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Review Excerpts

San Francisco Chronicle – June 11, 2006
“Fun… engrossing… Lisa Tucker's new fable about lives thrown off track and re-gained, and private utopias made, shattered and mended, is self-consciously the stuff of fairy tales. There's a magical over-the-top quality to the stories, which might be either familiar or unpalatable if they weren't so charmingly written and woven together. A good comfort-food story... the sort of book one wants to keep reading on the way to the airport, on the airplane, at night in bed, because it all tumbles together well, and because the kooky, off-kilter characters, with their various eccentricities, feel like a day's good companions.” – Tess Taylor

Santa Fe Reporter – June 7, 2006
“Lisa Tucker’s third novel, Once Upon a Day, is her strongest effort to date and it’s a lovely and surprising book. Running parallel to Dorothea’s story is an older story of a young aspiring actress, Lucy, and the controlling director, Charles, who marries her and turns her into a star. The journey to the intersection of these two stories is emotionally suspenseful and its resolution very satisfying.” – Julia Goldberg

The Journal Standard (IL) – May 25, 2006
“Once Upon A Day is Tucker's third novel and it defies categorization. Tucker's talent isn't in constructing elaborate mysteries, but rather in stripping away the secrets and heartbreaks that separate her memorable characters from each other, leaving them free to love each other honestly and completely. Tucker's characters are rich and fully realized, and they struggle with complicated emotions and motivations. This is a finely wrought dramatic tale which movingly illustrates how the events of one day can completely alter lives.” – Andrea McGough

Albuquerque Journal – May 7, 2006
“Lisa Tucker has ably demonstrated her writing talent. Tucker's latest, Once Upon a Day, is one of those page-turners full of mystery, suspense and romance that is likely to keep the TV off and readers up way past prime time. With a freewheeling résumé that includes stints as a waitress, office cleaner and computer programmer, Tucker has often said that she writes about ordinary, convincing people in an accessible style. Her new novel has its share of ordinary people; the poignant stories they share in this fairy tale of a book, however, are anything but.” – Robert Woltman

St. Louis Post Dispatch – May 7, 2006
“Lisa Tucker has established herself as a writer capable of plumbing the depths of a family's pain, each of her works suggesting that unlovable characters also can be the most interesting. Her most ambitious title, Once Upon a Day… deftly jumps back and forth between time periods. This book doesn't suggest a happy ending as it glides along, and Tucker keeps you guessing, crafting almost a mystery, along with a two-pronged love story that's hard to immediately file away. This one will stick with you for a bit.” – Thomas Crone

People Magazine (Critic's Choice) – April 17, 2006
“In Once Upon a Day, Tucker... examines the perversity of love and the capricious nature of life's unfolding. Her interwoven story of four members of a shattered family turns on an episode of violence that changes everyone. In her latest, Tucker's graceful prose and well crafted characters create a compelling odyssey of transfiguration.” – Lisa Kay Greissinger

Denver Post – April 16, 2006
“Tucker raises great questions about the nature of parental and marital responsibility. There is a line between love and obsession, but the exact moment it is crossed is difficult to determine. Tucker makes both sides of the line understandable and, in doing so, debatable. Once Upon a Day is readable, full of enjoyable characters, discussable and therefore bound to be a popular book- group pick.” – Robin Vidimos

Boston Globe – April 9, 2006
“Lisa Tucker's third novel, Once Upon a Day, is her most ambitious yet. It's a tragedy, a mystery, a romance, a twisted family story about loss, violence, obsession, and forgiveness. The novel is narrated from various points of view, in the voices of some unusual characters. Tucker is a graceful writer, with an ability to create characters whose flaws help make them sympathetic and believably human.”

Bookpage – April, 2006
“Once Upon a Day, the third novel by writer Lisa Tucker, is a dark, passionate tale about what can happen when the course of one's life is interrupted by the events of a solitary day. Tucker has a stylish, authentic way of revealing how it only takes one day for a person to lose hope—or regain it.” – Tanya S. Hodges

Library Journal – March 15, 2006
“Challenging, compelling, and poignant... A sheltered, innocent young woman, a kind cab driver, and a former film star are the narrators of Tucker's ambitious third novel. Readers will find this captivating, fish-out-of-water fairy tale and mystery-suspense-romance difficult to put down. Intriguing themes, including fate and coincidence, love and loss, and tragedy and forgiveness, combine with an unusual, compassionate cast of characters to make this is a good choice.” – Andrea Tarr

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) – November 28, 2005
“Tucker's outstanding novel is as structurally dexterous as it is emotionally satisfying, boasting a chorus of extraordinary voices and assured parallel plot lines separated by four decades. The tour de force resolution that ties both stories together is a lyrically poignant reminder of the necessity of hope. An exceptionally empathetic storyteller, Tucker has created a haunting, gripping novel that brims with graceful writing and fragile characters. This should be catnip for book clubs, whether they devour it as a page-turner about parenting and family or discuss its subtle meditations on fate and coincidence, wealth and poverty, freedom and safety, fairy tales and American dreams.”
 

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