accidents. You will not forget the powerful emotions in this book.
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kathyreadsalot avatar reviewed A Map of the World on
I really did not enjoy this book, I found parts of it really unbelievable as well as difficult to read. I am seldom sorry that I read a book but this one fills me with regret that I read it to the end. Books plotted in tragedy should offer some kind of hope, this was just full of despair.
noisynora avatar reviewed A Map of the World on + 130 more book reviews
Although the premise of the book seemed promissing, ultimately it just didn't do it for me. This book was long and drawn out - I found myself wanting it to be over and finishing it just for the sake of finishing it. I hate that. I did like the way it was split into chapters by the main characters and their points of view (one of the few redeeming qualities), but it left a lot of unanswered questions in the end. I would not seek out another title by this author based on this book.
reviewed A Map of the World on + 137 more book reviews
This novel is a must read. Though there is much sadness in the plot, the story is compelling and well written. Have the hankie nearby, though.
Belleruth avatar reviewed A Map of the World on + 5 more book reviews
I liked this book but the ending just sorta ENDED. Little disappointed in that but otherwise a good read.
reviewed A Map of the World on + 5 more book reviews
Heart wrenching, and better than the film as is usually the case. Good read, looking to more work by the same author.
philsgal26 avatar reviewed A Map of the World on + 2 more book reviews
I agree with a few of the other reviewers. This book was beautifully written and kept me hooked but overall it was pretty depressing and I just had a hard time connecting with Alice the main character. I wanted to understand her and feel for her but I was never able to connect with her as a character and even throughout the unjustices that were done to her I still saw her as emotionally removed from her family and self-absorbed. Even after some of the issues were resolved I never really felt that Alice grew or learned from it and was content to stay "different" as she and other characters remarked she had been her whole life. At the end I still felt sad for her husband and children. The book definitely kept me intersted but also somewhat sad that Alice and her family would never get to a better place then they had ever been - before or after the tragedy.