Unless

by Carol Shields | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0007137699 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Molyneux of Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on 5/17/2008
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10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Molyneux from Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 17, 2008
I hope whoever finds this book enjoys it!

Click here to find out more about BookCrossing in the Oxford/Berkshire area

Released 11 yrs ago (5/17/2008 UTC) at Passed onto another bookcrosser in -- By post or by hand --, Oxfordshire United Kingdom

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If this is your introduction to Bookcrossing, welcome. Please make as few or as many comments about the book as you wish. The book is now yours to do with as you choose. Keep it, pass it on, but please leave the label, so it can keep in touch with us. If you would like to know what happens to the book after you have passed it on, then do join - it's free, private and it's fun!
And if you do choose to join, I hope you'll consider using me molyneux, as your referring member.

Journal Entry 3 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 14, 2009
Kept aside from the bagful because I knew I could find some people who would want to read it.

Journal Entry 4 by Caterinaanna from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 14, 2009
Off on a ray, as soon as I PM the first person on the list. The participants are:
Danielle23
fredam
Arrietty
and
Vilda
who I hope will donate it to 1001-library.

Journal Entry 5 by Caterinaanna at Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, March 16, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (3/16/2009 UTC) at Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom

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Taken to the Post Office today.

Journal Entry 6 by Danielle23 from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Friday, March 20, 2009
Arrived safe and sound yesterday and will be the next book I read when I finish my current ray. Thank you Catherine xx

Journal Entry 7 by Danielle23 from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, March 23, 2009
I found this a strange read, although still enjoyable, that didn't really include enough information about Norah for my liking. Another 1001 book to be crossed off my list though xx

Journal Entry 8 by Danielle23 at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, March 23, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (3/23/2009 UTC) at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom

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Posted off to the next participant in the bookring xx

Journal Entry 9 by fredam from Yateley, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Thank you very much! I look forward to participating in the ring!

Journal Entry 10 by fredam from Yateley, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 12, 2009
I thought this book was wonderful - much better than the other 1001 books I have read thusfar. I wouldn't say it is my favourite genre, but it was sweet, thought provoking and interesting. To be sent on to Arietty.

Journal Entry 11 by Arrietty from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Monday, June 29, 2009
This just arrived from fredam in UK. thanks looking forward to reading as I've always enjoyed reading Shields' books. thanks CaterinAnna for letting me part of this bookring.

Journal Entry 12 by Arrietty from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Saturday, July 11, 2009
I found this a very cleverly written book. Parts were perhaps a bit slow and introspective but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it! I struggled with the title 'Unless' for some time - I felt a more appropriate title would have been 'Useless' only because the author felt so powerless and at times 'invisible' because of her gender. Reta is an author, a mother, daughter-in-law and wife but she comes across as quite isolated even though her life is busy and she has many friends. A disturbing change happens to her eldest daughter which makes Reta question her whole life and the people around her, in particular the role of women. It's more a case of 'what if' or 'why me'.

Then Reta give this explanantion for 'unless':
"Unless is the worry word of the English language. It flies like a moth around the ear, you hardly hear it yet everything depends on its breathy presence.....

Unless you're lucky, unless you're healthy, fertile, unless your'e loved and fed, unless you're clear about your sexual direction....you go down to the darkness, down to despair....

Unless is a miracle of language and perception.... it makes us anxious, makes us cunning. Cunning like volves that crop up in the most cunning fairy tails. But it gives us hope."

Later on at the book's resolution, Reta offers us more hope and says something about being powerless "unless" you ask questions. I think I understand what she's trying to put across. She has a wonderful way with words and although in the book, the author Carol Shields describes in some details, ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, it is a very powerful statement about the lives of women.

This book has so many facets to it. Without spoiling if for future readers, I think I can mention some of them. Reta's novel that she talks about throughout the book, her relationship with her mentor and role model Daniel Westerman, the questioning letters she writes to various celebrities which she never sends, her eldest daughter's bizzare behaviour, the conjunctions she uses as chapter titles and also the musing about her past, her childhood.

I'm not that good at English language, but I really admire the way Shield uses language to weave the words into her ideas (rather than using the words for imagery to describe ideas).

Hope nobody minds my ramble. the good thing about bookcrossing is that if you don't want to hear it, you just don't bother reading it!

Have PMed Vilda for her address, thanks so much CatarinaAnna for sharing the book I've really enjoyed reading and reviewing it.

Journal Entry 13 by wingrunning-galwing from -- Unspecified Location --, South Australia Australia on Sunday, September 06, 2009
Arrietty kindly shared this with me on its way back to the book ray - have to say I really enjoyed it. carol Shields has an easy way with words and the writing had a pleasant rhythym. Enjoyed the story and the 'mystery' of the plot line. Going back to Arrietty now to continue on its journey.

Journal Entry 14 by Arrietty from Adelaide, South Australia Australia on Saturday, September 26, 2009
Have received vilda's address and will send shortly. I am away at the moment so it might be another week before it can be posted, unless my partner who is at home can do it for me.
thanks for sharing. enjoy

Journal Entry 15 by Vilda from Stockholm, Södermanland Sweden on Friday, October 02, 2009
How nice, this book waited for me when I came home from work today. I will just finish what I read at the moment and then get to it!

Journal Entry 16 by Vilda from Stockholm, Södermanland Sweden on Monday, November 02, 2009
I think that the idea of this book will stay with me for quite some time. I love Shields' language (although english is not my mothertongue) and the quietness of Retas despair, anger and sorrow. It was over 10 years since I read "The stone-diaries" which I remeber enjoying as well. Maybe it's time to have another look at it.

Thanks CaterinaAnna for this ray. Now I donate it to the 1001-library as promised.

Journal Entry 17 by 1001-library from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thanks so much for your donation Vilda!

This book is now part of the 1001-library. If you want to take this book from the library but don't know how to proceed, please refer to the 1001-library bookshelf.

Journal Entry 18 by Vilda at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Friday, February 12, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (2/13/2010 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

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I hope you enjoy this book!

Happy Bookcrossing!

Journal Entry 19 by wingAnnimanniwing from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The book is now with me, thanks Vilda! I have a few books to read before I can start with this one but I'll notify the 1001-library as soon as I'm done that it's available again.

Journal Entry 20 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, September 08, 2018
Well, it took "a few" years for me to read this but it was most definitely worth the wait. Skilfully written, sad, poignant and funny at the same time, with subtle anger between the lines, Unless stands among her best work. I think this review by the Guardian is quite apt:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/apr/27/fiction.carolshields

As I no longer belong to the 1001-library, I'll try to find a member who'd like to read this book next.

Journal Entry 21 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Released 7 mos ago (9/30/2018 UTC) at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

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Off to mscar. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 22 by wingmcsarwing at Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Thank you for sending me this well traveled and well received book. I look forward to reading it.

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