Elsey Come Home

Elsey Come Home

Susan Conley / Aug 18, 2019

Elsey Come Home When Elsey s husband Lukas hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum Go or we re done Once a successful painter Elsey set down roots in C

  • Title: Elsey Come Home
  • Author: Susan Conley
  • ISBN: Elsey Come Home
  • ISBN
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When Elsey s husband, Lukas, hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat, she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum Go, or we re done Once a successful painter, Elsey set down roots in China after falling passionately for Lukas, the tall, Danish MC at a warehouse rave in downtown Beijing Now, with two young daughters and unable to find a balance between he When Elsey s husband, Lukas, hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat, she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum Go, or we re done Once a successful painter, Elsey set down roots in China after falling passionately for Lukas, the tall, Danish MC at a warehouse rave in downtown Beijing Now, with two young daughters and unable to find a balance between her identities as painter, mother, and, especially, wife, Elsey fills her days worrying, drinking, and descending into desperate unhappiness So, brochure in hand, she agrees to go and confront the ghosts of her past There, she meets a group of men and women who will forever alter the way she understands herself from Tasmin, another much richer expat, to Hunter, a young man whose courage endangers them all, and, most important, Mei wife of one of China s most famous artists and a renowned painter herself with whom Elsey quickly forges a fierce friendship and whose candidness about her pain helps Elsey understand her own But Elsey must risk tearing herself and Lukas further apart when she decides she must return to her childhood home the center of her deepest pain before she can find her way back to him Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 256 pages Published January 15th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group More Details Original Title Elsey Come Home ISBN 0525520988 ISBN13 9780525520986 Edition Language English Other Editions 3 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Win a Copy of This Book Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley Author Release date Jan 15, 2019 Perfect Judy BlumeFrom the widely praised author of Paris Was the Place a shattering new novel that bravely delves into the darkest corners of add Perfect Judy BlumeFrom the widely praised author of Paris Was the Place a shattering new novel that bravely delves into the darkest corners of addiction, marriage, and motherhoodWhen Elsey s husband, Lukas, hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat, she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum Go, or we re done Once a successful painter, Elsey set down roots in China after falling passionately for Lukas, the tall, Danish MC at a warehouse rave in downtown Beijing Now, with two young daughters and unable to find a balance between her identities as painter, mother, and, especially, wife, Elsey fills her days worrying, drinking, and descending into desperate unhappiness So, brochure in hand, she agrees to go and confront the ghosts of her past There, she meets a group of men and women who will forever alter the way she understands herself from Tasmin, another much richer expat, to Hunter, a young man whose courage endangers them all, and, most important, Mei wife of one of China s most famous artists and a renowned painter herself with whom Elsey quickly forges a fierce friendship and whose candidness about her pain helps Elsey understand her own But Elsey must risk tearing herself and Lukas further apart when she decides she must return to her childhood home the center of her deepest pain before she can find her way back to him Elsey Come Home is a modern odyssey and a quietly dynamic portrait of contemporary womanhood Enter Giveaway Format Print book

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    Giveaway dates Jan 19 Feb 03, 2019

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    Lists with This Book This book is not yet featured on Listopia Add this book to your favorite list Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Jan 07, 2019 Britta B hler rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves netgalley, 2019, 2019new release, femlit, fiction, kindle, 01secondshelf read Not a terrible book but, how can I put it, a bit boring flag 7 likesLike see review Dec 03, 2018 Jill rated it really liked it review of another edition There s something about Elsey you re bound to like.She s vulnerable and open, wry and perceptive, refreshingly blunt and self deprecating but most of all, she s hurting up a storm When we first meet her, she is about to venture forth on a week long mountain retreat, a chance for participants to reinvent themselves It s a veiled ultimatum from her husband Lucas, who is almost at the end of his rope from her drinking issues Elsey s fear is that if she goes, she and Lucas may never find each oth There s something about Elsey you re bound to like.She s vulnerable and open, wry and perceptive, refreshingly blunt and self deprecating but most of all, she s hurting up a storm When we first meet her, she is about to venture forth on a week long mountain retreat, a chance for participants to reinvent themselves It s a veiled ultimatum from her husband Lucas, who is almost at the end of his rope from her drinking issues Elsey s fear is that if she goes, she and Lucas may never find each other again.Elsey Come Home is a sparse novel narrated by a character with a straightforward yet hypnotic voice, who doesn t shy away from confessing that she s at an important life juncture As a mother who isn t quite sure how to parent, a painter who may be losing her muse, a wife who loves her husband but keeps disappointing him, and most of all, an addict who can t quite face that alcohol is taking over her life, Elsey needs fixing fast.What elevates this novel other than the spot on voice is Susan Conley s fine ability to sketch and then fill in characters that could easily leap from the page into one s living room Elsey and her retreat companions, including the famous painter Mei, the affluent ex patriot Tasmin, and the bravado scion Hunter bond together organically and their experience is treated with understanding and respect.Elsey s internal and external journeys during the course of the book are composed of gradual realizations that are the pillars of ongoing growth Elsey couldn t help but remind me of a new friend I instantly like because of her willingness to be her authentic self the good, the bad, and the ugly There s not a false note 4.5 stars flag 7 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jan 22, 2019 Jennifer rated it really liked it review of another edition She s a wife, a mother, an artist who doesn t believe in herself When her husband Lukas tells her about a retreat called Shashan, she leaves her family for a week of rediscovering herself, waiting for that moment when she is fixed from her demons Here s an excerpt that really struck me I worked hard then to remember Lukas loved me and my girls loved me and that I wasn t being punished I was being helped I stayed caught between being weak and being helped and in this way Shashan called on She s a wife, a mother, an artist who doesn t believe in herself When her husband Lukas tells her about a retreat called Shashan, she leaves her family for a week of rediscovering herself, waiting for that moment when she is fixed from her demons Here s an excerpt that really struck me I worked hard then to remember Lukas loved me and my girls loved me and that I wasn t being punished I was being helped I stayed caught between being weak and being helped and in this way Shashan called on me to clarify something about myself Did I love myself or hate myself Until I met Lukas, I didn t know there were people who liked themselves even with the damage they carried This is a story about choices we make, addictions we carry and how we can forgive ourselves our past and try to move on Elsey s attention to detail and storytelling is rich You really get an understanding of what she is going through However, I think that addiction has an impact on her own memory because throughout the book, I realized that Elsey wasn t being honest with herself That s how well her addiction is written in the book It even effects her storytelling This book is the inside and the outside look of Elsey s life and the impact her actions have on her and her own family It was beautifully written and I really recommend it Thank you to aaknopf for my copy, I received this book in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own flag 4 likesLike see review Dec 15, 2018 Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok review of another edition Elsey is a woman who is fearful of intimacy and goes so far as to lie or dissociate rather than deal with her emotions She was once a fairly well known and respected artist who sold her work regularly However, after marrying Lukas and having children, she feels like she can t be both a mother and an artist Instead, she drinksd then drinks some Lukas is beside himself, as the children have grown frightened and often neglected He strongly suggests that Elsey go on a retreat to Shas Elsey is a woman who is fearful of intimacy and goes so far as to lie or dissociate rather than deal with her emotions She was once a fairly well known and respected artist who sold her work regularly However, after marrying Lukas and having children, she feels like she can t be both a mother and an artist Instead, she drinksd then drinks some Lukas is beside himself, as the children have grown frightened and often neglected He strongly suggests that Elsey go on a retreat to Shashan to help find herself and, in Elsey s mind, to become sober.Currently, they are living in China because Lukas is a musician and his electronic music is very popular there He has tried to reach out to Elsey in every way possible but he is unable to reach her, really reach her There marriage is at stake and Lukas hopes this retreat will help save it In Shashan, a mountain retreat where she goes for one week, Elsey practices yoga, meditation, and silence She participates in a talking circle Most importantly, she meets people with whom she can connect Others trust her with their secrets but can Elsey trust them with hers She becomes involved in the lives of some of the other participants and realizes that she has been closed off to her own feeling since the death of her sister Margaret when Elsey was a child In many ways, Elsey feels responsible for Margaret s death because she was unable to save her from her illness I found the characters fairly two dimensional without any great depth The story is told in first person from Elsey s perspective and her journal notes The chapters are truncated and some don t seem to go anywhere I wished for a richer narrative that let me access the depths of Elsey s emotions and personal growth flag 3 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jan 25, 2019 Cherise Wolas rated it liked it Shelves 2019 reading challenge, atmospheric, books about loss, contemporary fiction, fiction, literary Elsey is not fully inhabiting her life or her skin She s American, from Maine, and living in Beijing with her husband Lukas, a successful electronic music composer and DJ, and their two young daughters, Myla and Elisabeth Once a successful painter, we are dropped into her world as she s grappling or not grappling with her drinking problem, her unresolved grief over the loss of her younger sister in childhood, and her husband s desire to fix their marriage Seemingly always quiet, she has gone Elsey is not fully inhabiting her life or her skin She s American, from Maine, and living in Beijing with her husband Lukas, a successful electronic music composer and DJ, and their two young daughters, Myla and Elisabeth Once a successful painter, we are dropped into her world as she s grappling or not grappling with her drinking problem, her unresolved grief over the loss of her younger sister in childhood, and her husband s desire to fix their marriage Seemingly always quiet, she has gone quieter, and has distanced herself from her family She s a cypher in many ways, despite what we learn about her, and she never completely came into focus for me She doubts her ability to mother not helped by her drinking and has lost that touchstone of painting which defined her The novel is organized around her week long stay at a mountain retreat yoga, silence, walking along the Great Wall of China that her husband insisted she attend We learn about the people at the retreat as she tells her story to an unknown person, and from a distant future point The title seems to mean come home to family, come home to her husband, come home to herself Throughout this quiet novel, we learn about a past love in Ireland, a bit about the death of her sister, her childhood, what it was like to be immersed in her painting, and in her drinking Lovely prose, engaging and very ephemeral, as if all these hard aspects of her life are happening in a dream flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 29, 2019 Paltia rated it really liked it Elsey is a woman who, at first, thinks she can keep running away from herself She gives up her art where all her emotions were expressed to try and be a mother Essentially this is about unresolved grief, if grief ever resolved More accurately it is about unexpressed grief She feels she is neither wife nor mother and tries to find solace in alcohol While at a retreat she becomes acquainted with an artist, Mei Mei so different from Elsey yet they click This is a novel about introspection E Elsey is a woman who, at first, thinks she can keep running away from herself She gives up her art where all her emotions were expressed to try and be a mother Essentially this is about unresolved grief, if grief ever resolved More accurately it is about unexpressed grief She feels she is neither wife nor mother and tries to find solace in alcohol While at a retreat she becomes acquainted with an artist, Mei Mei so different from Elsey yet they click This is a novel about introspection Elsey expresses her thoughts so honestly it can hurt The pace felt just right until she returns from the retreat Suddenly the world is whirling around everyone By the end of the story Ms Conley magically slows the reader down again until you gracefully shed a tear and smile at the ending flag 3 likesLike see review Paltia Many thanks, my friend Jan 29, 2019 04 38PM Paltia Thank you Richard Still thinking about this one Jan 31, 2019 07 11PM Paltia Thanks, Isa I think you d like this Jan 31, 2019 07 15PM Dec 13, 2018 BookGypsy rated it really liked it Once a successful painter, Elsey can t find the joy she once felt in life Married with two children, Elsey drowns herself in alcohol and can t find her place as artist, wife and mother When her husband gives her a brochure for a mountain retreat she knows she has to go Once at the retreat Elsey meets people and finally understands what she has to do to find happiness A really great story Multi layered plot I really enjoyed this.I was give a copy from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Once a successful painter, Elsey can t find the joy she once felt in life Married with two children, Elsey drowns herself in alcohol and can t find her place as artist, wife and mother When her husband gives her a brochure for a mountain retreat she knows she has to go Once at the retreat Elsey meets people and finally understands what she has to do to find happiness A really great story Multi layered plot I really enjoyed this.I was give a copy from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Ruby BookGypsyNovels N Latte Book BlogNovels Latte Book ClubHudson Valley NY flag 3 likesLike see review Sep 22, 2018 Jmm rated it it was amazing review of another edition This spunky and surprising book is a meditation on motherhood what it gives and what it can take Why we put it off and also why we embrace it Which broken parts inside of us it can heal and which it never can In meditating on this singular and yet nearly universal experience in settings Conley makes familiar even when they aren t to this reader anyway this lyrical novelist explores than motherhood, than womanhood She explores the state of being human I would follow Elsey anywher This spunky and surprising book is a meditation on motherhood what it gives and what it can take Why we put it off and also why we embrace it Which broken parts inside of us it can heal and which it never can In meditating on this singular and yet nearly universal experience in settings Conley makes familiar even when they aren t to this reader anyway this lyrical novelist explores than motherhood, than womanhood She explores the state of being human I would follow Elsey anywhere A must read for anyone who appreciates spare and poetic prose or who relishes the opening up of whole entire worlds through deeply singular stories flag 2 likesLike see review Sep 21, 2018 Lewis Robinson rated it it was amazing review of another edition This novel is smart and wry and completely engrossing I found myself constantly starring underlining sentences there are so many to savor I loved the short chapters and the movement in time I never once felt bored as Elsey s story unfolded It s economically written, though it feels lush with the colors smells sounds of its setting There s such wisdom and beauty in this book flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 24, 2019 Allen Adams rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves fiction, published reviews ve been a book reviewer for over a decade As such, I have seen a lot of books cross my desk so many, in fact, that there s no way that I could ever read them all Some cuts are easy, while others are genuinely hard decisions.One such cut I made back in 2011 was Susan Conley s memoir The Foremost Good Fortune It was one of the hard ones, but I made it And when I finally revisited the book some years later, I realized that not only was the decision ve been a book reviewer for over a decade As such, I have seen a lot of books cross my desk so many, in fact, that there s no way that I could ever read them all Some cuts are easy, while others are genuinely hard decisions.One such cut I made back in 2011 was Susan Conley s memoir The Foremost Good Fortune It was one of the hard ones, but I made it And when I finally revisited the book some years later, I realized that not only was the decision difficult it was wrong I promised myself I wouldn t miss out on another offering from such a talented writer.Hence, when I received my copy of Conley s new novel Elsey Come Home Knopf, 25.95 , I immediately dug in And what I got was a beautiful, ethereal piece of writing a look at the power of family, the nature of creativity and the dynamics of addiction It s an exploration of one woman s psyche, a look both deep and broad into what makes a person tick, packed with emotional resonance and deftly turned phrases.Elsey is an American painter living in China From the outside, her life looks like an idyllic success She s established a degree of success, with gallery shows and commissions and five figure sales Her Danish husband Lukas is also an expat, a noted producer and performer of electronic dance music They have two daughters and a lovely home.But Elsey is struggling She can t find the balance that she wants between her painting, her kids and her husband instead, she turns inward She worries and drinks, drinks and worries, leaving all aspects of her life to suffer.One day, Lukas hands her a brochure for a weeklong retreat in the mountains There s no stated or else ultimatum, but the meaning is clear if she can t figure out a way to get herself together, some hard decisions about their family were going to have to be made And so she goes, unsure of how or even if she wants to get better.At the yoga retreat, Elsey quickly meets a motley collection of fellow seekers There are wealthy expats, socialites and executives There are youngsters searching for meaning And then there s Mei a famous Chinese artist whose work Elsey has long admired.There in the hills, in seven days packed with yoga poses and sharing of truths, Elsey is left to confront her own ideas about who she is and the path she wants to take It becomes a question about where the journey literal and figurative will lead.One of the central ideas in Elsey Come Home is the recognition of just how difficult it is for people women in particular to achieve a satisfactory balance in their lives The fact that Elsey has to remove herself from her life in order to gain perspective speaks volumes to the pressures that are exerted on us by everyday life.There s a richness of place that Conley evokes, a sensual surrounding that transforms and transports Subtle details are woven together like silken threads, creating a variety of tapestries that are all equally striking regardless of the picture they are intended to present It s a good word present It describes perfectly how you feel when immersed in Conley s prose she places you precisely where she wants you to be and where you need to be.Elsey herself fascinates She is an accomplished, talented woman, yet not even her many gifts are able to guarantee her happiness Her struggles are genuine and resonant We feel her internal conflict and see how her inability to give herself over to either her work or her family results in feelings of inadequacy in both realms Watching as those feelings lead to one glass of wine, two glasses, four glasses it s both heartbreaking and uncomfortably real Elsey Come Home is a wonderful read, an insightful bildungsroman that captures one woman s quest for spiritual satisfaction It is thoughtful and emotionally charged, a beautiful effort to capture the complexities of striving for a fulfilling and creative life.I passed on a Susan Conley book once before This book is an exquisite illustration of precisely why I will never make that mistake again flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 17, 2018 Kathy rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.Two and a half stars.Several elements of Elsey Come Home mirror Conley s memoir The Foremost Good Fortune Conley s experience living in China with cancer clearly inspired some of this novel However, the novel lacks focus and vacillates between several subplots and themes including addiction, marriage and parenthood, Elsey s friendship with a Chinese woman she meets at a retreat, her career as a painter, and her childhood memories The i I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.Two and a half stars.Several elements of Elsey Come Home mirror Conley s memoir The Foremost Good Fortune Conley s experience living in China with cancer clearly inspired some of this novel However, the novel lacks focus and vacillates between several subplots and themes including addiction, marriage and parenthood, Elsey s friendship with a Chinese woman she meets at a retreat, her career as a painter, and her childhood memories The inclusion of so many subplots weakens all of them I would have preferred detail on one or two major plot lines Most of Elsey s relationships seem unformed since there is little background for them, and the struggles that lead Elsey to alcoholism make her character seem somewhat unformed as well The tense of the book is also problematic as it is written in the past tense from some future point that is never identified i.e back then I used to and this distracted me and undermined my attempts to stay immersed in the story The book also crosses many settings, zigzagging between China and the United States One setting in particular, a Chinese mountain retreat, is populated with too many characters to keep straight, but there are some amusing and quirky characters there all the same All in all, there were interesting elements to the story and Elsey is easy to sympathize with if not easily understood flag 1 likeLike see review View 2 comments Oct 04, 2018 Susan Walker rated it really liked it review of another edition This story of a mother, wife and painter at a crossroads is a winner The character of Elsey is wonderful flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 21, 2019 Jane Sloven rated it it was amazing I read straight through Elsey Come Home, taking time out only to make notes on a slew of sentences So many were gems sentences that encapsulated truths or ones that open the heart This book looks small, but it s very, very large in so many ways It skilfully portrays our struggles as women, balancing creativity with marriage and parenting and relationships It is also a story of Americans living abroad in China, a country which comes alive here, too Elsey Come Home is a beautiful, deep, thoug I read straight through Elsey Come Home, taking time out only to make notes on a slew of sentences So many were gems sentences that encapsulated truths or ones that open the heart This book looks small, but it s very, very large in so many ways It skilfully portrays our struggles as women, balancing creativity with marriage and parenting and relationships It is also a story of Americans living abroad in China, a country which comes alive here, too Elsey Come Home is a beautiful, deep, thought provoking read.I highly recommend it flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 11, 2018 Isabel Blakefield rated it it was amazing review of another edition This novel wasn t at all what I anticipated It was beautifully written and in places, it felt lyrical in other spots it was frantic and yet in others, it stopped and moved very slowly It took me about a quarter of the book to feel like I understood what was happening I almost stopped reading early on because I didn t know where we were going and I was feeling too distant and disconnected from Elsey, the protagonist I was sort of wrong and I m glad I kept going I think the early part of this This novel wasn t at all what I anticipated It was beautifully written and in places, it felt lyrical in other spots it was frantic and yet in others, it stopped and moved very slowly It took me about a quarter of the book to feel like I understood what was happening I almost stopped reading early on because I didn t know where we were going and I was feeling too distant and disconnected from Elsey, the protagonist I was sort of wrong and I m glad I kept going I think the early part of this book Elsey is disconnected and so I couldn t understand her because she was too distant from herself to offer a connection when reading her in first person But when I looked up, when Elsey started reflecting a little ways in, I realized I was truly immersed in Elsey s head and I was thankful for the early part of the book because it set the groundwork I didn t realize that this book was about Elsey s alcoholism until halfway through because again I don t think Elsey realized that this was an account of her alcoholism until then either Although, I don t want to pigeonhole the book into being about one thing alcoholism because it s about a full person s life which included a struggle with alcohol The parts of this book that were the most potent were the parts where Elsey repeated her patterns even while she tried to change them even when she didn t acknowledge this was what she was doing and when she hit a point where she broke those patterns because she had to I was there fully with her This was a beautiful book about a woman figuring herself out and I appreciated being there for all the complexities along the way Also, as a side note, I like how the author acknowledged, I think, through Elsey her own inability to comment for the people of China and her privilege This diluted the trope of a foreigner coming to an exotic place and claiming that place as theirs to use for healing or to use as a backdrop for their own savior narrative I think it s clear that this was on Susan Coley s mind as she wrote and from my own position, I think her perspective hit the right note I received an advanced copy of this book for free in return for my honest review flag 1 likeLike see review Sep 26, 2018 Ashley rated it it was amazing review of another edition Have you ever gone shopping on an empty stomach and you can t make any decisions That s what this book was like I felt that same foggy feeling that Elsey describes throughout the entire book It also made me want to eat chicken and dumplings, but I think that s just me But maybe it will be you too flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 13, 2018 BookGypsy rated it really liked it review of another edition Once a successful painter, Elsey can t find the joy she once felt in life Married with two children, Elsey drowns herself in alcohol and can t find her place as artist, wife and mother When her husband gives her a brochure for a mountain retreat she knows she has to go Once at the retreat Elsey meets people and finally understands what she has to do to find happiness A really great story Multi layered plot I really enjoyed this.I was give a copy from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Once a successful painter, Elsey can t find the joy she once felt in life Married with two children, Elsey drowns herself in alcohol and can t find her place as artist, wife and mother When her husband gives her a brochure for a mountain retreat she knows she has to go Once at the retreat Elsey meets people and finally understands what she has to do to find happiness A really great story Multi layered plot I really enjoyed this.I was give a copy from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Ruby BookGypsyNovels N Latte Book BlogNovels Latte Book ClubHudson Valley NY flag 1 likeLike see review May 29, 2018 Karin Schott rated it liked it review of another edition I am reading an advanced copy of this book.There will be a full review soon However I wanted to share this momentBehold A bookseller sorting advanced reader copies in the back room Oh, wow Look at that great cover art Hmm Bookseller flips book over to read about the book Check out the blurbs Michael Paterniti, oh I love his collection of essays Hey Look Bill Roorbach blurbed it Loved his Remedy for Love Richard Russo too Hmm, these are all Maine authors Conley is from Main I am reading an advanced copy of this book.There will be a full review soon However I wanted to share this momentBehold A bookseller sorting advanced reader copies in the back room Oh, wow Look at that great cover art Hmm Bookseller flips book over to read about the book Check out the blurbs Michael Paterniti, oh I love his collection of essays Hey Look Bill Roorbach blurbed it Loved his Remedy for Love Richard Russo too Hmm, these are all Maine authors Conley is from Maine ooohhh There is something in the water here Elsey is a mom living in China with her musician husband and two daughters She is clearly unhappy Her husband gives her a yoga retreat hoping that she will figure some things out while practicing warrior pose.This is the story of a woman, lost from her art and her sense of self, as she struggles with motherhood and long unresolved issues The writing is spare The story quiet The setting of contemporary China lends an air of danger to the story The pain this character is in is convincing Motherhood demands so much from women, and how those demands get answered is at the root of this book It is easy to lend an opinion to how a character should resolve her issues In the end the writer gets to decide which means that this book surprised me in ways I did not expect flag Like see review Jan 09, 2019 Romantic Intentions Quarterly rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves womens fiction It s possible that there is just too much going on in this book There is Elsey wry, clever, falling apart Elsey an artist who has lost her will to paint in the wake of motherhood There is Elsey s alcohol problem, which her DJ husband decides to solve by sending her to a retreat in the Chinese mountains They live in China, it should be mentioned There are the fellow lost souls she meets there, and Elsey s long buried trauma, and her feelings of unworthiness And all the time you re worr It s possible that there is just too much going on in this book There is Elsey wry, clever, falling apart Elsey an artist who has lost her will to paint in the wake of motherhood There is Elsey s alcohol problem, which her DJ husband decides to solve by sending her to a retreat in the Chinese mountains They live in China, it should be mentioned There are the fellow lost souls she meets there, and Elsey s long buried trauma, and her feelings of unworthiness And all the time you re worried about those kids It s definitely an interesting book, one to keep you reading and one that raises some questions about how to fit yourself into someone else s life without disappearing completely But it just has a lot going on It s wonderfully written, though, and life as an expat in China is captured pretty much perfectly Maura Tan3 1 2 stars.This review appears in Romantic Intentions Quarterly 4 flag Like see review Sep 25, 2018 Katherine Longstreth rated it it was amazing review of another edition I found the voice of Elsey to be so relatable that it was unnerving This is an unflinching look at the interior world of an artist, a mother, a wife and a drinker After an illness knocks Elsey off her game in a surprisingly complete way, she struggles to find herself within these four identities What is so impressive about this book is that the overwhelming, foggy struggle of Elsey s state of mind, almost like that of a person struggling with synesthesia, is conveyed by a voice which is spare I found the voice of Elsey to be so relatable that it was unnerving This is an unflinching look at the interior world of an artist, a mother, a wife and a drinker After an illness knocks Elsey off her game in a surprisingly complete way, she struggles to find herself within these four identities What is so impressive about this book is that the overwhelming, foggy struggle of Elsey s state of mind, almost like that of a person struggling with synesthesia, is conveyed by a voice which is spare, quiet and so lean it reaches the bone This contrast between the light eloquence of the language and the weight of the issues it communicates is mesmerizing and powerful flag Like see review Jan 29, 2019 Nada rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves r pfr Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley is the journey of a woman struggling with addiction In some ways, the book begins with the ending The rest of the book is further definition how Elsey gets there This book confuses me Too many characters Too many time periods Too many details And yet, at the same time, not enough to pull me in emotionally Sadly, I find myself unable to follow and unable to be the reader for this book Read my complete review at Revi Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley is the journey of a woman struggling with addiction In some ways, the book begins with the ending The rest of the book is further definition how Elsey gets there This book confuses me Too many characters Too many time periods Too many details And yet, at the same time, not enough to pull me in emotionally Sadly, I find myself unable to follow and unable to be the reader for this book Read my complete review at Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program flag Like see review Nov 12, 2018 Melanie Coombes rated it liked it Shelves first reads This book was okay for me It was a very quick read, but it covered a lot of topics Elsey is an american expat living in China She is an artist, married and has 2 children However, she finds she has lost the ability to still create art and live a fulfilling life She drinks alot and seems very lost Her husband, who is Dutch, strongly urges Elsey to attend a retreat for one week in the mountains While I enjoyed the story, I found myself wanting to read it quickly to finish it I never really This book was okay for me It was a very quick read, but it covered a lot of topics Elsey is an american expat living in China She is an artist, married and has 2 children However, she finds she has lost the ability to still create art and live a fulfilling life She drinks alot and seems very lost Her husband, who is Dutch, strongly urges Elsey to attend a retreat for one week in the mountains While I enjoyed the story, I found myself wanting to read it quickly to finish it I never really got into it very much I received a complimentary copy as part of the Giveaway program flag Like see review Dec 22, 2018 Claudia Wagener rated it really liked it review of another edition I enjoyed this book Each chapter is only a couple of pages long, so you really get to read as much or as little as you want every time you go to read it.The author s way of writing kept me engaged for most of the book The ending was a bit of a letdown, as I felt that nothing really happened I expected , or I at least expected the ending to be standard but written in a thought provoking way Overall, this book has given me insight on marriage and insecurity in relationships I would have l I enjoyed this book Each chapter is only a couple of pages long, so you really get to read as much or as little as you want every time you go to read it.The author s way of writing kept me engaged for most of the book The ending was a bit of a letdown, as I felt that nothing really happened I expected , or I at least expected the ending to be standard but written in a thought provoking way Overall, this book has given me insight on marriage and insecurity in relationships I would have loved to learn of the what life is like for a foreigner living in china flag Like see review Dec 14, 2018 Irene OHare rated it it was ok review of another edition I got this book for free through Penguin s First to Read program It was okay The blurb sounded interesting and I wanted to try something new but it never really hooked me Elsey is feeling very lost and we follow her as she slowly floats back into stability The book moved slow, which is realistic for what Elsey was going through but I just never connected with any of the characters enough to care about the story I think I might if I read this in another 20 years but at 27 I just didn t get E I got this book for free through Penguin s First to Read program It was okay The blurb sounded interesting and I wanted to try something new but it never really hooked me Elsey is feeling very lost and we follow her as she slowly floats back into stability The book moved slow, which is realistic for what Elsey was going through but I just never connected with any of the characters enough to care about the story I think I might if I read this in another 20 years but at 27 I just didn t get Elsey s state of mind flag Like see review Dec 30, 2018 Shekenah rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves penguin first to read I was able to read a copy for free via the Penguin First to Read Program This was okay The book kept my interest for the most part , but I felt very detached from the story and characters I agree with another reviewer that there was too much focus on side characters I didn t necessarily connect to Elsey and with the focus on other characters, it detracted from her journey The book is fairly easy to get through, but it s not very memorable flag Like see review Nov 06, 2018 Kylene rated it it was amazing Shelves won on Elsey Comes Home shows that a book doesn t have to be long to be significant This novel touched on so many big topics making a marriage work, balancing caring for children with expressing creativity, friendships as an adult, doing all this far from home while dealing with childhood trauma, addiction I didn t feel as if any of the topics were glossed over I really could emphasize with Elsey perhaps because many of the topics are relevant to me Overall, this was a great book and one to whic Elsey Comes Home shows that a book doesn t have to be long to be significant This novel touched on so many big topics making a marriage work, balancing caring for children with expressing creativity, friendships as an adult, doing all this far from home while dealing with childhood trauma, addiction I didn t feel as if any of the topics were glossed over I really could emphasize with Elsey perhaps because many of the topics are relevant to me Overall, this was a great book and one to which I will return I ll be on the lookout for other books by this author as well flag Like see review Aug 09, 2018 James Beggarly rated it really liked it Such a lovely book about a good woman who has lost her way in life while living in Beijing with her husband and two young daughters Sent on a retreat into the mountains by her husband, the woman, Elsey, hopes to come back a healed new version of herself She doesn t But what she does learn is that she s on the right road and the rest of the novel has her traveling back to America for a short time to help her find the pieces she needs to move forward in her life flag Like see review Dec 11, 2018 Julia gameofreading rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves first to read, 2018 Unfortunately, this book was just not for me I never connected with the main character Coming from a family with addiction problems, I felt like the issue was not fully addressed at any point in the story I also found the back and forth between past and present very confusing, with nothing to distinguish between the two Sadly, this just did not live up to my expectations.I received an advanced copy from First To Read in exchange for an honest review flag Like see review Jan 21, 2019 Qi Fu rated it it was amazing review of another edition This is an amazing read a fascinating and totally enveloping story about a woman who finds her own strength by going way out of her comfort zone It brings to life China, which I loved, but it could be set anywhere It s really a story about marriage and what motherhood means to a woman who also wants to have a career The writing is brilliant and I still have all these lines from the book in my head flag Like see review Jan 29, 2019 E Elizabeth rated it it was amazing review of another edition As a working mother and wife, Elsey is at a crossroads in her life and as the awareness seeps in, she must make some painful decisions The themes of this book are some I can identify with as a working mother and artist myself but importantly as a human being The writing is poetic and emotional and I loved every word of it flag Like see review Jan 19, 2019 Aaron Hamburger rated it it was amazing review of another edition Elegantly written novel that keeps surprising the reader not only with plot twists but also insights into the human heart Skillfully done, with characters and settings you haven t seen before Even if you ve been to China, you haven t been to this China, seen through the eyes of an astute observer Enjoyed this one flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Librari Combine Editions Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley 2 11 Dec 22, 2018 06 30PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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    About "Susan Conley"

      • Susan Conley

        Susan Conley is the author of Elsey Come Home Knopf, January 2019 , a Library Journal Pre Pub Alert pick for January Kirkus writes that the novel illustrates the power of storytelling as a process for healing What entices and endures here is the voice dreamy, meditative, hypnotic, and very real Susan is also the author of Paris Was the Place Knopf, August 2013 , an Fall Big Books Pic Susan Conley is the author of Elsey Come Home Knopf, January 2019 , a Library Journal Pre Pub Alert pick for January Kirkus writes that the novel illustrates the power of storytelling as a process for healing What entices and endures here is the voice dreamy, meditative, hypnotic, and very real Susan is also the author of Paris Was the Place Knopf, August 2013 , an Fall Big Books Pick for fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an Elle Magazine Readers Prize Pick, and a People magazine Top Pick Susan s memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune Knopf 2011 , was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine and the Daily Beast It was an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick of the Month, a Slate Magazine Book of the Week and a finalist for the Choice Award It won the Maine Literary Award for Memoir Other work of hers has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, The Huffington Post, Ploughshares, The Harvard Review and elsewhere Susan Conley has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council A former faculty member at Emerson College, she has also taught at Colby College and Simmons College She currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine s Stonecoast MFA Program, and is the co founder of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing lab in Portland, Maine, where she leads a variety of workshops


    137 Comments


    1. There s something about Elsey you re bound to like.She s vulnerable and open, wry and perceptive, refreshingly blunt and self deprecating but most of all, she s hurting up a storm When we first meet her, she is about to venture forth on a week long mountain retreat, a chance for participants to reinvent themselves It s a veiled ultimatum from her husband Lucas, who is almost at the end of his rope from her drinking issues Elsey s fear is that if she goes, she and Lucas may never find each oth Th [...]


    2. She s a wife, a mother, an artist who doesn t believe in herself When her husband Lukas tells her about a retreat called Shashan, she leaves her family for a week of rediscovering herself, waiting for that moment when she is fixed from her demons Here s an excerpt that really struck me I worked hard then to remember Lukas loved me and my girls loved me and that I wasn t being punished I was being helped I stayed caught between being weak and being helped and in this way Shashan called on She s a [...]


    3. Elsey is a woman who is fearful of intimacy and goes so far as to lie or dissociate rather than deal with her emotions She was once a fairly well known and respected artist who sold her work regularly However, after marrying Lukas and having children, she feels like she can t be both a mother and an artist Instead, she drinksd then drinks some Lukas is beside himself, as the children have grown frightened and often neglected He strongly suggests that Elsey go on a retreat to Shas Elsey is a wom [...]


    4. Elsey is not fully inhabiting her life or her skin She s American, from Maine, and living in Beijing with her husband Lukas, a successful electronic music composer and DJ, and their two young daughters, Myla and Elisabeth Once a successful painter, we are dropped into her world as she s grappling or not grappling with her drinking problem, her unresolved grief over the loss of her younger sister in childhood, and her husband s desire to fix their marriage Seemingly always quiet, she has gone Els [...]


    5. Elsey is a woman who, at first, thinks she can keep running away from herself She gives up her art where all her emotions were expressed to try and be a mother Essentially this is about unresolved grief, if grief ever resolved More accurately it is about unexpressed grief She feels she is neither wife nor mother and tries to find solace in alcohol While at a retreat she becomes acquainted with an artist, Mei Mei so different from Elsey yet they click This is a novel about introspection E Elsey i [...]


    6. Once a successful painter, Elsey can t find the joy she once felt in life Married with two children, Elsey drowns herself in alcohol and can t find her place as artist, wife and mother When her husband gives her a brochure for a mountain retreat she knows she has to go Once at the retreat Elsey meets people and finally understands what she has to do to find happiness A really great story Multi layered plot I really enjoyed this.I was give a copy from the publisher for my honest review.Dawn Once [...]


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