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The tiny one
Eliza Minot
Adult Fiction MINOT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Chronicling the same family dynamics and pivotal events as her sister Susan Minot in Monkeys, Eliza Minot makes an impressive debut with this moving novel of a close-knit family disrupted by a sudden, tragic death. The remarkably true voice of eight-year-old Via Mahoney Revere is Minot's triumph here, as the stunned child tries to absorb the fact that her beloved mother has died in a car accident. In a trance of disjointed sorrow, Via retraces the fateful day, recalling the routine progression of her fourth grade classes to the moment when she hears the news. One memory triggers another, flooding her mind with incidents ranging through her secure and protected childhood. Through the layers of episodic recollection emerges a clear and textured picture of a comfortable upper-middle-class Catholic family living in a Massachusetts coastal town, spending summers on an island in Maine, skiing in New Hampshire and sunning in Bermuda. Mum is vibrantly present in all of Via's memories, a tender and actively affectionate maternal figure who jokes with her kids in easy vernacular. Via is the last born of four siblings, and the smallest. Still young enough for kisses and squeezes, she is enveloped in a warm cocoon of loving care; "small fry," her mother calls her fondly, and "pint-sized." The bedrock of credibility here, and the source of the book's emotional truth, is Minot's ability to recall a child's fresh sensory perceptions. Abundant humor suffuses the mixture of wonder and bewilderment with which Via tries to interpret the world, and her childish opinions about cereal box prizes and TV cartoons and why she loves pickles. Yet we never forget that a child awakened to grief is summoning these comforting memories as solace. Minot's prose pulses with similes and graceful images. To Via, the ocean on a hot day "looks like dried paint that a ball would bounce on." The reader's emotional response rises as the chapters progress toward the moment when Via's life will suffer the irrevocable blow. In its poignant denouement, this narrative of domestic happiness and heartrending grief culminates in a radiant vision of eternal love. 5-city reading tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Minot's powerful first novel introduces Via Revere, a plucky and adored third grader, the youngest child of a wealthy Massachusetts couple who is forced to come to terms with grief, loss, and a rapidly shifting family dynamic when her mother is killed in a car wreck. Via, who narrates her own story, is by turns whiny and articulate, future-focused and reflective, accepting and full of questions. As with all children, there are times you want Via to go away and leave you alone; at other times, however, she will enchant you and move you to tears; for better or for worse, Minot writes this young life with amazing authenticity. And although several story lines go nowhere and appear as loose threads in an otherwise well-woven tale, the book nonetheless resonates and shines. Recommended for all public libraries.ÄEleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Via Revere
Female
Age: 8
Youngest child.



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