Anywhere But Here

By Mona Simpson,

Book cover of Anywhere But Here

Book description

A national bestseller—adapted into a movie starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon—Anywhere But Here is the heart-rending tale of a mother and daughter. A moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer, the novel follows the two women as they travel…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Anywhere But Here as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When this astonishing debut novel about a complicated mother-daughter relationship came out, I wondered if the author had met my mother. Because Adele August believes there’s nothing for her in her small Wisconsin town, she sets off for Los Angeles with her twelve-year-old daughter and a dream—Ann will be a child star; Adele will make a wealthy marriage; they’ll live the lives they were meant to. Simpson’s writing is gorgeous: “My mother and I should have both been girls who stayed out on the porch a little longer than the rest… who strained to hear the long-distance trucks on the…

Mona Simpson reveals the internal struggle of a daughter living with a narcissistic mother who sees her daughter only as an extension of herself. Young Ann is torn between love and anger—a constant balance that often tilts in one direction. Without her mother’s help, Ann finally finds her way. This novel showed me that, as in life, the story doesn’t always end with the long-sought-after perfect relationship. 

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