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Celia wears her widowhood like a badge. She has enough money to have "landlady" be her only profession owning an apartment building in NY of all places is no small financial feat , but she would most definitely be better off getting another job and getting the hell out of the house. Celia is at once detached and formal yet needy and prying. She selects her tenants carefully but keeps them at bay. She wants her privacy but is overly fascinated with others' comings and goings, and is almost spiteful in her reluctance to engage.

Celia's carefully constructed bubble is shattered when she allows one of her tenants to sublet his apartment to something-year-old Hope who is warm and caring and beautiful but there's always a but! Celia hears everything that goes on in Hope's apartment not entirely realistic and takes an undue interest in her neighbor.

Loyd does best when she focuses on the other tenants, particularly the elderly gentleman who lives upstairs and whom Celia looks out for despite herself. But these moments are few and far between. For the most part, the novel meanders and feels bloated with artsy phrases that don't add to the narrative. It's not a long read, but I was unduly bored.

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View all 10 comments. Jul 08, Jessica rated it it was ok Shelves: Celia is a widow who doesn't know how to really move on. Five years after her husband's death, she is the landlord of a small apartment building in Brooklyn. She is very picky about whom she chooses as tenants, because she very much wants to be left alone and not be forced to interact with anyone too much.

Then one of her tenants has the opportunity to travel, but only if Celia will allow him to sublet his apartment for a few months to Hope. Celia finds herself intrigued with Hope and her desire Celia is a widow who doesn't know how to really move on. Celia finds herself intrigued with Hope and her desire to stay hidden behind walls is put to the test. The characters never really came alive to me, staying very flat and never proving to me why I should care about them. In general, I'm not a big fan of the stream-of-conscious narration that Loyd uses and she was given to overwriting.

I felt the radiator in my bedroom, and when its heat did not feel emphatic enough, I pulled my sweater and jeans on, stuck my feet into slippers, and went to check the boiler. The heat's not emphatic enough? You can't just say you were cold? View all 3 comments. Oct 06, Luvalbert rated it did not like it. Really did not like this. The author tried way too hard to be a "great writer" as in: By the middle of the book I was just irritated by her.

Not one like able character in this book. Jun 06, Patrice Hoffman rated it liked it Shelves: The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd is the debut, literary fiction novel about a woman who loves her seperateness. After Celia's husband dies prematurely from cancer, she buys an apartment building consisting of four apartments. She becomes the landlord to three other tenants in a downtown Brooklyn building.

Celia is highly practiced at remaining apart from the people in her building until Hope arrives. Hope is an unwanted subletter who Celia sees as a threat to her being able to remain alon The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd is the debut, literary fiction novel about a woman who loves her seperateness. Hope is an unwanted subletter who Celia sees as a threat to her being able to remain alone and without the usual intimacies that come with living in such close proximity to other people. Celia would rather wallow in her grief although it has been five years since her husbands death.

After many failed attempts at living a full life again, she eventually embarks on a journey towards redemption and hope. The Affairs of Others is exceptionally well-written. My ARC has many highlighted passages that show a keen awareness in Loyd's writing and has made lasting impressions on me. I love the mentioning of women say sorry too often even when it is not their's to say. Mostly Celia is reflective which is a good thing, but a bad thing as well.

The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd – review | Books | Entertainment | iwojafevazyx.ml

Celia's need to make sense of everything ways heavy on the reader especially when it seems she's so maudlin most of the time. I wanted to strangle the life into her and insist she enjoy the world and all it's offerings for the sake of her husband. Since she credits her separateness to his death, it's easy to want to challenge her to live fully because he's unable to.

Celia is a character that has mostly no direction and takes some weird steps on her journey of letting go. Essentially, Amy Grace Loyd has written a novel worth reading. The Affairs of Others is not for everyone but I encourage lover's of literary fiction or women's lit to give it a go. There are beautiful passages galore. I only wish I could have warmed up to Celia more. Then again that would be in direct violation of remaining separate. Feb 14, Robert Blumenthal rated it it was amazing. I picked this book because it was highly praised by one of my favorite authors, Jess Walter.

In the middle of my reading it, I noticed that it was generally not well-liked by many, if not most, of the readers on Goodreads. In finishing it, I can see how some readers will not find this book to be their cup of tea. It is told in the first person narrative of a woman who lost her deeply-loved husband to cancer when she was in her thirties. The narrative, subsequently, is immersed in grief and self- I picked this book because it was highly praised by one of my favorite authors, Jess Walter. The narrative, subsequently, is immersed in grief and self-denial.

I, myself, found it to be quite powerful, insightful, and deeply moving. People complained that the novel was too ridden with grief and that the main character makes stupid and silly choices. I don't agree at all. She made choices that were very much in line with who she was and what she has experienced. Yes, she is a flawed character, as was the main character in Claire Messud's wonderful The Woman Upstairs. But she is also quite compelling, IMHO. Some people might be put off by the seediness throughout the novel.

The writing reminded me of A. Homes or Jennifer Egan in its depiction of the basest of human emotions and actions. If you do want a deeply-felt account of a young woman dealing with profound grief, then I highly recommend it. Nov 21, Sarah rated it did not like it. Not a good book. Instead, it was just awkward and irritating. The plot is smothered by the writing style. Sep 07, Sasha rated it liked it Shelves: This book has a fantastic beginning, especially the first several pages. It's strong for a while, very good buildup.

And then, everything goes to hell.

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The motivations of the main character, Celia, stop making sense. They are extremely uncharacteristic. I was loving her voice in the beginning. She was widowed in her early thirties, and even 5 years from now, she is almost speaking through a veil. She avoids connections and clutches the stories o http: She avoids connections and clutches the stories of her husband to herself, lest they lose their immediacy.

Her voice is very flat, but I liked it, it made sense. Her instant connection to the old captain who escaped an old folks' home was great, as well. His whole story line was a good one, so definitely points for that.

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I wish there was a bit of a follow-up with his daughter, but one thing this book didn't do was follow-up on anything. Sucks that such an amazing beginning and good ending had such a train wreck of a middle. Also, that weird thing where she's okay with said fragile tenant's son having a crush on her. And her letting a very, very dangerous man into her apartment and not stopping his boob-grabby advances. I think Loyd tried to connect it by revealing view spoiler [ some very misguided and slutty metro escapades that Celia had on multiple occasions right after she smothered her dying husband with a pillow.

Yeah, that also happened. Things started looking up in the last quarter or fifth of the book and dipped only once. I really wish the middle was less disjointed, because I was so ready to give this one a 4-stars at least. I wish there was more on the story of Angie and her husband. Less on the upstairs tenant stuff. I was going to give this one a 2 stars, but writing the review made me remember how amazing the beginning was and I felt generous.

Please write something worth that great beginning next time. Aug 13, Amanda Byrne rated it liked it Shelves: When I first saw the title of this book, I misread it as The Lives of Others and got super excited - the German film is one of my all-time favorites and Suffice to say, it's not a book based on the movie. That said, the first quarter of the book was reminiscent of Wiesler's surveillance of Georg Dreyman - Celia maintains her precious distance from her tenants, yet couches her observations of their comings and goings, their fights, their odd tics, as a need t When I first saw the title of this book, I misread it as The Lives of Others and got super excited - the German film is one of my all-time favorites and That said, the first quarter of the book was reminiscent of Wiesler's surveillance of Georg Dreyman - Celia maintains her precious distance from her tenants, yet couches her observations of their comings and goings, their fights, their odd tics, as a need to keep the peace.

Then things got a little weird. There's nothing in the opening chapters to indicate that Celia's got this enormous stash of drugs, and that she takes them regularly, even if they're expired. Anti-depressants, sleeping pills, anxiety medication, you name it, she's got it except for maybe uppers; I don't remember any of those.

This sends her on tangents of thought about her deceased husband, and that's when my attention flagged. According to the blurb, the big happenings in the building are the disappearance of one of the tenants and the chaotic relationship of the lone subletter and the havoc it wreaks on the building. I didn't see much havoc. I saw a lot of jumbled threads that dangled way too long and then got tied up in perfunctory bows. By the end, I felt like I'd read three different books, none of them complete, and disappointed that it didn't live up to my expectations.

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Would I recommend this book? It's too big a mess. Would I recommend keeping an eye on Amy Grace Loyd? Buried in the mess is some excellent prose, but you shouldn't have to work so hard to get to it. Hopefully her next book will be better. Aug 27, Amelia Gremelspacher rated it it was amazing. I went with him, or a lot of me did. The Affairs of Others: It's a landscape that, even as it vanishes, asks a lot of the eyes.

Celia has taken her small savings and bought a converted Brooklyn brownstone in which to live out her days. She has finished it "My husband died a difficult death. She has finished it with quiet taste and rented it to a group of people chosen for their probable discretion and lack of drama. She will live out her years in her gracefully aging form. She cannot "keep from remembering for fear I'd forget. The quiet gay man persuades her to co-rent to a lively woman, Hope, and her intrusive efforts to forget a marriage that has failed. The "green" couple who live a virtuous recycled life begin to crack and shatter.


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Finally, the elderly gentleman on the top floor disappears despite Celia's discreet care. Celia is a woman who keeps the memoirs of her marriage in a quiet closet for fear that constant observation will rob them of their magic. She has eavesdropped that she is considered rigid and sad. She has taken refuge, and now must cope with her shelter awakening to messy life. This is a lovely novel full of the vignettes of humans in flux. The deep longing to join her husband in a kind of suspended life has been denied, and Celia's reaction is provocatively drawn.

It is rather like the pins and needles of a leg which had gone numb coming back to feeling. Widow or not, Celia I cokes the choices of a woman no longer able to depend on the spring and moistness of youth. In addition, Lloyd holds a mirror to the men facing the same conundrum, and reflects the glance of the women looking over their shoulders. The intertwined and enmeshed lives of neighbors is not a fresh concept.

The Affairs of Others

Rather the the point of view and intent of its landlady lends a fresh perspective on this permutation of family in the city. Family may not have been the intent, but a type of family is the result. The growth and mess of this woman's life is lovely and bewitching with a sly touch of humor that engaged me fully. Jul 30, Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok. Celia Cassill has been widowed for five years and still keeps her husband close to her heart and psyche. With the money he left her, she bought a brownstone in Brooklyn that houses four apartments, hers and three others that she rents.

She carefully picks her tenants and wants to maintain good boundaries and her own solitude. However, things do not happen that way. One of her tenants, an elderly man named Mr. Caughlin disappears and Celia is involved with trying to find him along with the police Celia Cassill has been widowed for five years and still keeps her husband close to her heart and psyche. Caughlin disappears and Celia is involved with trying to find him along with the police efforts to do so. She sublets an apartment to a very troubled woman named Hope whose husband left her after 25 years.

Hope is now involved in very self-destructive behaviors, especially sexual ones. Another tenant, Angie Braunstein, has had her husband walk out on her. Celia is often drinking or doped up on the medications left from her husband's death. He died unexpectedly while quite young and she is still young herself.

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To avoid life, she takes xanax, ambien, clonazepam, among other drugs, and her medicine chest is filled with every kind of pain killer I've ever heard of. She is often loopy and stoned. What she had hoped for in her building - solitude and separation from her tenants - doesn't come to fruition. She becomes involved with them all to some degree, especially the troubled Hope. What boundaries she had hoped to have are no longer in effect. I was surprised, too, that she could hear everything from the apartment above hers where Hope lived.


  1. The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd – review;
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  7. She could hear the words and the actions, something that did not seem realistic to me. The book has several problems. I did not relate to the writing style nor did I care for the characters. They were shallowly portrayed and the characterizations were not in depth. The writing often meandered and I did not see the point of the inner journeys that Celia frequently took. Overall, I can't recommend this book. It bored me even though the plot could have been interesting. I just didn't care about the characters and Celia's take on the world was not one I could relate to at all.

    Aug 22, Valentina rated it liked it. I wanted to like this book. And in some ways, I suppose, I did, but not enough to make me feel like this is a completely worthwhile read. Yes, the writing is lovely, with some I wanted to like this book. Yes, the writing is lovely, with some breathtaking phrases, but it is not enough to keep me reading. Actually, the entire thing put me more in mind of a short story collection with an overarching theme than an entire novel.

    Sep 17, Kate Padilla rated it really liked it. She has invented a wonderfully sticky web of a world into which any reader might be delighted to find himself caught, written in such beautiful language it seems to seep up from some dark well, unbidden and insistent. The visuals jump to life. The aromas are intoxicating and excruciating, by turn. Celia is a woman not old and yet no longer young, a widow too soon. Her life is beyond bare. She lives alone amongst her tenants, just blocks from the house where her husband died after a long and tortured illness. She has no one to turn to — no beloved family members, no close friends, no workmates or confidantes.

    Meanwhile, in private, she hoards the treasures of her married life — books that still smell of the soup they ate while she read them aloud to her ailing husband, the DVDs of movies they adored — keeping them close by but under lock and key, the better not to be dimmed by everyday life. All is going according to plan, if by plan Celia intends to live a diminished life, to purposefully give up on the nurturing of anything and to occasionally submit her body to anonymous sex in scary places.

    Why does she feel such a visceral need to bury her grief this way? As her story unfolds, we learn. And in the learning, Celia comes to life, one unexpected turn after another. It arrives in the person of Hope, whose name is no accident. Hope offers to pay the rent and water the plants and be on her best behavior.

    Chaos, inevitably and predictably, ensues. These beautifully rendered moments — the glances, the brushes of skin against skin, the gentle words, the merest of touches — are thick with human connection.