The Book Borrower: A Novel

The Book Borrower: A Novel

by Alice Mattison


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On the first page of The Book Borrower, Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in 1975 in a New York City playground, where the two women are looking after their babies. Deborah lends Toby a book, Trolley Girl,—a memoir about a long ago trolley strike and three Jewish sisters, one a fiery revolutionary—that will disappear and reappear throughout the twenty-two years these women are friends.

Through two decades Deborah and Toby raise their children, embark on teaching careers, and argue about politics, education, and their own lives. One day during a hike, they have an argument that cannot be resolved—and the two women take different, permanent paths—but it is ultimately the borrowed book that will bring them back together. With sensitivity and grace, Alice Mattison shows how books can rescue us from our deepest sorrows; how the events of the outside world play into our private lives; and how the bonds between women are enduring, mysterious, and laced with surprise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061153020
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/16/2008
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 952,062
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Alice Mattison is the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, including Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn. She teaches fiction in the graduate writing program at Bennington College in Vermont and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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