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The rest of her life
Laura Moriarty
Adult Fiction MORIART

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Moriarty's follow-up to book-group favorite The Center of Everything again explores a tense, fragile mother-daughter relationship, this time finding sharper edges where personal history and parenting meet. Now a junior high school English teacher married to a college professor, Leigh has spent much of her adult life trying to distance herself from her dysfunctional childhood. Raising their two children in a small, safe Kansas town not far from where Leigh and her troubled sister, Pam, were raised by their single mother, Leigh finds her good fortune still somewhat empty. Daughter Kara, 18 and a high school senior, is distant; sensitive younger son Justin is unpopular; Leigh can't seem to reach either-Kara in particular sees Leigh (rightly) as self-absorbed. When Kara accidentally hits and kills another high school girl with the family's car, Leigh is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her daughter, her resentment toward her husband (who understands Kara better) and her long-buried angst about her own neglectful mother. The intriguing supporting characters are limited by not-very-likable Leigh's POV, but Moriarty effectively conveys Leigh's longing for escape and wariness of reckoning. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

It's the dream of every woman who had a troubled relationship with her mother that her relationship with her own daughter will be different, and Leigh's mother, who left Leigh to fend for herself when she was 16 years old, was certainly no role model. Unfortunately, though raised with love, care, and the financial security of an upper-middle class lifestyle, 18-year-old Kara has never been close to her mom. So when Kara, driving inattentively, accidentally kills another high school girl, past and present begin to merge in Leigh's distraught mind. While the first half of the novel is excellent, the second half is studded with what seem like unavoidable cliches. Moriarty (The Center of Everything) can't seem to get out of her own way; it's almost as if she's repeating information straight out of self-help books. Then there's the larger problem of transferring a novel this slowly paced to audio. Julia Gibson's narration is spirited, but Moriarty's sense of language is not well crafted enough to be fully absorbing. Recommended for larger collections.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Leigh
Married to a college professor; junior high school teacher; spent much of her adult life trying to distance herself from her dusfunctional childhood; has two children; resents her husband; raised by her single mother along with a troubled sister.

Age: 18
Leigh's daughter; distant; accidentally hits and kills another high school student with the family car.

Keigh's son; Kara's younger brother; sensitive.

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