Many of Grimms' folk tales have enjoyed enduring popularity. The tales are available in more than languages and have been adapted by filmmakers including Lotte Reiniger and Walt Disney , with films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. During the s and 40s, the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich ; later in the 20th century, psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in original versions of some of the tales which the Grimms eventually sanitized.
The family became prominent members of the community, residing in a large home surrounded by fields. Biographer Jack Zipes writes that the brothers were happy in Steinau and "clearly fond of country life". In , Philipp Grimm died of pneumonia, plunging his family into poverty, and they were forced to relinquish their servants and large house.
Dorothea depended on financial support from her father and sister, who was the first lady-in-waiting at the court of William I, Elector of Hesse. Jacob was the eldest living son, and he was forced at age 11 to assume adult responsibilities shared with Wilhelm for the next two years. The two boys adhered to the advice of their grandfather, who continually exhorted them to be industrious. The brothers left Steinau and their family in to attend the Friedrichsgymnasium in Kassel , which had been arranged and paid for by their aunt. By then, they were without a male provider their grandfather died that year , forcing them to rely entirely on each other, and they became exceptionally close.
The two brothers differed in temperament; Jacob was introspective and Wilhelm was outgoing although he often suffered from ill-health. Sharing a strong work ethic, they excelled in their studies. In Kassel, they became acutely aware of their inferior social status relative to "high-born" students who received more attention. Still, each brother graduated at the head of his class: Jacob in and Wilhelm in After graduation from the Friedrichsgymnasium , the brothers attended the University of Marburg.
The university was small with about students and there they became painfully aware that students of lower social status were not treated equally. They were disqualified from admission because of their social standing and had to request dispensation to study law.
Wealthier students received stipends, but the brothers were excluded even from tuition aid. Their poverty kept them from student activities or university social life; ironically, however, their outsider status worked in their favor, and they pursued their studies with extra vigor. The brothers were inspired by their law professor Friedrich von Savigny , who awakened in them an interest in history and philology , and they turned to studying medieval German literature.
Through Savigny and his circle of friends— German romantics such as Clemens Brentano and Ludwig Achim von Arnim —the Grimms were introduced to the ideas of Johann Gottfried Herder , who thought that German literature should revert to simpler forms, which he defined as Volkspoesie natural poetry as opposed to Kunstpoesie artistic poetry.
Jacob was still financially responsible for his mother, brother, and younger siblings in , so he accepted a post in Paris as research assistant to von Savigny. On his return to Marburg, he was forced to abandon his studies to support the family, whose poverty was so extreme that food was often scarce. He took a job with the Hessian War Commission.
In a letter written to his aunt at this time, Wilhelm wrote of their circumstances, "We five people eat only three portions and only once a day". Jacob found full-time employment in when he was appointed court librarian to the King of Westphalia and went on to become librarian in Kassel. He arranged and paid for his brother Ludwig 's studies at art school and for Wilhelm's extended visit to Halle to seek treatment for heart and respiratory ailments, following which Wilhelm joined Jacob as librarian in Kassel.
According to Jack Zipes, at this point "the Grimms were unable to devote all their energies to their research and did not have a clear idea about the significance of collecting folk tales in this initial phase. During their employment as librarians—which paid little but afforded them ample time for research—the brothers experienced a productive period of scholarship, publishing a number of books between and In , Wilhelm married Henriette Dorothea Dortchen Wild, a long-time family friend and one of a group who supplied them with stories.
Jacob never married but continued to live in the household with Wilhelm and Dortchen. During the next seven years, the brothers continued to research, write, and publish. The two brothers taught German studies at the university, becoming well-respected in the newly established discipline. The s were a period of political upheaval and peasant revolt in Germany, leading to the movement for democratic reform known as Young Germany.
For refusing to sign the oath, the seven professors were dismissed and three were deported from Hanover, including Jacob who went to Kassel. He was later joined there by Wilhelm, Dortchen, and their four children. The brothers were without income in and again in extreme financial difficulty, so they began what became a lifelong project: the writing of a definitive dictionary. The brothers again depended on friends and supporters for financial assistance and influence in finding employment.
In addition to teaching posts, the Academy of Sciences offered them stipends to continue their research. Once they had established their household in Berlin, they directed their efforts towards the work on the German dictionary and continued to publish their research.
After the Revolutions of in the German states , the brothers were elected to the civil parliament. Jacob became a prominent member of the National Assembly at Mainz. In the late s, Jacob resigned his university position and saw the publication of The History of the German Language Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Wilhelm continued at his university post until After retiring from teaching, the brothers devoted themselves to the German Dictionary for the rest of their lives.
He continued work on the dictionary until his own death in Zipes writes of the Grimm brothers' dictionary and of their very large body of work: "Symbolically the last word was Frucht fruit. The rise of romanticism , Romantic nationalism , and trends in valuing popular culture in the early 19th century revived interest in fairy tales, which had declined since their lateth-century peak. They collected and published their tales as a reflection of German cultural identity. In the first collection, though, they included Charles Perrault 's tales, published in Paris in and written for the literary salons of an aristocratic French audience.
Scholar Lydie Jean says that Perrault created a myth that his tales came from the common people and reflected existing folklore to justify including them—even though many of them were original. Versions of tales differ from region to region, "picking up bits and pieces of local culture and lore, drawing a turn of phrase from a song or another story and fleshing out characters with features taken from the audience witnessing their performance. However, as Tatar explains, the Grimms appropriated stories as being uniquely German, such as " Little Red Riding Hood ", which had existed in many versions and regions throughout Europe, because they believed that such stories were reflections of Germanic culture.
When Jacob returned to Marburg from Paris in , their friend Brentano sought the brothers' help in adding to his collection of folk tales, at which time the brothers began to gather tales in an organized fashion. These tales were heavily modified in transcription, and many had roots in previously written sources. It is the earliest extant version of the Grimms' collection and has become a valuable source to scholars studying the development of the Grimms' collection from the time of its inception.
The manuscript was published in and again in The brothers gained a reputation for collecting tales from peasants, although many tales came from middle-class or aristocratic acquaintances.
Wilhelm's wife Dortchen Wild and her family, with their nursery maid, told the brothers some of the more well-known tales, such as " Hansel and Gretel " and " Sleeping Beauty ". Despite her middle-class background, in the first English translation she was characterized as a peasant and given the name Gammer Gretel. According to scholars such as Ruth Bottigheimer and Maria Tatar , some of the tales probably originated in written form during the medieval period with writers such as Straparola and Boccaccio , but were modified in the 17th century and again rewritten by the Grimms. Moreover, Tatar writes that the brothers' goal of preserving and shaping the tales as something uniquely German at a time of French occupation was a form of "intellectual resistance" and, in so doing, they established a methodology for collecting and preserving folklore that set the model followed later by writers throughout Europe during periods of occupation.
From onward, the brothers added to the collection. Jacob established the framework, maintained through many iterations; from until his death, Wilhelm assumed sole responsibility for editing and rewriting the tales. He made the tales stylistically similar, added dialogue, removed pieces "that might detract from a rustic tone", improved the plots, and incorporated psychological motifs. He believes that Wilhelm "gleaned" bits from old Germanic faiths , Norse mythology, Roman and Greek mythology , and biblical stories that he reshaped. Yes, I did that too, for a while, but the difference was that I was sixteen at the time, and I've gone off Ian McEwan lately, for reasons I'm not particularly proud of.
Yes, I did that too, for a while, but the difference was that I was sixteen at the time, and now I'm reading Cervantes and McEwan can't exactly compete.
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Nonetheless, it's dreadfully unfair of me to say this, really. Who am I to judge? Exactly no one. So I read this book carefully, trying to see if my latest beliefs about McEwan were correct or not. And I was a bit sceptical: I noticed a lot of things from Saturday reappearing, the things I've come to think of as McEwan tropes: science, literature; expensive, educated, privileged people brushing briefly against the sordid working classes and feeling themselves soiled as a result.
What McEwan likes to do, I think, is choose an interesting situation, put his characters in it and then see what happens, preferably using as many of the features I listed above. But this time is impressively convoluted, even for him: a tragic balloon accident opens the book, and you think that's all, but then, from this tragic accident emerges between two of the characters or, really, from one character to another a kind of obsessive love.
This love proceeds to destroy the marriage of its victim, but really what the book is about is the conflict between a way of thinking based on logical scientific reasoning and one based on emotions. But here I come to my evidence. You see, I like to think I'm more than just an average nobody typing nonsense for a book-themed social networking site; I, I tell myself, am a scientist, and more importantly, I am an intelligent human being. This means that if I make a claim, I try to back it up it with evidence, with some sort of example that supports what I'm saying.
You see, McEwan sets up this conflict between science and literature quite nicely, in my opinion , but then essentially abandons it, leaving it to curl up in a little whimpering heap and die. In a quintessentially McEwan way, he suggests interesting things but offers no opinion on them, no discussion, no give-and-take of ideas. This, I believe, gives his books the outward appearance of being clever and interesting, erudite even, but, I claim, they are not.
They are Jodi Picoult, but a notch or two higher - or is that too harsh? And really, that's ok. Cervantes it is not, but I enjoyed this book. McEwan does write about interesting things, and that is much better than nothing. I always enjoy his sophisticated prose though I think Saturday is better in that respect , and this book in particular was a real page-turner, in a restrained and fairly non-trashy way, with elements of real horror. View all 20 comments. Sep 28, Will Ansbacher rated it really liked it Shelves: menace.
Another brilliantly-written work that springs from a single defining event.
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Joe had been picnicking with his partner Clarissa when they see a man attempting to hold a balloon down to free a child trapped inside. Joe and five others run to help but through an unfortunate set of actions, one falls to his death. Thus two men meet: Jed is a lonely religious fundamenta Another brilliantly-written work that springs from a single defining event.
Thus two men meet: Jed is a lonely religious fundamentalist who falls obsessively in love with Joe, hounding and pestering him to return his love, yet maintains that Joe initiated the whole thing. At first I thought that that McEwan-esquely-named disorder and its symptoms must surely have been invented by the man himself, but no, it is a real illness; though McEwan does cleverly present the entire story of Enduring Love as the basis for a psychiatric case history in an appendix.
It is so convincing that it apparently fooled both physicians and book critics - one complaining that Enduring Love was a too-literal interpretation of a real case. See this Guardian article for more. Back to the story. But how much is Joe the cause and how much the victim of the unfolding drama? There is a lot more going on — there is an important parallel story involving the widow of the man who was killed in the accident, which provides Joe with a mystery to solve — and the overall pace and tension is great; I found it hard to put down, although strangely it was not a fast read.
Actually some elements were a little far-fetched I mean, really, if you were struggling to keep a balloon on the ground, would you notice how many doors were open on a car parked some distance away? But at least two of them supposedly did. And I thought the story did become a bit strained towards the end view spoiler [with Joe discovering that de Clerambault sufferers can become violent, just before that did actually happen, and immediately deciding he needed to get a gun for protection just as he discovered that Jed was holding Clarissa hostage hide spoiler ].
View all 3 comments. Ok, this is my 4th book by Mr. McEwen and was very satisfied with this book. I was hooked from the beginning and was bent over the book a lot when reading just anticipating what was going to happen next. You wondered who was the crazy one in the story and at the end you found out. There was forgiveness and happiness in the end but you have a thought of will it stay that way. I have read Atonement, Amsterdam, and Black Dogs by this author.
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The author is very good at keeping you thinking about what Ok, this is my 4th book by Mr. The author is very good at keeping you thinking about what comes next in the story line. I I really enjoyed this one! I don't know about this book. On one hand, when all is said and done the narrative feels simply like an intricately-written case study, though occasionally punctuated with inconsistently glorious descriptions, for an odd psychological disorder that even with all of Ian McEwan's brilliance is still only mildly interesting. On the other hand, it's McEwan's wonderful writing combined with a first-person perspective, which gives us the rare treat of a character reflecting introspectively using all of I don't know about this book.
On the other hand, it's McEwan's wonderful writing combined with a first-person perspective, which gives us the rare treat of a character reflecting introspectively using all of McEwan's power with words. Now and again I was reminded of Paul Auster - the hints at future calamities and complications prior to their being actually narrated, the ambiguity as to whether events are real or imagined, the questioning of the protagonist's sanity. Like Auster but so much better , McEwan has a special talent for turning order into disorder.
Strangely, in this book things return to some degree of order at the end; I'm used to there being no loose ends at the end of a McEwan novel, but usually it's because everyone's dead or something. I hate to imply that the ending was too happy just because it wasn't completely hopelessly tragic; it was more that it seemed plucked from thin air.
Definitely a 2. The prose here is so vivid, it adds layers of complexity and introspection to an otherwise so-so plot. The opening chapter itself is worthy of 5 stars - I felt like I was actually witnessing the accident in real time, that the desperation, helplessness, horror, and guilt outlined on those pages were mine alone.
Enduring Love has a simple but fascinating premise, which I was at least halfway familiar with before beginning the book I think there's been a film version, which I haven't actually seen, but remember reading about whenever it came out. Joe Rose, a scientific journalist, is about to enjoy a reunion picnic with his girlfriend Clarissa when he witnesses an accident involving a hot-air balloon; he and a small group of strangers rush to help, but the incident results in a man's death.
During thes Enduring Love has a simple but fascinating premise, which I was at least halfway familiar with before beginning the book I think there's been a film version, which I haven't actually seen, but remember reading about whenever it came out. During these events, one of the group, Jed Parry, catches Joe's eye and thereafter develops an obsession with him. As the story progresses, Parry's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing and Joe finds his relationship with Clarissa disintegrating, leading to an inevitably dramatic climax. At first I thought this was a fairly straightforward tale rational man is harrassed by religious fanatic, relationship suffers but to my delight, it became much more than that.
Joe is a complicated character - obsessed by the rationality of science, he is nevertheless completely inept in the way he handles both Parry's behaviour and the problems in his relationship with Clarissa. In the first few chapters, his ruminations on matters scientific irritated and bored me, but later I began to understand that they are essential in establishing the basics of his character, the rationality that leads him to deal with his stalker in entirely the wrong way, only making matters worse.
Parry's obsession, meanwhile, begins to reflect Joe's single-minded determination that he can restore Clarissa's love for him to its former state, creating a fascinating parallel between the two men - is Parry's love only categorised as madness because it has never been returned; does love require reciprocation to be validated as a normal mental state? However, I couldn't help thinking it was all just too slight. Joe and Clarissa's relationship, Parry's obsessive behaviour, Joe's struggle to be taken seriously by Clarissa and the police - all would have benefited from further exploration, and the book could easily have been twice its actual length and still just as compelling.
The opening of the book is incredibly effective - the reader is plunged straight into the action of the balloon incident - but because this is the first time Joe and Clarissa appear, and the problems between them start very soon afterwards, I found it difficult to get a handle on them as a couple deeply in love and happy particularly as we only see Joe's viewpoint. I LOVED the element of uncertainty, the narrative's implication - as well as Clarissa's obvious suspicion - that Parry is actully a figment of Joe's imagination, some expression of post-traumatic stress, but again, this was resolved too quickly.
Additionally, I didn't see much point in the sub-plot involving the balloon accident victim's family, which only made me want to jump back to the main narrative. To sum up: very good, full of interesting themes and meanings, but simply not long or detailed enough for me.
Aug 06, Paul E. Essentially, this is the story of how things go from slightly awkward to life-threatening. This was a re-read for me, spurred by seeing a very cheap copy of the audiobook. Despite these issues, I did still enjoy the book. Have most of us not found ourselves stuck with the prolonged, unwanted attentions and company of somebody we actively dislike but are, perhaps, too polite to shake off?
What a funny book. That's funny as in weird funny. You'd think I would know to expect this as this was my 5th McEwan novel, but I have to say this one was odder than I expected it to be. The first chapter of this book was excellent, and probably one of the most memorable I have ever read if you don't know what it's about the cover is a pretty helpful clue. After the first chapter there was a direction I expected the novel to take, but it instead focuses on one character involved in the "inciden What a funny book. After the first chapter there was a direction I expected the novel to take, but it instead focuses on one character involved in the "incident" becoming obsessed with another character who was also involved, someone who was a stranger to him before this catastrophic event.
This is written in the typical McEwan style, and felt quite similar in some ways to the last of his novels that I read, The Innocent. Although totally different in style and tone, both stories follow a man who has to deal with an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation which forces him to make some big and often questionable decisions.
My rating of 3 stars is due to the fact that I found this to drag a little in the middle. We know that Parry is obsessed with Joe, there had been enough creepy stalker moments, but still they kept happening despite adding little to the story, and it was the same case with the disintegration of Joe's relationship with Clarissa. I suppose the reason that these parts annoyed me was because I just wanted to find out how the story ended, but I still feel that a few of these chapters were unnecessary.
I honestly don't know who I would recommend this to, although I don't regret reading it. View all 4 comments. Feb 26, Tania rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , best. Joe has another kind of problem. His emotions are slow to shift to anger in the first place, and even when they have, he has the wrong kind of intelligence, he forgets his lines and cannot score the points.
Nor can he break the habit of responding to an accusation with a detailed, reasoned answer, instead of coming back with an accusation of his own. He is easily outmanoeuvred by a sudden irrelevance. Irritation blocks his understanding of his own case, and it is only later, when on fighting Irritation blocks his understanding of his own case, and it is only later, when he is calm, than an articulate advocacy unrolls in his thoughts.
Some of his description on emotions, like the one above, feels like he is describing me much better than I ever could. I read Atonement in and was very disapointed - it was too slow, and I did not understand how such a small incident could have such a big effect. I now think that I was just too young to "get" it. Luckily I recently received Enduring Love as a present, and I loved it.
The writing and descriptions of thought processes and feelings are amazing, they are insightful and read like poetry. I also enjoyed the out of the ordinary narrative, especially interesting was de Clerambault's syndrome, a disorder that causes the sufferer to believe that someone else is in love with him or her. This is probably not for everyone, but if you enjoy descriptive books that unfold slowly, with a constant sense of foreboding, then give this a try.
I am adding more of his books to my TBR list. The Story: One windy spring day in the Chilterns, Joe Rose's calm, organized life is shattered by a ballooning accident. The afternoon, Rose reflects, could have ended in mere tragedy, but for his brief meeting with Jed Parry. Unknown to Rose, something passes between them - something that gives birth in Parry to an obsession so powerful that it will test to the limits Rose's beloved scientific rationalism, threaten the love of his wife Clarissa and drive him to the brink of murder and madness.
Mar 23, K. Attention getting fast-paced first 3 chapters. Then the story gets a bit boring in the middle as the narration kept going on circles. I could not get the connection between the love of the couple for each other and the love that the crazy guy has for the male protagonist. However, the last 2 chapters including the 2 appendices really brilliant! It's my first time to read Ian McEwan and I am looking forward to read more of his works. I will be buying Atonement next month! View all 5 comments. Shelves: books , louises-picks , movies-tv.
The third book in the Louise's picks arrangement — view spoiler [every quarter I get to pick a book she has to read and she gets to pick a book I have to read — Mutually Assured Reading hide spoiler ]. Again, she's chosen to introduce me to an author that I've not read before: Ian McEwan. I knew almost nothing about this novel before starting it, except that I'd seen about 10 minutes of the film starring Daniel Craig so I knew it featured a balloon, a stalker and a homosexual obsession — non The third book in the Louise's picks arrangement — view spoiler [every quarter I get to pick a book she has to read and she gets to pick a book I have to read — Mutually Assured Reading hide spoiler ].
I knew almost nothing about this novel before starting it, except that I'd seen about 10 minutes of the film starring Daniel Craig so I knew it featured a balloon, a stalker and a homosexual obsession — none of these four being key things I generally looked for in a novel. Straight off the writing grabs you, more so than the plot.
It's almost poetry rather than prose. Each sentence is so skilfully constructed, with absolutely no wasted exposition or descriptions. The real dynamic of the story is the two relationships our main character, Joe, is trying to balance. The one he doesn't want, with Jed, but he can't seem to work out how to convince Jed of that — against the one with Clarissa, his partner, which he's struggling to hold together as a result of the pressure of Jed's presence. Pulled in two different directions, by two different changing relationship, he just wants the stability of the way things were, but he's unable to make either relationship be the way he really wants it to.
Not only was this a Louise recommendation, but it's also listed in the 1, Books to Read Before You Die collection, so expectations were high. And, based on the beautiful writing and the first two-thirds of the novel this was a clear winner of a book. But, the longer the story went on, the more I was being led down a path of expecting something special at the end, view spoiler [after all nobody apart from Joe had even seen Jed hide spoiler ] , and the more I worried that I was going to feel let down.
And, let down I felt. The ending, just wasn't one. It kind of just fizzled out leaving me feel a little bit cheated. On an idyllic spring afternoon, Joe Rose and his wife were enjoying a picnic, when their lovely day was forever changed. A hot air baloon, which had made a dramatic appearance into their scene, went out of control.
Many people rushed to assist, but one man perished in their uncalculated attempts at rescue. Jed Parry, another of the would-be rescuers approached Joe, an atheist, and invited him to pray with him. This confrontation is merely the beginning of the turmoil that Parry created in the we On an idyllic spring afternoon, Joe Rose and his wife were enjoying a picnic, when their lovely day was forever changed. This confrontation is merely the beginning of the turmoil that Parry created in the well-ordered and loving existence of Joe and Clarissa. There were periods during the reading of this book when my interest would begin to flag.
Joe, a science writer, would discuss articles or research he had done.
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While many of these tales were interesting, it seemed often to be out of context to the story. However, it soon became clear that this was a clever device of McEwan's to develop the broad dimensions of Joe's character. Throughout this novel, one has the increasing sense of impending disaster. It often caused feelings of confusion. Was Joe imagining things? Was Parry really stalking Joe?
Also, why did he receive so little support and comisseration from his previously devoted Clarissa? Tension built as the story further developed and McEwan adeptly wove this plot toward its conclusion. Ian McEwan is a rarity as an author. He does not simply tell his story and add exciting facts to entertain the reader. His books tend to grow and develop in complexity and texture with even the seemingly thinnest of plots!
View all 49 comments. This reminds me of the Audrey Tautou film about how things are never as they appear One's perception of an event can transform the lives of another being. Tragedies either make or break familial bonds of love, and in the end you find out what foundation your relationship was built on. We all hope that ours would be an "enduring love" that like Shakespeare said, "looks on tempests and is not shaken. Nov 29, Mariel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: ferdinand de saussure de so sure.
Culpability, survivor's guilt, do we ever really know anybody? Hell, they have similar stories. In Enduring Love , an idyllic afternoon is ruined after a freak hot air balloon accident. Only one man really attempts to save the kid. Joe cannot go back to living with blinders on about himself. Sure, the guy was a Billy trying to be a hero and died. It was that the rest of them let go that he died at all. It costs to be the only person who gives a damn. Guilt is a bitch.
Another person involved develops an obsession with Joe based on the intensity of the experience. He's got erotomania, to put a label on it, and reads into everything biblical connections between himself and Joe. Joe's wife is the sitcom kind of connected. It's easy to go with the flow when you're both flowing the same way. Joe likewise becomes obsessed with figuring out his stalker's brain waves. Like trying to decode a radio frequency in someone else's soul, is how I saw it. Joe is a scientist and he'd try to use that to apply to another person. The success has been wonderful.
But other than that, our lifestyle is largely unchanged. Nor have our values changed. Our relationship with each other, with our children, with our community, and with God, will always be the most important things in our lives. That was a great experience. Parts were true; parts were made-up to benefit the story. It is, after all, a novel, not a memoir. More information can be found out by visiting the Novel Learning Series section of this site.
Inspiration for The Notebook. The Feature Film. About The Film. Book FAQs. What is the inspiration for this book? Is it based to any extent on your own experiences or the experiences of those you know? How do you account for the success of the novel? What do you think its overriding appeal is? The book details the lives of very old, as well as very young, people. How did someone as young as you when you wrote the book acquire the insight to write about the experience of being old in such a moving way? Letter writing plays such a big part in The Notebook.
Is there something about letter writing that intrigues you? The Notebook takes place in a small southern town. Why did you choose that setting rather than, say, a big city like New York? How has the success of The Notebook affected your life?
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Do you find your family lifestyle has changed much? Or your values? What was it like going on your author tour and meeting and hearing from so many people whose lives were affected by your book?
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