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Manual Where We Have to Go

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Where We Have to Go is a sombre but playful saga of a nerdy girl's fight for herself and her family, and highlights Kirshner as a new novelist to watch. A very strong, original debut. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.


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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters globeandmail. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter. Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments. Read our community guidelines here. African and Mideast Business. ETFs Up and Down. Letters to the Editor.

The Real Estate Market. Quick links Horoscopes Puzzles Customer service My account. Article text size A. Open this photo in gallery: Reviewed by Joe Whittall. Published July 8, Updated May 1, Story continues below advertisement. Follow us on Twitter globebooks Opens in a new window. Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? I'm a print subscriber, link to my account Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? The entirety of the novel is told through the first-person perspective of Lucy Bloom, throughout her years of adolescence and young adulthood.

Her parents constantly argue with e Every compelling novel has its characters experience their emotional ups and downs, humorous moments, pitfalls, and eventual resurgence. Her parents constantly argue with each other and always talk about divorce, she frequently gets bullied by a few of her classmates at school, and goes through many hardships when it comes to boyfriends and relationships. Life for Lucy isn't easy, but she learns to persevere through her troubles even during the toughest of times.

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She actively supports and cares for her mother, tries to maintain her relationships with her father, does well academically in school, and even makes a couple of friends along the way. While this may seem like one of your typical "coming-of-age" stories, Lucy's charming personality, childish demeanor, and sense of awkwardness is what separates her experience from others. Even as she matures, her outlook on issues in her everyday life remain the same.

She does her best to bring out the positive in people and isn't scared to voice her opinion if she thinks something is going wrong. Over her years, she tried to ignore her parents' constant bickering and the insults thrown at her in school, but soon learns that she can't just shy away from the negative and has to face her problems head on. Naturally, she goes through bouts of depression, but overcomes the feeling to eventually prevail. Her journey is an engaging one that has its unexpected twists and turns, but will keep you glued until the end.

The most likable aspect of Where We Have To Go is perhaps, besides Lucy's personality, the relatable experiences that she goes through. The setting of the book is none other than Toronto, Canada which happens to be my hometown , and many of the places that Lucy visits and talks about are places that I've been to many times and have become accustomed to.

For example, Lucy mentions how every Saturday she does the groceries with her family at No-Frills and shops at Zellers, experiences that I am very familiar with especially during my childhood. While the majority of the story takes place around the s, there are still striking similarities to then and now, and surprisingly comes off as highly relatable. Author Lauren Kirshner's writing style is detailed and light-hearted, much like the rest of the book, and I feel she wrote about her very own childhood days when she writes about Lucy.

The book successfully explored the theme of nostalgia and made me feel a bit giddy on the inside as well.

Where We Have to Go

I do feel the book has some pacing problems and could be sped up from time-to-time, as well as not having a definite climax. The situations never get too intense, and there are sections that can come off as sort of boring. These are minor complaints however, and the majority of the book left me pleased. I recommend Where We Have To Go for anyone who wants a mostly easy-going reading experience while still exploring some of the intricacies of childhood and teenage issues, or for anyone who grew up in Toronto or any city in general, and wants a nostalgic experience.

Nov 01, Lydia Laceby rated it really liked it Shelves: Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes Where We Have to Go is a thoroughly enjoyable coming of age tale full of quirky characters, humour and angst. This story shines a light on some of the darker realities of a faultering marriage from a child's perspective and the long lasting effects of such a tumultuous upbringing. This novel could have been much more grim but Kirshner handles the fine line between humour and somber so deftly that the serious issues never come across as being made light of, wh Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes Where We Have to Go is a thoroughly enjoyable coming of age tale full of quirky characters, humour and angst.

This novel could have been much more grim but Kirshner handles the fine line between humour and somber so deftly that the serious issues never come across as being made light of, which is a testament to her writing and something I greatly appreciated. Anyone who had ever felt self conscious as a child or teen, or felt themselves odd or quirky or an outsider or had ever held their hands over their ears to ease parental bickering will be able to relate to this novel.

Lucy Bloom is a wonderful protagonist. She's so cute and quirky and sad that you can't help but be empathetic towards her and as I watched her life grew more complicated as she navigates her teens, I found myself cringing and wanting to scream at her and everyone around her. And then on the next page I would find myself chortling or with a grin on my face. It was so well written in this aspect that I loved the constant anticipation of what emotion I would feel next. As an only child, Lucy is left to navigate her parent's marriage through infidelity, separation and reuniting.

There is much in this novel that is heartbreaking, but I always felt undercurrents of hope. I continuously rooted for Lucy and her family all the way through this novel and wanted to shake her parents to keep their issues from her and to actually see what she was going through.

I could never figure out where Lucy would end up in life and I loved that. Having grown up through the 70's, 80's and 90's, I loved the feeling of nostalgia Where do we go From Here brought. Along with all the childhood memories were many Canadianisms and Toronto references, which is always a bonus for me with any novel. Thank you to McClelland and Stewart for our review copy. All opinions are our own. Nov 30, Canadian Reader rated it really liked it Shelves: Kirshner's debut novel is the mostly sparkling coming-of-age story of Lucy Bloom, from early adolescence to young adulthood. The above dirty laundry list of "issues" perhaps makes the book sound grim and dark, but the story is leavened by cons Kirshner's debut novel is the mostly sparkling coming-of-age story of Lucy Bloom, from early adolescence to young adulthood.

The above dirty laundry list of "issues" perhaps makes the book sound grim and dark, but the story is leavened by considerable humour, a lively first-person narration, and interesting three-dimensional characters.

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Kirshner is dextrous with language and the book is grounded in vivid sensory detail and fresh images. Overall, this is an entertaining and engrossing novel that makes the reader care about the central character, Lucy Bloom, and her family and friends. I was rather confused by the section in which Lucy tells her incapacitated mother a "fictionally true" story about the brief period they spent away from Lucy's father in a run-down apartment complex. The author seems to be wanting to make a point here about the healing power of stories, but, to my mind at least, it didn't work.

It would've been valuable to rethink, rework, and revise this section considerably prior to publication. I look forward to reading Kirshner's future work and highly recommend her first offering. It is a solid book that deserves to be read by both adults and high-school-age young adults. Feb 07, Carrie Ardoin rated it it was ok Shelves: Lucy Bloom is 11 years old, and she loves Alf, and her cat Lulu. Her life is simple but soon gets more complicated.

Her family is drifting apart before her, and there's nothing she can do to stop it. The book continues to tell the story of Lucy throughout her teenage years. She has more than enough problems to face in a lifetime, let alone just those few precious years. As Lucy moves towards adulthood, she learns the truth is not always what is seems, and learns to look at her parents as real peo Lucy Bloom is 11 years old, and she loves Alf, and her cat Lulu. As Lucy moves towards adulthood, she learns the truth is not always what is seems, and learns to look at her parents as real people--not just parents.

I didn't really enjoy this book that much. Her entire teen years--not one good thing?


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  • It made for a really depressing read. While I liked the author's style and the imagination she gave Lucy, I found most of the characters very flat, including Lucy herself. I didn't really enjoy her voice and the perspective she had on some things. The plot was not really driven by anything. There are no real climactic events to speak of, just a series of things that Lucy happens to go through. The story definitely did not pull me in and make me want to finish it as quickly as possible. The book got better towards the end, but I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to have taken away from it.

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    If this was a coming-of-age story, I'm not sure what the significant events were that were supposed to have changed Lucy. She never really acted like anything affected her too significantly. I wasn't really able to view her actions and emotions as being a result of her parents' problems. Basically, I felt the entire book was just Lucy's life going along from point A to point B. I'm sure she was somehow supposed to be shaped by the things that happened in her teenage years, but to me, there was no one important thing that stood out.

    Where We Have To Go sparkles in its sad revelations on the life of one young girl stuck in one dysfunctional family.

    Where We Have to Go, by Lauren Kirshner - The Globe and Mail

    Lauren Kirshner marks her debut with a fine-tuned novel filled with ample quirk, a touch of spunk, and a whole lot of tragic circumstances. As the novel opens, the eleven-year-old Lucy dreams of freedom in the shape of a bicycle. Her vision dissipates when she receives a pair of second-hand roller skates for her birthday, and when she becomes conscious of her parents' marital trou Where We Have To Go sparkles in its sad revelations on the life of one young girl stuck in one dysfunctional family. Her vision dissipates when she receives a pair of second-hand roller skates for her birthday, and when she becomes conscious of her parents' marital troubles.

    Lucy then embarks on an odyssey toward adulthood, an adventure riddled with toxic friendships, anorexia, and anxieties connected to her changing environment. No thanks, take me back to the meme zone! Like us on Facebook! About "We Need To Go Deeper" is an expression from the film Inception which is often featured in image macros and vertical multi-panes using screen captures from the movie. Origin The phrase was first uttered in a scene from the science fiction film Inception in which the character Dom Cobb played by Leonardo DiCaprio speaks to Robert Fischer played by Cillian Murphy about planting a thought inside someone's mind.

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