In December 1953 Anthony Amedeo's world is nested in his Bronx neighborhood, his parents' Studebaker, the Paradise Theater, Yankee Stadium -- and in his imagination, where he longs for a stencil kit to decorate the windows like all the other kids on his street. Instead he gets a very different present: his uncle Malcolm's family. Malcolm is in jail for stealing -- once again -- from his last new job, and Anthony's aunt and twin cousins settle into the Amedeos' fifth-floor walk-up. Sharing a room with girls is excruciating for Anthony, despite his affinity for the twins. But the real change in Anthony's life comes one evening when he causes the unthinkable to happen, changing each family member's life forever. Evoking all the plenty and optimism of postwar America, Sacred Time spans three generations, taking us from the Bronx of the 1950s to contemporary Brooklyn. Keenly observing the dark side of family as well as its gracefulness, Hegi has outdone herself with this captivating novel about childhood's tenderness and the landscape of loneliness. Ultimately she reveals how the transforming power of a singular event can reverberate through a family for generations. With gravity and poise, Hegi turns her astute yet forgiving eye on the essential frailty and dignity of the human condition in this elegant and fast-paced novel.
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by Ursula Vernon
by Ursula Hegi
by Ursula K. Le Guin
by Peter Ames Carlin
"This multivoiced production relates several decades of a family's ups and downs. The story focuses on four family members, yet the four parts are awkwardly assigned to only three narrators. The result is a long stretch of the least modulated of the voices. Although Mercedes Ruehl's performance meshes poetically with the introspective, battered spirits of the characters, the synergy of reader and text is overshadowed by her overall flatness of tone. In contrast, the shorter sections, read by Bobby Cannavale and Annabella Sciorra, are lively and richly expressive. Cannavale, especially, is easy to listen to, even through his character's most difficult circumstances. This audio, like the family it depicts, is flawed but has moments of grace. D.J. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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