Vinegar Hill Oprah Book #28

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Vinegar Hill Oprah Book #28

by A M Ansay

March 1, 1998 | Trade Paperback

Vinegar Hill Oprah Book #28 is rated 2.4 out of 5 by 20.
In a stark, troubling, yet ultimately triumphant celebration of self-determination, award-winning author A. Manette Ansay re-creates a stifling world of guilty and pain, and the tormented souls who inhabit it. It is 1972 when circumstance carries Ellen Grier and her family back to Holly’s Field, Wisconsin. Dutifully accompanying her newly unemployed husband, Ellen has brought her two children into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill--a loveless house suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and routine--where calculated cruelty is a way of life preserved and perpetuated in the service of a rigid, exacting and angry God. Behind a facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that could crush a vibrant young woman’s passionate spirit. And here Ellen must find the straight to endure, change, and grow in the all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.11 × 5.11 × 1.11 in

Published: March 1, 1998

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0380730138

ISBN - 13: 9780380730131

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Like watching a car crash...just can't turn away From the very start this tragic tale had me hooked. I was completely drawn into their world and wanted to know what was going to happen. I like the fact that the author chose to lead the reader down what looked like several predictable paths and then she stopped short of where I thought she was going. It made for a very gripping read.
Date published: 2007-12-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A creepy book not soon forgotten. Haunting but not an enjoyable read. My daughter and I both thought this was a very depressing story.
Date published: 2006-03-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dull I'm still waiting for the rest of the book, somehow I think there are pages missing from my copy...I wonder what happened to the rest?
Date published: 2000-11-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Depressing..... I, like many of the other reviewees thought that this book was very depressing. I am surprised that Oprah had put it on her book club list. I would not recommend this book to anyone!
Date published: 2000-06-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Blah I thought that the whole idea behind this book was interesting enough, but I felt that the author didn't really develop the various reasons behind why Fritz and Mary-Margaret were the way they were. Actually, I thought that the whole book itself could have been longer, and that the story could have been much more captivating if it would have been elaborated upon. Although I felt sympathetic towards Ellen and wanted her to get out of the situation, I found the ending to be rather disappointing. All in all, a fairly "blah" read.
Date published: 2000-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A long journey While the book provides an excellent portrayal of a situation many women find themselves in, the length of time and manner in which the protagonist finally makes her departure, neither makes her strong, nor sets an example for her two young children. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the book as a whole.
Date published: 2000-06-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disturbing Even though set in the 1970's, there are many women today who feel stuck in a bad relationship, feel isolated and empty. Choices, good or bad, are not easy to make. Total BLIND trust in love, in God, in family where it takes away your identity is what this novel is about. I found it interesting and frustrating and I am happy with the end result.
Date published: 2000-05-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very depressing Although the book starts out well with the character descriptions, I found that the main context of the story to be extremely depressing. You want to take the lead character and shake her hard to say "wake up and get out of this situation" I definitely did not find this one of the better selections from Oprah.
Date published: 2000-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our Mothers' Generation This tightly written, insightful book depicts life in an oppressive, religious, mid-western American family in 1972 whose central character is forced to live with her in-laws after her husband loses his job. It is a depressing tale with only a small ray of hope at the end. What really struck me about this novel was how it so graphically portrayed the typical circumstances of an ordinary woman's life as little as thirty years ago. The operative word here is obedience: society, family and the church taught women to obey. As tough as it can be today, it was a heroic achievement for a married woman with children to take a stand on anything, never mind stand up to her own family or her husband and in-laws. Ultimately, the book's great achievement was how it left me with a great deal of empathy towards my mother and the women of her generation.
Date published: 2000-03-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Don't read if you are unhappy with your life The character development was the best part of this book. However, all the characters are completely unhappy with their lives. This book demonstrates the need to understand people from all levels. The reader realizes why each character is so dismal, but the main character is not enlightened and the ending is disappointing. This book was ok, but I wish I had bought it at the discount table instead of paying full price.
Date published: 2000-02-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Oprah is on a Depression Cycle I don't know what the big deal about Oprah's book club is. I find her suggestions (the 5-6 I have read) to be trite and depressing. Isn't there any feel-good, happy-go-lucky, cliched rosy-white-picket-fence novels any more?
Date published: 2000-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dreary A dismal, dreary depressing book.
Date published: 2000-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dreary A dismal, dreary depressing book.
Date published: 2000-02-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing What a waste of time! I usually enjoy Oprah's reads but this book was useless. The story was weak, the setting bleak and the characters were totally unlikable. A. Manette Ansay must be a friend of Ophrah's. There could be no other reason for recommending this book
Date published: 2000-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Vinegar Hill This is the last time that I base my book buying on the suggestions of Oprah! Not a bad read but really no enjoyable value. Rather a bit drawn out with an ending which I was wishing for in the beginning.
Date published: 2000-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Vinegar Hill I would classify this book as average. It starts out interesting enough but is then dragged out to a predictable ending. Save this one for a rainy day.
Date published: 2000-01-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't Bother!! I received this book as a Christmas gift. When the book first came out I also thought it was gonna be good, oh how I was mistaken. I found it very despressing to read about a woman who is so unhappy with her life and her situation. I read the book over 3 days hoping the story would make a change but was sadly disappointed. For a good book suggestion let me share with you the book "The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood". I can't remember the name of the author off hand, but the book was wonderful!
Date published: 2000-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Vinegar Hill This book was unfortunately, nothing special. The main character was too manufactured. I don't mind a depressing book if I can gain some insight from it, but this fell short.
Date published: 2000-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Vinegar Hill When I heard about this book I thought it would be fascinating. However, I found it rather boring. The situation was interesting but it was not a book that I just could not wait to pick up and read. I know I enjoy a book when the story is all I can think about thoughout my day, this never happened with this book.
Date published: 1999-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strong character in a bitter family This heartwrenching tale is a great example of how religion can really screw up people's lives. From the first sentence you know that the main character is not happy, and once you learn more about her husband and his parents, you can understand why. It was so frustrating to read about this woman who was so unhappy and when she would turn to her own mother and sisters, the advice they gave her was so bad. This is one of those books where you can't believe how mean and cruel some of the characters can be, so you have to keep reading in sheer fascination to find out what else happens. My only complaint is that I found the ending rather anti-climatic. Otherwise, a great read.
Date published: 1999-11-26

– More About This Product –

Vinegar Hill Oprah Book #28

by A M Ansay

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.11 × 5.11 × 1.11 in

Published: March 1, 1998

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0380730138

ISBN - 13: 9780380730131

From the Publisher

In a stark, troubling, yet ultimately triumphant celebration of self-determination, award-winning author A. Manette Ansay re-creates a stifling world of guilty and pain, and the tormented souls who inhabit it. It is 1972 when circumstance carries Ellen Grier and her family back to Holly’s Field, Wisconsin. Dutifully accompanying her newly unemployed husband, Ellen has brought her two children into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill--a loveless house suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and routine--where calculated cruelty is a way of life preserved and perpetuated in the service of a rigid, exacting and angry God. Behind a facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that could crush a vibrant young woman’s passionate spirit. And here Ellen must find the straight to endure, change, and grow in the all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.

About the Author

A. Manette Ansay is the author of five novels, including Vinegar Hill, an Oprah Book Club Selection, and Midnight Champagne, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as a short story collection, Read This and Tell Me What It Says, and a memoir, Limbo. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Pushcart Prize, the Nelson Algren Prize, and two Great Lakes Book Awards. She lives with her husband and daughter in Florida, where she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Miami.

From Our Editors

In her tough, debut novel A. Manette Ansay enfolds readers in a gripping narrative that visits the darker side of family life and follows a woman as she gradually attempts to break free of it. When her husband loses his job, Ellen Grier soon finds herself trapped in the rigid Midwestern household of her grim, hateful in-laws. As Ellen watches her husband settling back into life on the prairie she struggles to keep her diminished spirit alive. Then one day she befriends the open-minded Barb, who gives her the courage to pursue her own dreams in the beautifully executed Vinegar Hill.

Editorial Reviews

"A brilliant, bitter book...Manette Ansay’s prose style cuts with a diamond edge."
-- Madison Smartt Bell
"Ansay transcends both feminist epic and Midwestern gothic to achieve, finally, the lunar world of tragedy. This world is lit by the measured beauty of her prose, and the book’s final line is worth the pain it takes to get there."
-- The New Yorker
"A modern-day Little House on the Prairie gone mad...Manette Ansay is a powerful storyteller with lyrical gifts and a wry, observant eye."
-- Amy Tan
"A remarkably well-told tale...that not only rivets our attention but floods our veins with the icy chill of recognition and understanding...Vinegar Hill is a powerful story of a haunting, not by the dead but by the living. It is a haunting you won’t soon forget."
-- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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