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The Republic of Love

The Republic of Love By Carol Shields The Republic of Love With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer Carol Shields introduces us to two shell shocked veterans of the wars of the heart There s Fay a folklorist whose

  • Title: The Republic of Love
  • Author: Carol Shields
  • ISBN: 9780394224176
  • Page: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Republic of Love By Carol Shields With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer, Carol Shields introduces us to two shell shocked veterans of the wars of the heart There s Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man And right across the street there s Tom, a popular radio talk show host who has focused a little too intently,With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer, Carol Shields introduces us to two shell shocked veterans of the wars of the heart There s Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man And right across the street there s Tom, a popular radio talk show host who has focused a little too intently, having married and divorced three times.Can Fay believe in lasting love with such a man Will romantic love conquer all rational expectations Only Carol Shields could describe so adroitly this couple who fall in love as thoroughly and satisfyingly as any Victorian couple and the modern complications that beset them in this touching and ironic book.
    The Republic of Love By Carol Shields

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    One thought on “The Republic of Love

    1. Rebecca Foster on said:

      Not one of my favorites from Shields, but still enjoyable and reminiscent of Anne Tyler s The Accidental Tourist Her chapters alternate between the perspectives of radio disc jockey Tom Avery and folklorist mermaid researcher Fay McLeod, two Winnipeg lonely hearts who each have their share of broken relationships behind them including three divorces for Tom and a string of long term live in boyfriends for Fay It s clear they re going to meet and fall in love almost exactly halfway through , but [...]

    2. Rebecca McNutt on said:

      So, this book was a Pulitzer Prize winner Seriously Don t get me wrong, it wasn t a terrible story, and being from Canada myself I m glad to see some CanLit getting noticed and out there in the world than the usual Margaret Atwood stuff However, I didn t find anything about this romance novel to be anything remarkable or special In a day or so I ll forget it entirely.

    3. Megan on said:

      This book made me fall in love with romance stories and made me want to go out and read as many as I could find until I remembered that the reason I don t read stories centred around romance in the first place is because 99.9% of them are, in my opinion, crap and uninteresting This book is obviously in the other.1% This is how all romances should read, as a real story that takes into consideration than simply getting two characters together.

    4. Sara on said:

      If I had to describe this book in just one word, it would be an eh It s not that the book is bad, per se it s just that I personally felt like it wasn t really about much of anything at all Basically, two ordinary people living perfectly normal lives are discussed at length then they meet, and the plot becomes highly improbable I know it s supposed to be romantic and about love and stuff, but to me, it just went from feeling uninteresting to outright fake Tom was interesting to me than Fay Tom [...]

    5. Chaitra on said:

      I should start with a disclaimer I hate fictional love stories They make me puke I never read a straight romance Every time I pick up a romance by a respected not known for romance author, I m hoping for something better, something deeper, something less treacly Almost every time I m let down This is yet another romance where the meet cute happens, of all clich d things, among children The heroine is charmingly holding balloons, and kids are clamoring around her The hero is equally charmingly bu [...]

    6. Todd on said:

      What a wonderful surpriseI had never heard of Carol Shields before reading this book and was delighted to find out such a quiet treasure in its pages I myself have never been particularly lucky in love and felt drawn to the real fragility that held so many of the romances in this novel together I suppose it just seemed very genuine to me A wonderful discovery I cannot wait to try another of her novels.

    7. christa on said:

      Whenever I open a book by Carol Shields, I prepare myself to walk into a folksy Midwest version of The Ya Ya Sisterhood, starring sassy old biddies who turn scrapbooking a full contact sport I m not sure where I got the idea that she writes Hot Flash Fiction, but I m always wrong, and I ve never been pleasantly surprised by a book than I was by her 1994 novel The Republic of Love.Bits of the lives of the two main characters, Fay and Tom, are revealed in alternating chapters Fay is a folklorist [...]

    8. Jen on said:

      I really, really wanted to love this book I loved reading The Stone Diaries and Unless They had characters that felt real and problems that I became passionately interested in.The Republic of Love, not so much.Tom and Fay were lovely people, but as soon as they got together, I lost interest I skimmed the rest of the book, saw what troubles lay ahead for our hero and heroine and proceeded to check out Maybe it was Winnipeg It just seemed so dang dull, but Shields insisted on making it a character [...]

    9. Alexine Fleck on said:

      Carol Shields just rocks my world The only reason why I didn t give this book five stars is that it stopped being awesome when the whole romance thing started near the end You know it s going to happen, and it s nice for the characters, but I just loved the two of them so much as characters that I didn t want to see them get boring the way couples in books do once they ve found each other like, their centers of gravity just alter and there they go insular and boring I might be talking about tha [...]

    10. Lara on said:

      A literary novel, but I just found it so dull The lists of food in a cupboard, clothes in a wardrobe, bored me to tears There was an anniversary party where she listed most of the guests who attended, most of whom we hadn t met before, so what The main characters weren t dislikeable, but this story was just so stretched out with pointless detail that I couldn t care whether they got together or not It seemed less like a love affair, like two lonely people deciding to make a tentative go of it.

    11. Heather Wolowik on said:

      I enjoyed reading this book It took me awhile as I enjoyed the prose and wanted to make sure I was getting as much out of it as I could To be honest, a book like this I would have normally stopped reading Not a lot of action.BUTere was something about these characters that kept me reading I really enjoyed them and their story.

    12. Betty on said:

      This is a lovely novel which celebrates ordinary love between ordinary people The characters are flawed, not heroic and the book portrays a deep and caring love, sensuous rather than madly passionate Shields has a nice eye for detail and her characters are well rounded.

    13. Stephen AB on said:

      I didn t really buy it that ending where everyone ends up in love and together When Fay broke away from Tom that was believable, if only because something very similar happened to me, but alas, or hooray, we did not end up together happily ever after But I did find that sequence of chapters on the breakups the most riveting and convincing Unfortunately other stretches of chapters dragged by without engagement or depth People were ciphers she has commitment issues, he has commitment issues But no [...]

    14. Sonia on said:

      Per chi aspetta fin dall inizio del libro la storia d a tra Fay e Tom, allora dovr rassegnarsi ad attendere.Si metta comodo in poltrona, e dimentichi la trama se si cerca quella storia d a, ci vorr tempo Se si cerca semplicemente l a, nelle sue infinite sfumature, allora sar accontentato.E questo il romanzo giusto, se si superata magari la fase dell adolescenza e della post adolescenza e si nel pieno delle facolt mentali in pratica se non si infestati dalle scelte prese di pancia e da ormoni imp [...]

    15. Alan on said:

      I m quite a sucker for old fashioned love stories having written one myself, as yet unpublished but it s hard to find good ones Of course there are mushy and formulaic romance novels galore but they are not what I m talking about.As Carol Shields herself writes here, Love is not, anywhere, taken seriously It s not respected It s the one thing that everyone in the world wants but for some reason people are obliged to pretend that love is trifling and foolish Work is important Living arrangements [...]

    16. Spook on said:

      For the first third or of The Republic of Love a Dickensian plethora of minor characters abounds, though performing quite differently from those in a Dickens novel, creating an impressionistic bubbling brook and sometimes cesspit of a community s varying experiences with that ever definition defying and transformative prism love And so, forming less of a swaddling second story, they become a pavement the story walks along never to retrace its steps.The main love story then kicks in, building an [...]

    17. Lolly K Dandeneau on said:

      I enjoyed The Stone Diaries far than The Republic of Love but that is not to say this wasn t an decent romance It is a story about two love weary people named Fay a folklorist with a mermaid obsession and Tom a talk show radio host Tom has failed marriages behind him and Fay hasn t been able to remain constant long enough to walk the aisle They meet, but Fay is due to depart for Europe to research her mermaids Of course they have complications throughout, and the characters were interestingly w [...]

    18. Allison on said:

      This is one of very few books I have read that I feel realistically addresses the quirky, elusive, shocking, and sometimes painful subject of love Perhaps it was the way Shields manipulated viewpoint by allowing the story to be told alternately by both Tom and Fay Perhaps I loved the fact that the entire first half of the book led up to the meeting of these two protagonists, and that the background knowledge gained about the characters this way allowed their love at first site encounter to seem [...]

    19. Donna on said:

      I absolutely ADORED this book I think I m becoming quiet the Carol Shields fan This is about Tom, a night time DJ, and Fay, a mermaid specialist Carol s characters always have the most interesting jobs and eccentric interests smile Both are currently single, Tom after three failed marriages, and Fay, who s never been brave enough to walk the aisle but also has several apparently serious relationships that haven t lasted And they live right across the street from each other in Winnipeg Shields ma [...]

    20. Anino on said:

      ARC provided by Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review Every now and then, I like being able to read a book that causes me to think, one that I can truly savor With that being said, this book of poetic prose was a joy to read and ponder Unlike some books which are an exercise in the Wham Bam Thank You Ma am mentality of our instant gratification based culture, this book gives the reader a window into the lives of 2 damaged people who find themselves engaged in a restorative type of slow lov [...]

    21. Len Joy on said:

      Tom Avery, a forty year old thrice married late night DJ in Winnipeg and Fay McCloud, a thirty five year old academic specializing in the mythology of mermaids who has had serial relationships but never married, fall in love It s complicated The age, the marriage history, the academic world, the opinions and advice of family and friends all contribute to the complications And then Fay s father, in a seemingly perfect marriage for 40 years decides to leave his wife It is a well told story and one [...]

    22. Laura on said:

      I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.This is the second book written by Carol Shields that I have read.The story of the main characters, Fay and Tom, was not able to keep reader s interest into the plot The narrative just flows without any further engagement As in The Stone Diaries which won Man Booker Prize Nominee for Shortlist 1993 , Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1995 , National Book Critics Circle Award 1994 , I wasn t able t [...]

    23. Rikki on said:

      if you ve ever known love at first sight, then this author brings back all the magic of the impulses that invade your every moment when it happens to you Tom and Fay have already had some experience with romantic relationships he has had three marriages, She has had three long term live ins He seems to commit too easily, she is wary of commitment.Tom is a late night Talk show host, Fay an authority on mermaids Not too much in common you might think, but their lives are interwoven with family and [...]

    24. Deb on said:

      Such a positive hopefull book Full of flawed but likeable 3 dimensional characters, with a usual variety of professions anthropologist, DJ, computer programmer, lawyer, dry cleaner and traits one character has a stutter, not crucial to the plot but just because in real life some people do Shields builds a believable community of real people whom I would like to know Set most definitely in Winnepeg, which becomes as real as the characters, rather some generic Anywhere, USA background A serious li [...]

    25. Samantha on said:

      I did enjoy this and I found myself reading to the end but the whole idea of it didn t quite work for me Lots of minor characters who weren t strong enough for me to remember who they all were, some jolting back and forth a few days in the narrative which I found clumsy, some clever writing and some that just wandered around I lost a level of interest once Fay and Tom got together and never really quite understood them as main characters, particularly Fay who I found it hard to warm to Winnipeg [...]

    26. Flo on said:

      This is a smart romance about two ordinary people who meet and fall in love at first sight The first part of the book tells of their lives in alternating chapters Finally, when one begins to start asking impatiently, okay so when do they meet, they do and a little improbably fall immediately in love I don t buy that, but Carol Shields was a very talented and funny writer so I liked the book and her likable people.

    27. AudreyLovesParis on said:

      I loved this book for its treatment of love in a way that was not corny or surreal This was a book about two ordinary, flawed human beings who brought with them their tangled, messy pasts and somehow ended up happy together I adore Carol Shield s writing the words seem to flow effortlessly and I will be reading her other books as soon as I can get my hands on them.

    28. Sue on said:

      There was a point near the end of this book that I wanted to hurl it across the room But since I was reading on my Kindle, I didn t I especially liked the character of Tom Interesting how many connections there were between Fay and Tom and I liked the way that unfolded A good workout read.

    29. Melissa on said:

      I read the first 30 pages, skimmed the next 20 and closed it up I m not even sure where this book came from, but it isn t sticking around.

    30. Lorna on said:

      A study of modern love spelled with too little subtlety and way too many words.

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