Gain Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gain

In his sixth novel, Powers's antagonists are a 42-year-old real estate broker and a corporation. Divorcee Laura Bodey lives with her 17-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son in Lacewood, Illinois. The story of her relations with her kids, her work, her ex, a married boyfriend, and contraction of ovarian cancer is told in tandem with the history of Clare Soap and Chemical, whose roots go back to Boston in 1830 and progress through wars, labor struggles, economic downturns, and growth into a multinational conglomerate. With his usual vast knowledge and research, Powers touches on railroads, expositions, ad campaigns; takes passing swipes at telemarketers and brand naming. The text is more sober than in his earlier books -- there's less wordplay. For all the intellection, the relations between Laura and her kids are well drawn and deeply felt.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Gain

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   general liberal/left wing activism    -   union leaders fighting for labor rights Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   Boston Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Richard Powers Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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