A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton

Both an “Oprah” book club selection and the basis for a 1999 movie with Sigourney Weaver, this 1994 novel received excellent reviews. Reviewers lauded Hamilton for a “beautifully developed and written story” calling it a powerful novel with universal applications. With that said, I disliked this book with its plot hinging on the drowning death of a 2 year old girl and the trial of a main character charged with child sexual abuse. Also featured are the shunning of “outsiders” in a small midwestern city, the death of the family farm and violence (and bad food) in a women’s prison. If you are looking for a book to cheer you up, this is not the ticket.

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Reviewed by: kh


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