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A Cross Estate [Paperback]

Our Price $ 18.66  
Retail Value $ 21.95  
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Item Number 99076  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   259
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2007
Publisher   PublishAmerica
ISBN  1424166888  
EAN  9781424166886  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Had he been heir to a throne, Jack Conroy could not have felt the weight of expectation more. He'd go to Wall Street as his father had. But two things in particular about college complicate the family plan. First, Jack discovers an affinity for landscape design. Second, he's discovered Veronica Cashmiris. Jack's parents assume Veronica is a college infatuation that will yield to a call to service now that their son's graduated. "It takes a lot of money to float the boat of our freedom," his father is fond of saying. Veronica is no passing fancy, though, and believes she knows a Jack his parents don't. Her Jack will do better in the small business environment of an expanding regional landscape company than on Wall Street. But the intuition of Veronica and inclination of Jack give way to the world-wise advice of Jack's parents. When Jack dies in the madness of 9/11, Veronica's torment is that she didn't do enough to stop him from going to Wall Street. His parents' torment? That they urged him to. It is not until Veronica gives birth to Jack's son that the pain of death yields to the joy of life and reconciliation and healing start.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A fable set in a nightmare.  Nov 3, 2007
A Cross Estate was a book that I decided to read against my better judgement. I suspected that it would not be my cup of tea. But there was something about the idea that appealed to me-- something honest and fresh. I really appreciate that Mr. Kinsella gave me an opportunity to read the book. I rarely accept reading copies these days, since my work commitments make it difficult for me to promise to respond in a timely fashion.

A Cross Estate is, indeed, not my cup of tea. It is a kind of fable about human nature told against the backdrop of 9-11. I actually give him quite a few points for attempting the subject at all. It is such a hard topic that just about the only writer who hasn't given me hives when he/she tried to approach it is Paul Auster in The Brooklyn Follies: A Novel. It is really difficult to do the material justice. The book struggles against the weight of that image, and I am not sure that it ever really recovers from that fight. The base story (a young man torn between several sets of goals) is one that could have been written without the twin towers falling behind the characters.

This said, there are a lot of really nice moments in this book-- writing where the image flashes, and stands out from the rest of the pages around it. There are times when I found that he told too much-- using the narrative voice, conversations, etc. I wish that he had let his images do more speaking-- trust them a little bit more. To some degree this is the nature of a fable. And then we are back to my original problem. I do not really like fables.

I guess that it says something about the strength of the book and the writer that in the end, I almost liked this. The characters of Jack and his parents are naggingly human, and I found myself thinking about the issues raised after I closed the pages of the book.

This was Kinsella's first novel, and there is (for me) enough here to hope that he continues to write more work. Like I said, I would hope to see a whole lot more showing and a whole lot less telling-- but, again, that may just be a matter of personal taste.

Three stars with an extra star for several kinds of bravery.
More emotional aftermath of 9/11  Oct 17, 2007
I found the book, " A Cross Estate" a very poignant, moving novel. Much of the story is centered around the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the resulting emotional aftermath, the families of lost ones faced. I found myself "feeling" those same feelings of sadness, anger, sorrow, and loss that touched so many Americans on that tragic day.
The novel tells the story of "Jack", who, upon graduating from a prestigious college, must make a choice of either following his own dreams, or his parents wishes and heading to Wall Street to follow in his fathers footsteps. He chooses his parents wishes, leaving them, his girlfriend Veronica, and his dreams behind. His new job moves their offices to one of the twin towers. From there the story tells of how each of his loved ones dealt with his death.It is a story of heartbreaking loss, the healing that eventually comes, hope for the future,and love that never dies.
A Thought-Provoking Read  Oct 6, 2007
In A Cross Estate, William Thomas Kinsella weaves together a cast of characters whose internal and external struggles are complex and quite sad in its rendering. It is a world that straddles two eras in the lives of a young college graduate Jack Conroy, his girlfriend Veronica and his parents, Catherine and Alexander.

Book I revolves around Jack's quandary concerning his career choices. Should he follow in his father's footsteps and join a financial company on Wall Street or accept an offer from a nursery as a landscape designer? In the first few pages we learn that during Jack's college summer vacations he had worked at the Durham Nursery and prepared a few landscape design sketches-something he had enjoyed immensely.

Kinsella portrays Jack as a kind, competitive and energetic young twenty-two year old, graduating Magna cum Laude in the Class of 2001 from Duke University, majoring in finance with a minor in landscape design. He was captain of his university's swim team and above all, he deeply respected his parents as well as their choices pertaining to his future, particularly his father's desire that he emulate him and find his fortune on Wall Street.

However, matters become a little dicey when Jack tears up a letter he received from a Wall Street investment firm extending an invitation to him to be interviewed. He now finds himself torn between staying in Durham, North Carolina near his girlfriend Veronica or pursuing a career on Wall Street following the hopes and aspirations of his parents. What complicates matters is that Jack omitted to tell Veronica or his parents about the interview invitation he received.

Weighing his options, Jack feels that Wall Street is more attractive, as he feels it presents more opportunity to make a difference in the world and as he mentions to his uncle Browne, "I am my father's son," to which his uncle retorts, "Indeed. And from the time you were young, you've been made into his image."As for Veronica, she only wants what will make Jack happy, although deep down she would be terribly sad if he left for Wall Street.

Jack's dilemma begins to unravel when he and Veronica spend a week-end with his parents. It is here where Jack learns that his parents had received a copy of the interview invitation and they are quite perturbed as to why he has not followed up and arranged for his meeting. Moreover, they blame Veronica for his actions.

Jack defends his girlfriend, although she in turn is confused and angered by Jack's mother Catherine; she also feels betrayed in that Jack had excluded her from his confidence.

Book II picks up where Jack decides to accept the Wall Street offer; however, unfortunately within a very short space of time he becomes one of the tragic casualties of 9/11. The ramifications are far reaching as Kinsella depicts the extreme sorrow and fragility of Veronica and Jack's parents as they try to come to terms with Jack's death. Ultimately, some important event in the lives of Jack and Veronica is revealed and the souring relationship that existed between Veronica and Jack's parents is resolved.

There are hints in the novel that Kinsella would like to see his readers examine broader connotations to such concerns as parental guidance pertaining to counseling children as to their career choices. When dishing out career advice to our children, at what stage do we fall into the trap of becoming overbearing? There is also the issue of guilt and the blame we sometimes attribute to ourselves if our children's lives don't pan out as a result of our influence in their choice of careers. Most parents try to do what is best for their children however at what point must we stand aside and permit them to decide for themselves.

How often have we encountered individuals who are in the wrong job or profession and are miserable, often leading to health and family problems, all due to the wrong occupational choices. In the case of A Cross Estate, the result was tragic, as it resulted in Jack's death, for he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. As so often happens, the "what if" syndrome looms in the back of our minds even when the ramifications may not be as shocking as the one depicted in this novel.

While A Cross Estate is inarguably a thought-provoking novel of issues, the entire novel doesn't completely hang together. For one, it would have been much better if the players had been more vividly and richly constructed, as I failed to become emotionally attached to them-something that generally is expected from a story of this nature. I also felt that there was not enough of a psychological charge illustrating how Jack was struggling against contradictory visions and indecision. And in the case of Veronica, in Book I she seems to be peripheral at best and only towards the end of the second book do we have some idea as to what she is all about. There was also an overwriting of chapters considerably slowing down the pace of the story particularly when Kinsella describes the property Jack's parents purchase after his death. I also found it odd that a prologue was included that serves little purpose.

In the end, however, A Cross Estate is a good yarn worthy of reading as it is a poignant and touching story depicting the experience of the human condition in moments of bleakest sadness to future hope.

Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures
Full of compassion; a story of emotional survival  Sep 20, 2007
Jack Conroy is living life on his terms. Being the only child of Alexander and Catherine is a challenge at times, but the mutual love is always there. Jack is competitive in everything he tries and he loves to succeed. His Wall Street job after graduating from Duke University has him conflicted.

Jack is torn between following in his father's footsteps and his own passion for landscape design. Moving away from Veronica is difficult, but the couple agrees their relationship can work while Veronica finishes college and Jack pursues Wall Street knowing that once he succeeds there, he can pursue the life he truly wants. After all, they have all the time in the world.

William Kinsella uses his personal experience of losing some of his fellow commuters on 9/11 to create an intense story of true love, compassion, and the struggle to go on after the loss of a loved one. He brings the reader into the hearts of people directly effected by the tragedy. Compelled to write this novel for "everyone who never made it home," Kinsella has produced an emotional and historical work of fiction filled with hope.

Kinsella, a husband and father of two, commuted daily into the city to his offices in Lower Manhattan. He was there when the towers fell. He hopes 'A Cross Estate' keeps the spirits of those who died, alive. He lives in Basking Ridge, NJ and is currently working on a personal memoir.

William Thomas Kinsella has written an amazing first novel. The strength of each character's voice keeps the reader turning the pages. It is a thoughtful and powerful highly recommended read. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews.
Story of an emotional journey  Sep 17, 2007
This is not another 9/11 account, but rather an story of a family's journey through pain and grief, using the event as the catalyst. The characters are richly drawn and wholly believable, and almost everyone will find someone here to whom they can relate. Kinsella is a beautiful writer. There are many passages of pure poetry as he tells of feelings, places and moments of simple observation. The depiction of Catherine's emotional ride through her grief are particularly moving and dead-on. In the end, this is not a book of sadness, but one that is uplifting and affirming of the resilient nature of the human spirit.

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