Disobedience

Disobedience

by Jane Hamilton

Hardcover(LARGEPRINT)

$31.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

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Disobedience 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel introduces so many real emotions that often go unacknowledged....the book takes the reader through such awesome insight dealing with love, insecurity, betrayl, and most importantly, understaning. I was sad to end the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must admit that I am an avid fan of Jane Hamilton, and I found this novel comparable to her others through its profound simplicity in dealing with life crises. A remark made to Henry by his father, Kevin, about the intricacies of the marriage relationship illustrates my point. 'It's best if both parties understand at the start that you're going to be two flawed people stumbling along through the years, making it up as you go,' he tells his son. Hamilton has a way of making us see our fallibilities while, at the same time, maintaining our dignity. The experiences of this seemingly 'dysfunctional' family are not so different from those that many of us have faced. I would highly recommend the book, both for its insight and entertainment value.
pdebolt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been a Hamilton fan since "Map of the World," but I was very disappointed in this book. The characters were not realistic, despite an intriguing and viable premise. I thought the adolescent's son voice was stilted and the parents too weak to elicit the reader's empathy or interest. I didn't like any of the characters and forced myself to finish the book, hoping for a meaningful resolution, which never came.
joshberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite being narrated by a teenage boy, this feels like a woman's book, heavy on relationships and family dynamics. Hamilton's writing is polished and highly readable, sometimes ingenious and truly funny. I appreciated the extended Civil War metaphor, and Elvira's/Elvirnon's part in it. Ultimately, though, I didn't feel the characters deeply enough to make me want to rush back to their story.
bataviabirders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every time I read one of Jane Hamilton's books I love her writing even more. Who else can wrap you into a world, defining people so clearly that you expect to look around and see them at the coffee shop? "It was possibly because he had no ego that he was more fully himself than anyone else I could name."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually love Hamilton's writing , but this one literally put me to sleep . Would highly recommend this book for anyone who suffers from insomnia ! ! ! The 2 stars are for the beautiful language and excellent writing skills .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paloma More than 1 year ago
Pick a loaded word like "disobedience" for your title and write "Reading somone else's e-mail is a quiet, clean enterprise," and you have something to write about. Jane Hamilton, however, has brought me to disobey to original call to read this book by page 51. There is no focus. No theme that starts to warm the pages. No tension in the boy's mind who has invaded his mother's e-mail and imagines her to be having an affair. No reason to have the history teacher father and the on-beyond-tomboy daughter because they exist outside the boy, the mother, and the e-mail, without being woven together. Hamilton's main character might be original, but he is smothered by his imaginings of his mother. Best to go back to the classics before writing a classic theme into modern technology. Or, if what you're after is a young protagonist who is supposedly not contributing to the events at hand, try Lovely Bones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, I want to say that I hardly ever remember the titles of books I have read, unless they are part of an author's series and appear at the front of subsequent books. That said, I saw this title in the bargain list and it sparked my memory. Maybe this will not appeal to those who relate more to the parents' age range in the novel, but for those of us nearer to the 17-year-old end of the spectrum, it is a suspenseful and refreshing read with plenty of real-life family quirks - everyone gets dragged to a Civil War reenactment, for instance. And this is an audio version read by the hottie from 'Much Ado About Nothing' - how can you go wrong? Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't even finish it! I read 'Book of Ruth' by this author and LOVED it, and also read 'Map of the World' which was just 'ok' so I thought I'd give this one a try. UGH! It was a struggle to just read half of it and finally I just gave up, and it's the first book I couldn't finish. Enough with the sister and her civil war obsession. Yawn Yawn Yawn!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the subject i thought would be very interesting -- how a boy and family deal with a mother's betrayal. however, i could not even get half way through the book...i felt as if i was reading the same chapter over and over. the way the plot was written made it cheesy to me (the whole cyber-love thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a plot-driven yarn, this is not the book for you. But Hamilton has, in her extraordinarily insightful way, created a family and a situation that allow for some wonderful explorations of love, marriage, parenting, childhood, family expectations, sexuality, loyalty and commitment -- to name just a few things that every family and every person in a family experience in one way or another. Hamilton has never created a character that doesn't ring true. She manages to pull us inside her stories because though we may not like what is happening, we know the reality of it exists. In each one of her books, the reader is left with a heart full of compassion, which is a whole lot better than ending up with a nice, tidy, happily-ever-after ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Half way through the book and it's still about a young man and his civil war obsessed little sister and not the discovery of his mothers e-mail account of her involvement with a fellow musician. I know more about civil war uniforms than anything else. First read of this author--absolutely not impressed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous reviewers- I have really enjoyed her other books, but was unimpressed with this one. Some interesting characters, but overall, slow, not terribly engaging, and kind of pretentious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Hamilton is my favorite author so I guess I was expecting a bit too much of this novel. When I read her books I am always envious of her talent for accurately potraying the way people really think. Well, I would say that this is the main problem with Disobedience: it had too much of Henry's thoughts (and he's not that interesting) and not enough plot. A lot of facts are repeated in his narrative without much change, he seems obsessed with his mother's life but not in an engaging way. The talent was very obviously there in Jane Hamilton's writing but that wasn't enough to make this as great as Ruth, Map, and Prince.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work at a bookstore, and as an employee, I am always looking for books to suggest. This is definetly going to be one of them. The story seems typical, (wife has affair, unhappy marriage, unappreciatve kids), but the author takes a different avenue, and brings in a new storyline that I had not expected to find.. Definetly worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard such great things about this book before it came out and I was eger to read it. I had to force myself to read it in hopes that it would pick up. It was an ok book...it wasn't one of those books that you can't put down. I had no problem putting it down. Finally I finished it...I liked the message and there were parts I really liked. I liked the idea but with Henry being the narriator it was just boring. I think I might of liked it better if Beth was the narrator. Over all not one of the best books I have ever read....Sorry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Family dynamics and teenage angst hold sway in Disobedience, a stunning fourth novel from the gifted Jane Hamilton. With empathy and affection she enters her characters' lives to skillfully explore the ever changing landscape of human mind and heart. Disobedience assumes varying forms and guises in this chronicle of one year in the life of the Shaw family, beginning with 17-year-old Henry who inadvertently opens his mother's email to discover that she is having an impassioned affair with Richard Polloco, a Ukrainian violin maker. With his painful past of family terror during the Bolshevik Revolution, Polloco becomes to Beth Shaw '...a person with something real that had happened to him, that had wounded him. He was a person she might be able to comfort, a man she could lead out of the dark past, going from light to light to light.' Online in her loving notes to Polloco, pianist and solid mother Beth has become Liza38, an i.d. bestowed upon her by Henry when he introduced her to the mysteries of computer operation. He wanted her to have a name with some gusto and this 'sounded like the code name of a blond spy with a sizable bust' rather than a 'flat, no crackle name, Beth.' The family is rounded out by father, Kevin, and thirteen-tear-old Elvira, a devoted, sometimes obsessive Civil War re-enactor who disguises herself as drummer boy Elviron to participate. She persists in always dressing in handmade Union uniforms, even to adding a clanking sword as she attends a family wedding. Elvira is encouraged in this pursuit by Kevin and worried over by Beth. When Kevin, a liberal leaning high school history teacher, is ousted from his job in Vermont, a place Henry views as his 'deepest sense of home,' the Shaws move to an upscale suburb in Chicago. Self described as 'the heavyweight champion of depressed teenagehood,' Henry wears long hair and wire rimmed specs. He is somewhat of a loner at his exclusive new school, and further alienated by the knowledge of Beth's unfaithfulness. Alternately fascinated and repelled, he knows he should not continue his 'electronic eavesdropping,' but he does. To him, her defection marks a loss of the childhood security that he once felt within his family circle. His response is further complicated by the fact that he has just experienced his first sexual encounter. Beth's confessions of guilt to an online friend do little to win Henry's understanding or forgiveness. There are times when he is nominally courteous to her at best, entering into dinner table conversations only to taunt or disparage Elvira. Some solace is found for Henry in his friendship with Karen, a schoolmate, who with her dyed black hair and bizarre clothing 'looked as if she were a fifty-year-old masquerading as a teenager.' Were he to confide his mother's infidelity to Karen, he imagines she might attribute it to a menopausal thing, saying, 'Think of the last egg hobbling down the fallopian tube, shrieking for one last sperm.' Ms. Hamilton has created an endearing figure in Henry, one who narrates his story with the insightfulness and bravado of an intelligent teenager. He is an embodiment of the difficulties encountered in growing up. Reluctantly he accompanies Kevin, Beth and Elvira to a reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh. It is here that unforeseen events alter the family's course forever. Deftly assured and almost preternaturally attuned to the feelings of a 17-year-old boy, Ms. Hamilton has again penned a story laced with humor, deep rooted love, and compassion. One could not find an abler guide to chart safe passage through the shoals of family life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave up on this book about a third of the way in. I just could not get into it, and I NEVER give up on books. It was still giving background information, and I found it rather boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was completely dragged on. Throughout the whole book she keeps the reader waiting for the family to find out about Beth Shaw's affair. I thought that end was disappointing. It was so cheesy. Boo to this book!!!