Rise and shine A novel

Anna Quindlen

Book - 2006

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FICTION/Quindlen, Anna
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New York : Random House c2006.
1st ed
Physical Description
269 p. ; 25 cm
Main Author
Anna Quindlen (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Muttering a string of bitter profanities sotto voce at the conclusion of a particularly contentious interview, Meghan Fitzmaurice, the queen of morning television, realizes too late that her microphone is still on. Her on-air gaffe instantly becomes delectable fodder for Manhattan's predatory cocktail-party circuit, which is where her idolatrous younger sister, Bridget, first learns of Meghan's meteoric fall from grace. Normally the epitome of cool aplomb, Meghan can trace her uncharacteristic outburst to her husband's almost simultaneous announcement that he's leaving her after 21 years of marriage. Sequestering herself on a remote island far from the professional deathwatch conducted by the media and paparazzi, Meghan trusts Bridget to pick up the pieces of her abandoned life, including providing emotional and familial stability for her college-age son, Leo. Although such life-altering events constitute the novel's moral touchstones, it is in the minutiae of Meghan's and Bridget's lives that Quindlen poignantly reveals the sisters' individual strengths and faults. Moving from the fetid tenements of the Bronx to the ethereal penthouses of Manhattan, Quindlen pens a lavishly perceptive homage to the city she loves, while her transcendentally agile and empathic observations of the human condition underlie the Fitzmaurice sisters' discovery of the transience of fame and the permanence of family. ((Reviewed July 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

When Rise and Shine radio show host Meghan Fitzmaurice is caught mouthing a few bad words with her mike open, her career-and her life-end up in ruins. But it does allow her to remake her tentative relationship with younger sister Bridget. With a national tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Meghan Fitzmaurice is a famous morning talk-show host living a privileged life in New York. Her husband, Evan, is a good man; her 19-year-old son, Leo, is well adjusted and wonderful; and she has enough money to do as she pleases. Bridget, the narrator of the story and Meghan's younger sister, is a single social worker who handles crises at a women's shelter in the Bronx and spends sporadic evenings with her boyfriend Irving Lefkowitz, a hard-nosed cop who is old enough to be her father. Despite the sisters' different lifestyles and personalities, they retain a closeness born of a difficult childhood. As women in their forties, they still slip into their big sister/little sister roles, with Meghan taking charge and Bridget feeling a little sister's awe. But within one 24-hour period, both Meghan's marriage and her career fall apart. As Meghan disappears from sight in order to tend to her wounds, Bridget must learn to be the stronger one even while she deals with her own crumbling perceptions of reality, which have always kept her going. Best-selling author Quindlen (Blessings ) has created a thoroughly engaging story peppered with memorable characters, who are humorously and touchingly drawn. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/06.] Joy Humphrey, Pepperdine Univ. Law Lib., Malibu, CA [Page 73]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bridget Fitzmaurice, the narrator of Quindlen's engrossing fifth novel, works for a women's shelter in the Bronx; her older sister, Meghan, cohost of the popular morning show Rise and Shine , is the most famous woman on television. Bridget acts as a second mother to the busy Meghan's college student son, Leo; Meghan barely tolerates Bridget's significant other, a gritty veteran police detective named Irving Lefkowitz. After 9/11 (which happens off-camera) and the subsequent walking out of Meghan's beleaguered husband, Evan, Meghan calls a major politician a "fucking asshole" before her microphone gets turned off for a commercial, and Megan and Bridget's lives change forever. As Bridget struggles to mend familial fences and deal with reconfigurations in their lives wrought by Meghan's single phrase, Quindlen has her lob plenty of pungent observations about both life in class-stratified New York City and about family dynamics. The situation is ripe with comic potential, which Bridget deadpans her way through, and Quindlen goes along with Bridget's cool reserve and judgmentalism. The plot is very imbalanced: a couple of events early, then virtually nothing until a series of major revelations in the last 50 or so pages. The prose is top-notch; readers may be more interested in Quindlen's insights than in the lives of her two main characters. (Aug. 28) [Page 29]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Her career in ruins after muttering profanity into an open mike, Meghan Fitzmaurice, host of the country's most popular morning talk show, discovers that her disgrace has had a profound impact on the lives of those around her.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Her career in ruins after muttering profanity into an open mike, Meghan Fitzmaurice, host of the country's most popular morning talk show, discovers that her disgrace has had a profound impact on the lives of those around her, including her sister Bridget, a Bronx social worker who has always lived in her shadow. Reader's Guide included. Reprint. 250,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From Anna Quindlen, acclaimed author of Blessings, Black and Blue, and One True Thing, a superb novel about two sisters, the true meaning of success, and the qualities in life that matter most.

It’s an otherwise ordinary Monday when Meghan Fitzmaurice’s perfect life hits a wall. A household name as the host of Rise and Shine, the country’s highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break–but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike.

In an instant, it’s the end of an era, not only for Meghan, who is unaccustomed to dealing with adversity, but also for her younger sister, Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan’s long shadow. The effect of Meghan’s on-air truth telling reverberates through both their lives, affecting Meghan’s son, husband, friends, and fans, as well as Bridget’s perception of her sister, their complex childhood, and herself. What follows is a story about how, in very different ways, the Fitzmaurice women adapt, survive, and manage to bring the whole teeming world of New York to heel by dint of their smart mouths, quick wits, and the powerful connection between them that even the worst tragedy cannot shatter.