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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling novelist and memoirist delivers her most intimate and powerful work: a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds, and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love.
Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time - abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning - a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise - how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence. Artful, intensely emotional work from one of our finest writers.
©2017 Dani Shapiro (P)2017 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"In this touching and intimate memoir...Shapiro beautifully weaves together her own moving language and a commonplace book's worth of perfect quotes from others." ( Publishers Weekly)
"To write openly about an enduring intimate relationship requires courage and tact...In this compelling account of her 18-year marriage, Shapiro carefully exposes the vulnerabilities that have subtly begun to surface within the relationship.... The narrative demonstrates Shapiro's finely tuned, poetic skills as a writer.... A sharply observed and frequently moving memoir of marriage." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Writer Dani Shapiro performs her memoir with a meditative understated tone... As a narrator and a writer, Shapiro approaches sorrows, joys, and everyday life as equals--examining them for threads of meaning and connection rather than playing for easy emotional payoffs. Honest and engaging, this literary memoir will resonate with many listeners." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Carolyn M. Kell on 05-08-17

Great Synthesis of Memoir meets Philisophy

This book is definitely worth listening to several times or more to catch some of the nuggets of deep thought and self-reflection and analysis of the stages of life as it unfolds. Free will or not, we all are on a certain path for better or worse.

The insights and poignant .descriptions are not to be missed. The only thing that might rub a reader in the wrong way are the rivulets of the upper-middle-class lifestyle among such deep, often bittersweet, if not melancholic, life dramas. While these themes are timeless and class-less, it is sometimes hard to swallow pain and sorrow playing out amidst little descriptive pieces (e.g., a "Patagonia sweater") and then there are the history of what to most Americans would be lavish vacations.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Susan Ring on 07-31-17

A little disappointed...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, unfortunately. There were a few parts that were okay, but where was the story? I wanted more truth, more reality. I know what it's like to be married, and I think she would have revealed more about her marriage. The reality of the sex, the realness of feeling like shit and having sex anyway, the real feelings. Did she want more kids? Did she not? What else might she have wanted to be in life? I want to hear more about Dani, the woman. I think she would have been more real if she knew her husband wouldn't have read it. IMHO, I think she should have written it in anyway.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dani Shapiro again?

Yes, I like her work. This one didn't do it for me though. When it ended, I thought. What? Is it over?

Would you listen to another book narrated by Dani Shapiro?


If this book were a movie would you go see it?


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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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