Kaye Gibbons

Divining Women - eBook

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<p>In her darkest yet most redeeming novel, Gibbons scorches us with a &THORN;restorm of despair-and then resurrects love and hope from its very ashes.</p> <p>Autumn 1918: Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop-cold and careless of her condition-is an emotional cripple who has battered her spirit throughout their marriage. As Maureen's time grows near, she becomes convinced she will die in childbirth. Into this loveless m&eacute;nage arrives Mary Oliver, Troop's niece. The sheltered child of a well-to-do, freethinking Washington family, Mary comes to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop's bullying, she soon discovers that her true duty is to protect her aunt.</p> <p>As the influenza spreads and the death toll grows, Troop's spiteful behaviors worsen. Tormenting his wife, taunting her for her &quot;low birth,&quot; hiding her mother's letters, Troop terrorizes the household. But when Mary fights back, he begins to go over the edge, and Maureen rallies, releasing a stunning thunderstorm of confrontation and, ultimately, finding spiritual renewal.</p> <p><em>The Boston Globe</em> hailed <em>On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon</em>as &quot;another gift from Kaye Gibbons to the literature celebrating strong women of every age and era.&quot; Much the same can be said of <em>Divining Women</em>.</p>

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In her darkest yet most redeeming novel, Gibbons scorches us with a Þrestorm of despair-and then resurrects love and hope from its very ashes.

Autumn 1918: Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop-cold and careless of her condition-is an emotional cripple who has battered her spirit throughout their marriage. As Maureen's time grows near, she becomes convinced she will die in childbirth. Into this loveless ménage arrives Mary Oliver, Troop's niece. The sheltered child of a well-to-do, freethinking Washington family, Mary comes to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop's bullying, she soon discovers that her true duty is to protect her aunt.

As the influenza spreads and the death toll grows, Troop's spiteful behaviors worsen. Tormenting his wife, taunting her for her "low birth," hiding her mother's letters, Troop terrorizes the household. But when Mary fights back, he begins to go over the edge, and Maureen rallies, releasing a stunning thunderstorm of confrontation and, ultimately, finding spiritual renewal.

The Boston Globe hailed On the Occasion of My Last Afternoonas "another gift from Kaye Gibbons to the literature celebrating strong women of every age and era." Much the same can be said of Divining Women.

Divining Women - eBook

Specifications

Read This On
Android,Ereader,Desktop,IOS,Windows
Is Downloadable Content Available
Y
Digital Reader Format
Epub (Yes)
Language
en
Publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
Author
Kaye Gibbons
ISBN-13
9781440631122
ISBN-10
1440631123

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(2.5)out of 5 stars
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1-5 of 6 reviews
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

In this tale of marria...

In this tale of marriage gone very wrong, a girl inspires in her tragic aunt the courage and motivation to challenge and leave her abusive husband, despite the fact that she is pregnant with their first child. I wanted to like this book, because the sensitive topic of abused women and hurtful relationships was quite realistic. I felt sympathetic for Maureen, the wife. However, I felt that nothing here was anything beyond average (and that's at best). The whole book felt estranged from the reader, despite the tender topics introduced. The book was unfocused and at most times, dull and boring. Many of the things the author went on for chapters about seemed trivial, while bigger and more important events did not get so much attention. The influenza epidemic, which was supposed to have a large role to play, never really came to anything. It certainly fell short of being any memorable aspect of the book. The only portions of this book that made me feel anything except boredom were the rare little moments between Maureen and her spiteful husband, Troop. The abused wife and the abusing husband were two roles that the author knew how to write, and for that I am giving it another half star that came very close to making this book a 3. However, I can honestly say that I didn't enjoy it, and I will be getting rid of it. A disappointment.

Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

In this tale of marria...

In this tale of marriage gone very wrong, a girl inspires in her tragic aunt the courage and motivation to challenge and leave her abusive husband, despite the fact that she is pregnant with their first child. I wanted to like this book, because the sensitive topic of abused women and hurtful relationships was quite realistic. I felt sympathetic for Maureen, the wife. However, I felt that nothing here was anything beyond average (and that's at best). The whole book felt estranged from the reader, despite the tender topics introduced. The book was unfocused and at most times, dull and boring. Many of the things the author went on for chapters about seemed trivial, while bigger and more important events did not get so much attention. The influenza epidemic, which was supposed to have a large role to play, never really came to anything. It certainly fell short of being any memorable aspect of the book. The only portions of this book that made me feel anything except boredom were the rare little moments between Maureen and her spiteful husband, Troop. The abused wife and the abusing husband were two roles that the author knew how to write, and for that I am giving it another half star that came very close to making this book a 3. However, I can honestly say that I didn't enjoy it, and I will be getting rid of it. A disappointment.

Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Im a big fan of Kaye ...

I'm a big fan of Kaye Gibbs novels - I love her feisty women and their sharp witted humour, but this one was rather a disappointment. In the first third of the novel left me a little confused about the family connections - had trouble keeping track of relationships across the three generations. More importantly, I felt the novel's 'message' (that the psychological abuse of women is never to be tolerated) was too obvious and too heavy handed. I agree entirely with the sentiment but it dominated to the detriment of the novel. The novel is set in 1918 when the war is ending and the community is gripped with fear and panic about the influenza epidemic - a situation we can identify with today as Swine flu spreads around the world.

Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

Talk about incohesive ...

Talk about incohesive & improbable. In the same vein as Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall or Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Divining Women is the story of a woman's victory over her emotionally sadistic husband. Maureen, an expectant mother, is all but a reclusive and seeming hysteric after years of emotional battery and isolation, but awareness of her options enters when her young niece comes to be a companion to her in her last trimester.First, what this book gets right. The setting with the backdrop of returning WWI vets and the Spanish flu epidemic is well done. Mary, the niece is a spunky character, but a bit hard to believe in. The story is told through Mary's narration, but at times it goes off into preachy rambles about what a woman needs. This would have an excellent place for showing, not telling. In fact, the author had already done that through letters from self-realized women. But even those were on the preachy side and felt false. Here is where my incohesive verdict comes in.As for improbable, Mary's free-thinking Washington family with their ghost hostel was a real stretch. All four of her grandparents live together, which of course reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Unlike Charlie's ancients though, Mary's are rich, but thrifty, a trait which incenses her brother who eventually kills himself because he can't have his every wish and first class tickets. The point of including this brother mystfies me. Is he there as a shadow for the abusive Troop Ross, indication of a family evil streak? But framed in Troop's study is a school report card which shows him as having more in common with his father than his mother, at least before is mother leaves his father because of his free-wheeling ways, free love and nudist retreats included. Throughout the author paints Troop as a man emotionally crippled by his mother's hatefulness and control, so what is the point of the brother? And, come on, people do not kill themselves because they aren't granted every luxury. Okay, maybe they do, but really? Really? The snarky side of me says he is there to garner extra Southern gothic points.The last two books I have read by Kaye Gibbons have been huge disappointments. She has an undeniable talent for telling the stories of women and girls who endure, and then overcome difficult situations, usually situations caused by a sadistic father or husband. In Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman she shows remarkable adeptness in establishing an enduring and authentic narrative voice. Sights Unseen is a powerful account as seen through the eyes of a daughter of the effect of a mother's bipolar disorder on her loving, but suffering family. However, Divining Women and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster have such reaches into the unlikely and so many womens studies rambles that they lose their narrative power.

Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

Talk about incohesive ...

Talk about incohesive & improbable. In the same vein as Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall or Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Divining Women is the story of a woman's victory over her emotionally sadistic husband. Maureen, an expectant mother, is all but a reclusive and seeming hysteric after years of emotional battery and isolation, but awareness of her options enters when her young niece comes to be a companion to her in her last trimester.First, what this book gets right. The setting with the backdrop of returning WWI vets and the Spanish flu epidemic is well done. Mary, the niece is a spunky character, but a bit hard to believe in. The story is told through Mary's narration, but at times it goes off into preachy rambles about what a woman needs. This would have an excellent place for showing, not telling. In fact, the author had already done that through letters from self-realized women. But even those were on the preachy side and felt false. Here is where my incohesive verdict comes in.As for improbable, Mary's free-thinking Washington family with their ghost hostel was a real stretch. All four of her grandparents live together, which of course reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Unlike Charlie's ancients though, Mary's are rich, but thrifty, a trait which incenses her brother who eventually kills himself because he can't have his every wish and first class tickets. The point of including this brother mystfies me. Is he there as a shadow for the abusive Troop Ross, indication of a family evil streak? But framed in Troop's study is a school report card which shows him as having more in common with his father than his mother, at least before is mother leaves his father because of his free-wheeling ways, free love and nudist retreats included. Throughout the author paints Troop as a man emotionally crippled by his mother's hatefulness and control, so what is the point of the brother? And, come on, people do not kill themselves because they aren't granted every luxury. Okay, maybe they do, but really? Really? The snarky side of me says he is there to garner extra Southern gothic points.The last two books I have read by Kaye Gibbons have been huge disappointments. She has an undeniable talent for telling the stories of women and girls who endure, and then overcome difficult situations, usually situations caused by a sadistic father or husband. In Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman she shows remarkable adeptness in establishing an enduring and authentic narrative voice. Sights Unseen is a powerful account as seen through the eyes of a daughter of the effect of a mother's bipolar disorder on her loving, but suffering family. However, Divining Women and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster have such reaches into the unlikely and so many womens studies rambles that they lose their narrative power.


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