Aloma moves to her boyfriend Orren's farm when his family dies in a car accident. And as a bereaved Orren withdraws, Aloma's chances of becoming a concert pianist diminish.
©2009 C.E. Morgan; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Rarely in this reviewer's memory has a debut novel emerged with such a profound sense of place.... Descriptions are so vivid, yet so integrated and organic, that the reader can almost feel the lassitude of stifling humid air; smell the rich, warm earth; and see the furrowed fields, the dark mountains in the distance.... A slow, seductive dive into another time and place, a deep, quiet place." (Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe)
"[A] lyrical tale of grief and grueling love." (The New Yorker)
"Those who read for character and landscape will feast on C. E. Morgan’s uncommon debut.... Fans of Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead will appreciate Morgan’s sureness with scripture and her skill with characters for whom scripture matters." (Karen Long, The Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Since taking my first creative writing class in 2008 the pleasure I used to get from reading has been greatly reduced. I notice things I never noticed before. That said, I think I rate books pretty generously. Anyone who actually manages to write a whole book and then get it published deserves an extra star.
This was a good listen and a moving story.
There were times I wanted to slap Orren and shake Aloma, and I'm not convinced that they wouldn't be better off just moving on, into the unknown, but life isn't perfect and we often make choices according to what's put in front of us and then hope and try for the best. And sometimes we find out later that it really was the best choice, though we don't know it at the time. I hope that is how it will be for them.
The focus of this story is upon a young couple and their struggles against circumstances and each other. Their union was probably not made in heaven. How they started, their attitudes, how they deal with the challenges of the relationship and their own separate lives are dealt with in a very realistic manner. It's not riveting or exciting, so don't expect it to be. Though its fairly easy to connect to the characters, as they are very well developed. The high point for me is the ability of the author to display emotional depth in the characters. Their responses to most situations are often very nuanced and complicated, as they usually are in real life. The ending will not appeal to all, though it did to me. The reading was well done, well paced. An above average read with good characterization.
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