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The Breakdown Lane (2006)

The Breakdown Lane (2006)

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3.52 of 5 Votes: 2
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0060587253 (ISBN13: 9780060587253)

About book The Breakdown Lane (2006)

I registered a book at! case where I am not sure if my negative feelings are about the book or how it's read. The author reads the book. She writes about a family in Wisconsin, and she lives in Wisconsin. Her voice has an unmistakeable upper midwest accent. Every character has this accent, regardless of where they live. I had trouble at times getting past it. Julieanne is proud of her body, her ability to dance ballet, her flexibility, her strength. She is proud of her work as an advice columnist. She is proud of her family - her husband, Leo, the lawyer, her children, Gabe (Gabriel) and Caro (Caroline), and little Aurie (Aurora). Then it all goes to shit. Not everything. But of course it seems that way. Leo decides he wants to take a sabbatical, "find himself". He wants to get back to the earth in some kind of commune. After he takes off to parts mostly unknown, Julie discovers that she has multiple sclerosis (MS). For someone who has taken such care of her body, who has burned the candle on both ends, the effects of this condition are devastating. She can no longer be everything to anyone who needs her. Gabe steps in. A young teen with learning disabilities, Gabe can see what is needed and he is there to help. His sister Caro is less sympathetic. They both believe, though, that it is imperative that they find their father. He needs to know about his wife. He can make things better. So obviously the family has slid over to the breakdown lane. How they work through it and get back on the road, somewhat the worse for wear, is the subject of the rest of the book. I liked Gabe best. I found Julie somewhat sympathetic but couldn't really get close to her. The book uses a gimmick: excerpts from Julie's column introduce different issues - divorce, love, issues with children, betrayal - that Julie's family is experiencing. I am not a fan of such gimmicks. I simply didn't love the book, but I can't say there is anything seriously wrong with it. It's a good one for fans of what they call on the cover "life-affirming" stories. And I admit the message is a good one: we deal with what is thrown at us and life goes on.

Have you ever picked up a book and from the onset it gave you that bitter taste of the first sip of morning coffee? Well,The Breakdown Lane is one of them...until you take the second sip getting used to the flavour and just shortly thereafter the jolt of caffein is going into your blood stream and buzzes on...It is a book about myriad tribulations in one woman's life, Julieanne, who is simultaniously left by her husband and being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis as well as dealing with two teenagers and a toddler... all the while being the writer for an advise column a la Annie's mailbox.I'm sure you see right away where the bitter taste comes from and don't think just because your getting used to it that it gets any less bitter...J. Mitchard hasn't even picked the most lovable character that most women would identify with as her mein character, but managed to have the reader on her side from the get go. Julieanne is one of the most coveted girls in school, a ballet dancer and tall and pretty, from a priviledged family. Despite the fact that she is putting a little too much emphasis on outer appearances and seems a little shallow because of it one notices pretty quickly that she is very knowledgable...she is all too human in her duality and that is quite possibly the secret weapon of this author who captures you with desciptions of human mysery and whisdom about it that surpasses your avarage fiction novel.This is not really my genre of literature but upon recommendation I picked it up from the library and it captured me.Having a close friend who not too long ago was diagnosed with MS may have something to do with it, but what I think is the most important factor in making this a great - if not always enjoyable- read is that underneath all that misery there always seems to be an upbeat undercurrent. This might be your cup of coffee if you just stirr up that creamer to make it more delectable. Whether you have MS or another debilitating sickness the depth of human emotions depicted are sure to touch you on a level that makes you appreachiative of what you have. And that's a tall order in many cases...

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When I first started reading this book, I was intrigued by the characters, but their complaining seemed a bit over the top, especially since what was about to happen was only hinted at and not yet revealed. However, I thought the progression of the book made this seem acceptable toward the end.The story is about a family whose life is affected by a father who chooses to find freedom (and in the process gets a 25 year old girl pregnant, twice), and by the onset of multiple sclerosis for the mother. It is written from the perspective of both the mother, and the 15 year old son. The son is my favorite character, as he overcomes amazing odds to become a strong individual. He has learning disabilities which affect his performance in school, even though he has a high IQ. (as a teacher, I was disappointed how school and special Ed teachers were portrayed). But the son is an amazing individual who has every right to complain about his circumstances - and yet at the end he learns to forgive and let go of his bitterness so that he can find his own happiness in life.

a story from two sides of some terrible tragedies that unfortunately coexist. Julie has MS, and her marriage is falling apart. Alas, she doesn't realise either of these things until its far too late. I struggled with the idea of Gabe writing a journal, from his mothers perspective, whilst some sort of savant, I didn't get the impression that he was able to write such verbose monologues. However the tale of his search for his father was one of the stronger chapters in the book, so I do have to say I enjoyed his tale as much as Julies. Leo/Leon is the dude you wish would befall some horrible fate. He abandons his family and their "things" and runs off to some communes, in order to satisfy his mid life crisis. He hears his wife is unwell, and doesn't give a damn. Leaves them all high and dry. A very easy character to dislike from the get go, because you know he's going to be trouble. It got a little drawn out in places and yes, the ending was a little disappointing, however you can say that she did deserve a little bit of redemption, and that it could be the best thing for her, but yes, its too convenient. I wanted Cat to be more responsible and have that mother daughter tension resolved, I felt that it was just left hanging a little bit. Overall it was enjoyable, although a little slow to get to the meaty parts.
—Melinda Elizabeth

THIS SUMMARY/REVIEW WAS COPIED FROM OTHER SOURCES AND IS USED ONLY AS A REMINDER OF WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT FOR MY PERSONAL INTEREST. ANY PERSONAL NOTATIONS ARE FOR MY RECOLLECTION ONLYI thought the story was captivating. It was so realistic that you wanted to know how JulieAnne would come to terms with her illness (MS) and her husband Leo who walked out on her. You just wanted to shake Leo for being so insensitive by disrupting the family unity to embark on his idealistic and unbelievable trek into a commune lifestyle. It was pure escapism from responsibility! The stress JulieAnne endured acerbated the MS symptoms. Not only does she have to deal with the grief of a husband leaving and the progression of MS she has the burden to take care of two teenage children and a baby. Her son Gabe has severe learning disabilities and her daughter, Caroline is running away from the realities of home by becoming involved with a young man who does not have Caroline's best interest in mind. On top of this JulieAnne is a newspaper columnist who has to work to provide for her family since Leo is not interested in working anymore. JulieAnne is a strong minded woman, but she is truly being tested. All she wants is her dignity and is amazed that another man can love her as a woman with MS. You can not help celebrate her marriage to Matthew. This marriage does not have a fairy tale end, as Matthew has his love of drink, but he is a good man, who JulieAnne can rest in comfort that he is and will be with her to the end.

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