Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker

April 11, 2006
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  Once Upon a Day
Lisa Tucker

Atria
April 11, 2006
Hardcover/339 pages
ISBN: 0-7434-9277-3

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". . . a complex tale that will enthrall readers from the first page to the last."

"Tucker?s compassion for her characters and their flaws shines through."

"…Tucker adeptly delves into an array of issues… childhood poverty, the nature of grief and guilt, parent-child relationships, morality in media and the perennial search for love."

In her impressive third novel, Once Upon a Day, Lisa Tucker weaves together a complex tale that will enthrall readers from the first page to the last.

Twenty-three year old Dorothea O’Brien is on a quest to find her older brother, who left the ‘Sanctuary’ where they had lived with their father since early childhood. Sheltered her entire life from the modern world, she is ill-equipped to deal with the challenges facing her. In a twist of fate, she meets Stephen, a cabdriver who has retreated from the world as well, unable to overcome his own loss. Together they will trace the path of Dorothea’s past, uncovering long-held secrets and discovering themselves in the process.

Throughout Dorothea’s odyssey, from the bleak landscape of New Mexico, to the rush of city life in Missouri, to her ultimate voyage of discovery in California, Tucker adeptly delves into an array of issues. These include childhood poverty, the nature of grief and guilt, parent-child relationships, morality in media and the perennial search for love. Shifting from present day to the 1970s and back again, the story gracefully ties together the lives of each character with a flawless synchronicity.

Tucker’s compassion for her characters and their flaws shines through. She gives them each an authentic voice, which will have readers empathizing with them even during their most deplorable actions. We are caught up in the lives of these people, anxiously anticipating the climatic outcome, enraptured by their foibles, their pain, and their hopes.

Supremely satisfying, Once Upon a Day will be welcomed by Tucker’s fans, embraced by new readers and should prove a popular selection for reading clubs.

Reviewer: Lesley Williams

 

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