A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

From National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town.A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.Evelyn set aside her car...

Details A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

TitleA Cloud in the Shape of a Girl
Release DateOct 23rd, 2018
PublisherSimon Schuster
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Reviews A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

  • Angela M
    3.5 stars Let’s face it. There’s probably a little dysfunction in all of our families, and I’ll admit to my own, but I have to say up front, the dysfunction here with a cast of miserably, unhappy characters, unhappy with each other and with themselves, was more than I could relate to. The novel focuses on three generations of women. Evelyn is dying and we learn that she’s led an unsatisfying life, resentful that she gave up her dreams and...
  • Diane S ☔
    2.5 I had a very negative reaction to this story. Don't get me wrong, the writing is extremely well done, but the book was just so, well for me, a Debbie downer. Three generations of women, unhappy families to the extreme. Nary a glimpse of joy. Never connected with the chsrscters, so I didn't feel sorry for the as did my wonderful reading partners, Esil and Angela. To me, they were like cardboard characters, so obvious and stereotypical. Unhappy...
  • Cheri
    ”There's no mercy in a live wireNo rest at all in freedomOf the choices we are given it's no choice at allThe proof is in the fireYou touch before it moves awayBut you must always know how long to stay and when to go“And there ain't no talkin' to this manHe's been tryin' to tell me soIt took awhile to understand the beauty of just letting goCause it would take an acrobat, I already tried all thatI'm gonna let him fly” -- Let Him Fly, Patty ...
  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    If you want to know who really loves you, look around and see who’s still standing next to you. This is a story about relationships and finding one’s true self. The pace of the novel is measured and slowly builds, allowing the reader to be gently taken along for the ride. No major plot twists or adventure, this is a slice-of-life narrative that gives a peek into someone else's life. The characters are intriguing, quirky and classic Thompson. ...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    For those who aren’t familiar with Jean Thompson, a word of warning—her books do not have page-turning action or swiftly moving plots (at least the ones I’ve read). Instead, like this one, her novels are character-based, and her style is often meditative. When something dramatic happens, it isn’t like a bomb going off, but rather like the bottom fell out. She does not pander to boilerplate blockbusters, or pad her story with popular plati...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    The novel of male discontent and melancholy has been at the center of American literature for a long time, but more and more I see the rise of its long overdue female counterpart. The novel of male discontent (almost always a straight cis white male, well-off, and successful) has always been a mystery to me. Its central question seems to be, "Why am I so unhappy?" and the answer is usually nothing more than that this is inherent to life, that it ...
  • Nancy
    Women hold a family together. They plan the social activities and family gatherings, act as a buffer between butting heads, ease the high emotions of family conflict, and provide the meals for the family table that brings generations together.It is not an easy job, or an easy life. Especially in families afflicted with personality disorders, addictions, mental illness, anger issues, conflict--or even with the usual garden variety issues common to...
  • Mahala
    Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC. A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a story about three generations of women in the Wise family. I believe the point of this novel is to try to answer whether each generation of women is doomed to be exactly like their mother or if they can change their course. It seems this was meant to be poignant and moving and affect us all in some deep way but honestly, it was terrible and dull. This was a ...
  • Jill
    In her latest novel, Jean Thompson focuses on what she does best — creating authentic and complex characters that quietly make choices, some good and some bad, and evolve through those decisions. In exploring three generations of women, the question that arises is this: is it possible to break free from one’s family and cast off its legacy of unhappy women?For Grace, who literally renames herself from her given name of Patti (Grace is her mid...
  • Irene
    I suppose anyone who is a daughter, or a mother, or has lost a mother, will be able to find something to relate to in this book. I know I did. It is true that women have always been the glue that holds a family together, sometimes joyfully, other times not so much. This is the story of 3 generations of unhappy, dissatisfied, women who did the best they could with the hand they were dealt, and lived as best they could with the choices they made. I...
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- From National Book Award finalist and the New York Times' bestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town.A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of t...
  • Mary Lins
    I can’t imagine a woman who WON’T find something with which to identify in the three main characters of Jean Thompson’s novel, “A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl”. There were parts of each of their stories that spoke to me directly, parts that mystified me completely, and all of it was compelling and beautifully rendered. I feel confident recommending this to all of my female reading friends, AND to any man who would like some insight into...
  • Susan Csoke
    Laura Wise Arnold now in her fifties with a husband and family of her own, is in charge of overseeeing her dying mothers home and affairs etc. A Charming Read!!!! Thankyou Goodreads for this free book.
  • Lissa
    Following three generations of women in a Midwestern college town, this novel explores the sacrifices made for family and how those choices reflect in future generations. It also examines the relationship between mothers and daughters and how sometimes a daughter make decisions just to counteract the decisions that their mother made before her. This is a quiet novel and does a good job of demonstrating how the role of women in a family is defined...
  • Nilton Teixeira
    I’m giving 3 stars because of the writing, which I thought was well done. But, unfortunately, I did not connect with any of the characters. I love drama and the premises sounded very promising, but the story of 3 generations of very sad women did not touch me. I expected a lot more.
  • Rachael Peretic
    Jean Thompson’s latest novel, “Girl in the Shape of a Cloud”, is a multi-generational account of three women: Evelyn, Laura and Grace. In a small university town, the past seems inescapable. It greets you at birth and lingers long after you’ve gone. This is the reality Grace lives in, much like her mother Laura before her and her grandmother Evelyn before that; a world of prescribed expectations. Thompson links the women by more than bloo...
  • Jamckean
    Jean Thompson is an extraordinarily talented author; her latest novel is as remarkable as her highly acclaimed THE YEAR WE LEFT HOME. Her characters are exquisitely drawn, their vulnerabilities revealed, hopes and deepest fears exposed. She masterfully articulates the challenges faced by three generations of women, their sacrifices and unrealized expectations as mothers, wives and daughters. A CLOUD IN THE SHAPE OF A GIRL is one of those unique b...
  • Kristen
    Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.This glimpse into the lives of three generations of women is tenderly and realistically written. The characters feel exceptionally real, as if they could be women that you know. Evelyn is a young woman during World War II. She is educated and ambitious, and due to the dearth of men during the war, is able to begin a career as a professor in a small coll...
  • Liz
    Visit my book blog at https://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com/Jean Thompson's new novel resonated in my subconscious, a place I try not to visit too often. Three generations of women in the mid-west are deeply unsatisfied with their lives. The story begins during WWII when Evelyn manages to secure a job teaching at a university because there is a shortage of men. Evelyn falls for an older professor of law and begins a life of academic privilege with...
  • Laura Hill
    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Book to be released on Oct 9, 2018.Writing: 4 Characters: 3.5 Plot: 3This (well-written) book could easily be subtitled: “Three Generations of Unhappy Women.” Evelyn — the matriarch — gave up the intellectual life she craved to marry a man she didn’t love. Her daughter, Laura, became a “pleaser,” working constantly to smooth tensio...
  • Diane
    Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Shuster for an e-copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. "It was another in a series of abnormal days made normal." A quote from the book that pretty much described the underlying feeling. The characters were all well-developed but they were all very sad people. I kept waiting for something good to happen. Basically, it is a story about three generations of women. There was the grandmother who married ...
  • Julie
    This is a character-driven, introspective novel about three generations of women in a Midwestern university town. Evelyn married a WWII veteran when women were expected to fulfill a certain domestic role, which she abhorred. She is mother to Laura, who is married to a drunk, and has two children, Grace and Mike. Evelyn is a hard woman to know, and her closed-off nature is acknowledged by her daughter and granddaughter. Laura is a martyr to her fa...
  • Karen
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I'm sad to admit it, but I DNF'd this book. I'm not in the habit of DNF'ing ARCs (this is the first one where I've done so), but I made it 50% into the novel and I simply didn't care for any of the characters. I understood and liked the premise: it follows three generations of women - Evelyn, Laura, and Grace - and their lives as they navigate love,...
  • Kati Berman
    A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Maybe, because my expectations were not very high after reading some negative reviews, I was very pleasantly surprised how much I liked this novel. The story is of three generations of women in one family, Evelyn, her daughter Laura and Laura’s daughter Grace. They all have been living in the same mid western town (specific loca...
  • Sharon Sample
    Once in a while I read a book really speaks to me. “A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl,” the story of three generations of women who live in a Midwestern college town, is this book. The story provides an amazing character study of the lives of these three women. It details what they had hoped to get from their lives verses the choices they are forced to make because of the mores of the time and the place in which they live. This book provides a c...
  • Dan Radovich
    Beautiful writing, as always, from Thompson telling the story of three generations of women. The tale spans from WWII to the present in a small Midwestern college town. Evelyn opted to be a housewife/Mother, Laura (her daughter) is in a marriage with a man whose expectations of everyone surprise her, and her daughter Grace seems to be floundering. Do women follow the same life pattern of previous generations? Thompson tackles that assumption in a...
  • Carla
    Three generations of Wise women, in a small midwestern town, with their various ambitions and stifled longings, are keenly portrayed in this story. I often enjoy stories that often don't have page turning qualities but are based in character development which Jean Thompson has done so wonderfully. From WWII to present day, the story of Evelyn, Laura and Grace transcend generations, with many life expectations and longings the same, yet the charac...
  • Mrsk Stephen
    A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, by Jean Thompson, examines the lives of three generations of women and how they were shaped by the boundaries placed on them by society. As the family saga unfurls the reader is caught up in the drama of terminal illness, addictions and love affairs – all themes we have read about countless times before. Yet Thompson captures something enigmatic about these ordinary people living ordinary lives that keeps the rea...
  • Ann
    Multi family generational stories are probably my favorite read. This book covers three women, Evelyn, Laura and Grace from World War II to the present. The three women are somewhat alike but trying to be very different than the previous generation. The story focus is Grace, my favorite. There is a section for each lady but Grace does interact with the others throughout the story. The location pretty much stays the same for the entire reading, mi...
  • Amanda Schlenker
    I won this book as part of a giveaway. This is a hard book to review for me. I like the author's writing style, it was very easy to pick up and read and immerse into the world. My favorite sections of the story were Grace's. My main issue is that I found it difficult to connect with the characters in the story. Although the intent was to tell the stories of three different generations of women, two of them felt too similar to be considered differ...