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Usual Rules

ISBN-10: 0312283695
ISBN-13: 9780312283698
Edition: 2003 (Revised)
Authors: Joyce Maynard
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Description: It's a Tuesday morning in Brooklyn—a perfect September day. Wendy is heading to school, eager to make plans with her best friend, worried about how she looks, mad at her mother for not letting her visit her father in California, impatient with her  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.99
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 2/18/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

It's a Tuesday morning in Brooklyn—a perfect September day. Wendy is heading to school, eager to make plans with her best friend, worried about how she looks, mad at her mother for not letting her visit her father in California, impatient with her little brother and with the almost too-loving concern of her jazz musician stepfather. She's out the door to catch the bus. An hour later comes the news: A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center—her mother's office building. Through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Wendy, we gain entrance to the world rarely shown by those who documented the events of that one terrible day: a family's slow and terrible realization that Wendy's mother has died, and their struggle to go on with their lives in the face of such a crushing loss. Absent for years, Wendy's real father shows up without warning. He takes her back with him to California, where she re-invents her life: Wendy now lives more or less on her own in a one-room apartment with a TV set and not much else. Wendy's new circle now includes her father's cactus-grower girlfriend, newly reconnected with the son she gave up for adoption twenty years before; a sad and tender bookstore owner who introduces her to the voice of Anne Frank and to his autistic son; and a homeless skateboarder, on a mission to find his long-lost brother. Over the winter and spring that follow, Wendy moves between the alternately painful and reassuring memories of her mother and the revelations that come with growing to know her real father for the first time. Pulled between her old life in Brooklyn and a new one 3,000 miles away, our heroine is faced with a world where the usual rules no longer apply but eventually discovers a strength and capacity for compassion and survival that she never knew she possessed. At the core of the story is Wendy's deep connection with her little brother, back in New York, who is grieving the loss of their mother without her. This is a story about the ties of siblings, about children who lose their parents, parents who lose their children, and the unexpected ways they sometimes find one another again. Set against the backdrop of global and personal tragedy, and written in a style alternately wry and heartbreaking, The Usual Rules is an unexpectedly hopeful story of healing and forgiveness that will offer readers, young and old alike, a picture of how, out of the rubble, a family rebuilds its life.

Joyce Maynard was born on November 5, 1953. She first came to national attention in 1973 with the publication of her New York Times cover story An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life, which she wrote while a freshman at Yale University. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist, and a regular contributor to NPR. Her writing have also been published in numerous magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine; Newsweek; The New York Times Magazine; Forbes; Salon; San Francisco Magazine; and USA Weekly. She has written both fiction and nonfiction works including The Usual Rules, The Cloud Chamber, Internal Combustion, After Her, and her memoirs Looking Back and At Home in the World. Maynard's memoirs include details about her relationship with J. D. Salinger when she was 18 years old and attending Yale University. To Die For was adapted into a movie starring Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon and Joaquin Phoenix and Labor Day was adapted into a movie starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

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