An Invisible Sign of My Own

An Invisible Sign of My Own

A Novel

Book - 2000
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Aimee Bender's stunning debut collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt , proved her to be one of the freshest voices in American fiction. Now, in her first novel, she builds on that early promise.

Mona Gray was ten when her father contracted a mysterious illness and she became a quitter, abandoning each of her talents just as pleasure became intense. The only thing she can't stop doing is math: She knocks on wood, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. When Mona begins teaching math to second-graders, she finds a ready audience. But the difficult and wonderful facts of life keep intruding. She finds herself drawn to the new science teacher, who has an unnerving way of seeing through her intricately built façade. Bender brilliantly directs her characters, giving them unexpected emotional depth and setting them in a calamitous world, both fancifully surreal and startlingly familiar.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385492249
Branch Call Number: BEN
Characteristics: 242 p.


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Jan 27, 2014

This book became vapid after the repetitive prose and the lengthy descriptions of what appears to be a disorder, like obsessive compulsive disorder. The main character has tics that are coupled with her mathematical genius. However, it is very hard to feel empathy for the character, who is rather two dimensional and for whom one loses compassion as her actions result in harm to children. This book is not a good read and is not very insightful into people with disorders. I finished the book to see if the end justified the means, but it didn't.

melissapowl Apr 24, 2009

My litmus test for a novel is whether or not it leaves a lasting impression--I don't have to think long to remember I read it. Well, I won't soon forget this book. Really quirky with a set of weird characters, all of whom have some serious issues. I picked it up because of the references to mathematics (loved the Numbers and Materials!), but wound up enjoying the sparse, unusual writing style and simply had to keep reading it even when I wondered why. It definitely isn't for everyone but the ending is surprisingly satisfying. I've also seen different versions of the cover which might make it more appealing.

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