Sunday, May 23, 2010

THE CRADLE: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
EXTENDING TIME TO
10:00 PM, JUNE 7
DUE TO BLOGGER'S
OUTAGES AROUND
THE CRADLE

BY PATRICK SOMERVILLE

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his still-sleeping wife Marissa, gets dressed and eases his truck through Milwaukee, bound for the highway. His wife, pregnant with their first child, has asked him to find the antique cradle taken years before by her mother Caroline when she abandoned Marissa, never to contact her daughter again. Soon to be a mother herself, Marissa now dreams of nothing else but bringing her baby home to the cradle she herself slept in. His wife does not know-does not want to know-where her mother lives, but Matt has an address for Caroline's sister near by and with any luck, he will be home in time for dinner.

Only as Matt tries to track down his wife's mother, he discovers that Caroline, upon leaving Marissa, has led a life increasingly plagued by impulse and irrationality, a mysterious life that grows more inexplicable with each new lead Matt gains, and door he enters. As hours turn into days and Caroline's trail takes Matt from Wisconsin to Minnesota, Illinois, and beyond in search of the cradle, Matt makes a discovery that will forever change Marissa's life, and faces a decision that will challenge everything he has ever known.

Elegant and astonishing, Patrick Somerville tells the story of one man's journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family. Confirming the arrival of an exuberantly talented new writer, THE CRADLE is an uniquely imaginative debut novel that radiates with wisdom and wonder.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Patrick Somerville grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later earned his MFA from Cornell University. He is also the author of the story collection Trouble (Vintage, 2006). He lives with his wife in Chicago, where he teaches creative writing at Northwestern University.
Go HERE to view a video about Patrick Somerville's THE CRADLE.

READING GROUP GUIDE: Click HERE to get to the entire Reading Group Guide.
Here are the Group Discussion Questions from there which is just part of this wonderful resource.

READING GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. What does Matt mean when he tells Joe, “You’re free,” as they eat breakfast in the diner?

2. In your opinion, what is the significance of the cradle?

3. Renee’s story occurs more than a decade after Matt’s, and in
many ways the two characters exist in different worlds. How are their respective quests similar? How are their journeys different?

4. Why does Marissa cry on her wedding day?

5. Why do you think Matt rips the showerhead out of the wall?

6. In the novel’s first chapter, Marissa claims, “There are two
kinds of people in the world. There are people who understand that everything matters and people who don’t understand that everything matters” (page 6). What does she mean by this? Is she serious? Use her statement as a way to think about the various characters in the book.

7. How is writing poetry different for Renee than her work writing
children’s books? Why do you think she struggles so much with the former, and how does that struggle change in the course of the novel? How does Renee’s understanding of Walt Whitman’s work play a role?

8. Matt comes to the realization that “the world never just happened
but rather was made by people, each and every aspect of it” (page 157). How does this realization affect his sense of personal responsibility?

9. Who was the character you most identified with at the beginning
of the novel? Did that change by the conclusion of the story?

10. Why do you think that, following Matt’s return, Marissa never
again asked about the cradle?

REVIEW:


Patrick Somerville’s novel, THE CRADLE, is a story quite different from my initial thoughts. Through Somerville’s expert narrative, the reader will find two stories, intricately woven together in a subtle way, about loss, love, belongings, and those things that unite a family. What I considered the main story is set in the Midwest and about Marissa and Matthew Bishop who are eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child. Marissa gets an idea in her head that she wants the cradle she was in as a baby to use for their baby. The only problem is that she doesn’t know where it s. When last seen, it was with Marissa’s mother who disappeared years ago, abandoning Marissa. Matthew, who was working extra time to save for the baby, is not eager to go off on a wild good chase and tries to convince Marissa that this Civil War era cradle can’t possibly make a big difference but she is set on having that cradle.

Matthew sets out on this search and luckily gets a lead to the whereabouts of the cradle. Traveling from one place to another, Matt slowly begins to uncover secrets about Marissa’s family which in turn make him think about his own life…thoughts he had hoped to keep buried away.

The second story is about another set of parents, Renee and Bill, who are agonizing as they watch their nineteen year old son enlist in the army. Renee is hiding a secret in her very complicated past and it comes back to haunt her as she watches her son enlist. This is a secret that she has kept from before she was married. Renee has strong objections to the war in Iraq and so it is amazing as you read these two stories and start to realize that there just might be a connection between the two couples. Although the book goes back and forth between the two stories, Sommerville skillfully blends the two seemingly unrelated stories together leaving readers with a worthwhile, satisfying conclusion.

Filled with intriguing characters and suspenseful moments that draw you in and make you care about them and what happens to them, THE CRADLE is a story of happiness, hope, and the true meaning of family. This would be a wonderful book club choice as the story leaves one wanting to discuss all the twists and turns, and the interesting characters.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO VALERIE AND THE
HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
THREE COPIES OF THIS EXCITING
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY!



--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THE CRADLE IN THE INFORMATION ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY:
BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND THEN COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY:
COMMENT ON IF YOU ARE A GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER AND IF YOU AREN'T, YOU CAN BECOME ONE AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE HERE

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
10 PM, EST, JUNE 7

GOOD LUCK!

77 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I really enjoyed this book too, but I wished it was longer. No need to enter me.

Patty said...

I love the characters and the suspense in this book...and the cover looks yummy, too...

Pamela Keener said...

I follow your blog via GFC.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

The premise of this book sounds very inviting. I just want to know what the connection is between the two couples & does he ever find the cradle.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

debbie said...

It sounds like a good book, it is always interesting to see how the actions of parents affect their children, all the way into adulthood.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

sharon54220 said...

I am definitely a GFC follower.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

Being a transplant in Wisconsin, this piqued my interest. I find it interesting that he went on the search for the cradle.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Debbie F said...

I'm a follower! GFC & Google reader!

thanks
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I want to read this so bad! I have heard so many great review on it. I love the aspect of looking for the cradle and the effect the actions of the mother on the child.
Definitely count me in! thanks of much.
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

LLL with Leslie said...

I follow your blog.

livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

LLL with Leslie said...

I like how there a surprises that pop up in their lives.

livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

LLL with Leslie said...

tweet.

http://twitter.com/laughwithleslie/status/14588463085

livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

Charleydog said...

Chasing the cradle - is it going to lead to happiness or sorrow?

Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Bethie said...

I follow on GFC

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I think it interesting that she wants her baby to sleep in the cradle that she slept in.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

traveler said...

Thanks for featuring this compelling story with a unique and memorable storyline. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Elizabeth said...

I really enjoyed this book when I reviewed the hard cover. It made me glad to know that there's a man out there who would go on such a quest, even if he was grumbling about it. That's love! Also, I definitely think this PB cover is more appealing.

Karen said...

I'm entering your giveaway. This book sounds so good!

kzupancic[at]yahoo[dot]com

Commchick said...

I'm interested to see how the two stories are connected...

belchers@jccal.org

Tore said...

The book sound very interesting. Its amazing what a loving Husband will do for his Wife to make her husband. Please enter me in contest. Thank you. Tore923@aol.com

Christine H said...

I can say I don't think I've ever read a story with two different stories that didn't relate to one another in the same book. Should be interesting.

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

tweet: http://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/14624049855
chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I'm a GFC follower
Christine H
chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

Facebook post: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100000641625482&v=wall&story_fbid=102240833156275

chirth7@yahoo.com

Patiently Waiting said...

The story sounds great and I like how it is told from two different parental views. I look forward to reading it!!!

patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

Patiently Waiting said...

I am a google friend!!!!

patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

Patiently Waiting said...

http://twitter.com/HtxAstrosFan/status/14626255421

tweet!!!

patientlywaitingbooks at gmail dot com

Jenna said...

I am also a follower

papajm25{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Jenna said...

The characters sound dynamic, and I like the antique connection.

papajm25{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Cindy W. said...

I would really love to win this book. What a wonderful concept to go on a treasure hunt so to speak for his wife's childhood cradle.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

enyl said...

I like that there are to subtly related stories. I to finding the connections well before the conclusion.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

Tweeted.
twitter.com@enylstil#cradle
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

GFC follower.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

rubynreba said...

I follow on google
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I think it sounds so interesting how they would go on a search for a cradle. Sounds like a good book!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Shirley said...

I just find it interesting that she so wants that old cradle, I guess I don't know manty people who hold onto past items. We always sold everything when the kids out grew it.And I always wanted new stuff thta I got to pick out when I had my babies.

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://twitter.com/Grandmamaof10/status/14689842822
psted on twitter.

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

I am a GFC follower
Shirley H
shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

posted on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100001087052807&v=wall&story_fbid=120091318031630

shundelt@yahoo.com

Debbie said...

I'm a GFC follower.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Debbie said...

Sounds great and very intriguing to be told from the male perspective. That is a new angle.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

bison61 said...

this book does sound good, Matt makes a discovery that will forever change Marissa's life-makes me wonder what that is

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Angie said...

I am a GFC follower

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

Angie said...

The synopsis doesn't even hit at a second storyline couple. thanks for putting me in the know!

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

degood said...

As soon as a read a review of this, I was interested in reading it. I hadn't heard about the second story line with the mom who is sending her son to war before.

kerrie@mayansfamily.com

degood said...

follow your blog as degood with google friend connect.

kerrie@mayansfamily.com

Melanie said...

I follow via GFC (MelanieL)

peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Melanie said...

I want to know why she wants that cradle so badly and what links the two different families together.

peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

gcpeach17 said...

This book has my attention! First I cannot imagine a husband doing this but, I can imagine wanting the cradle! Please, count me in on this giveaway.

gcpeach17 at aol dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow on gfc.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I like that it's set in the Midwest. That almost always draws me in to a book. :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Arch said...

I find this story quite intriguing and would like to know about the mysterious life that Caroline led...

archanaskorner(at)gmail(dot)com

StephTheBookworm said...

I follow through Google.

stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

StephTheBookworm said...

Wow, does this sound fascinating or what! I am very intrigued to know about what her mother has been up to and all the mystery surrounding her.

Margie said...

I like stories with a little bit of mystery and a bond between family members.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

LAMusing said...

I follow on GFC

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

It is a fascinating subject - what really makes a family? Would love to read it!

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Shirley said...

+ 5 for signing up for swag bucks

shundelt@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

+5 for swag bucks
chirth7@yahoo.com

christina said...

I'd like to no more about why the cradle was so important. it's not like they are in them to long. I didn't even have one with my baby but it soundsd interesting I'd like to read it.
Thanks! christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100001144971475&v=wall&story_fbid=126727514016738&ref=mf

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

http://twitter.com/Christina101092/status/15443660030

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

+5 for signing up for swag bucks

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

I am a GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER christina101092@yahoo.com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow via GFC and subscriber


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot

misskallie2000 said...

I added to my wish list after the first review I read. I want to know the connections to the cradle. I love mystery and suspense and this sounds like a book full of both.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

twitter follower(@misskallie2000)

tweet

misskallie2000 http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/05/cradle-review-and-giveaway.html
less than 10 seconds ago via web


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

409cope said...

I follow through google friend.cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I can feel for the couple in the book who had their son enlist as hubby was in the army and one of our sons was going to join before changing his mind.cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Debi said...

I am certainly curious about the families and how they come together in this story. I find it amazing that the husband would travel across the midwest to find a cradle and learn of things long buried. Please enter me!

debraldufek AT hotmail DOT com

joleehamlin said...

Think the questions seem illuminating, and the characters, striking. joleehamlin at comcast dot net

Christine Hirth said...

L:ike like to read the book to understand why that cradle means that much to her.

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine Hirth said...

I'd like to read the book and fins out why this cradle is so important to her.

chirth7@yahoo.com

joleehamlin said...

gfc suscriber joleehamlin at comcast dot net

Christine Hirth said...

http://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/15647433930

chirth7@yahoo.com

Nancye said...

Something I learned that I thought was interesting was in the review. You wrote that there were basically 2 separate stories in the book. I am interested in reading this because I want to see how the stories are intertwined to be separate but a part of the same book.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/15665963850

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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