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Review of ‘Pearl’

Fifteen-year-old Pearl (known to all as Bean) and her best friend Henry spend afternoons watching “Days of Our Lives” at Henry’s house. Bean and Henry are both misfits, united by their absent fathers and weird mothers. Henry’s mom—who watches soap operas religiously—is obese and agoraphobic, afraid to leave the house since Henry’s father disappeared. Bean’s…

Review of ‘Pearl’

Mary Gordon's novel Pearl is a weighty meditation on the complexity of familial bonds and the burdens of guilt and forgiveness. On an otherwise unremarkable Christmas Day, single mother Maria Meyers receives an earth-shattering phone call from the State Department. Her beloved daughter Pearl, studying abroad in Ireland, has embarked on a six-week hunger strike…

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