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Bitterroot Landing Paperback – Bargain Price, April 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042516246X
  • ASIN: B000HWYTNA
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reynold's first novel is an original, lyrically written tale about an incest survivor's recovery. By age 21, Jael has experienced the loss of her guardian, whom she accidentally killed 10 years earlier; sexual abuse by the man who subsequently adopted her; and abandonment by another in the swampy, Southern backwoods setting. Educated by her guardian and on her own, Jael is utterly unprepared for the wider world she finally enters. A social worker, a survivor's group and the inhabitants of a local church community ease her move into society and her gradual understanding of what has happened to her. Reynolds makes minimal use of the psychological jargon of victimization; Jael, quirky and dead sure of her instincts, is a beautifully realized character. The novel's suggestion of an almost mythic female spiritual power, and the abundance of religious imagery, including the presence in the village of the Madonna, is occasionally tiresome, and the male characters are not as fleshed-out as the female ones. Still, Reynolds aims high and just about hits the bull's-eye, displaying a self-assurance and a taste for moral and social issues that make her debut a most welcome one. Literary Guild alternate. (Jan.) Mystery
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Sexual abuse has become such a familiar staple of mysteries and other fiction that its central place in this slender first novel is no surprise. What is surprising is how it becomes a spiritual catalyst for Jael, a victim whose search for peace leads her beyond the comfort of professional therapy. Opening and closing her story with the antiphonal "Gods change colors and spin themselves new garments every day," Jael communes with spirit voices, meets real people, and risks friendships to find new ways to worship what is familiar and divine. Reynolds transforms an abased and self-mutilating girl into a mystical avatar able to radiate her godly attributes. This transformation is achieved without romanticizing the gritty realness of her life. She is poor and rough, and her harsh life is accurately portrayed. Yet, in her thoughts and actions, Jael is given a lyrical and convincing expressiveness. For fiction collections needing fresh visions of contemporary themes.
Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The story just didn't feel very real or probable to me.
Jana Taylor
The story is a real eye-opener to the harshness of life in some very sad situations.
Barbara
This is the 4th Sherri Reynolds book I've read and they're all great.
Kim J. Beck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
People who didn't like this book obviously want to live in a safe world where they can hide from the truth. The author here is not out to make you feel good. She gives an honest, heartbreaking portrayal of a young girl dealing with MORE than incest--even dealing with things all women have experienced--plus things some of us will never dream of. But it is an uplifting story nonetheless, a story of survival. YES, there were some disturbing images, but they were also essential elements of the story. Perhaps those who found the story "disgusting" should go read some Nancy Drew books--a little more on their level. The rest of you who are trying to decide, this is a wonderful novel, so please give it a try! You won't be disappointed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I randomly picked up this book at a bookstore to which I had a gift certificate. I was not dissapointed. I devoured the book and felt changed when I finished it. Reynolds' words are crafted with such thought that they create the most vivid, beautiful images. Her words pulled me into the story and I truly believed in Jaels life and pain. Jaels' triumphs over her inner conflicts left me inspired. Her bitter struggle is almost tangible and nothing seems far-fetched because of how deep I was into the story. I pick this book up and read it often and it always leaves me filled with intense emotions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of those occasions where I'm sorry that I can give no more than five stars to a work. Sheri Reynolds has done a sensitive, masterful and intelligent job here -- this book is not only a fine piece of literature, it's a service to humankind that it was written. While some of the scenes and images may be a bit graphic for some readers, they are ultimately necessary to convey the events and emotions experienced by the main character.
Incest is an ugly thing, but a real thing -- it occurs in our so-called 'civilized' society, whether people want to admit it or not. And dealing with it, and its life-long effects on the victims/survivors is a struggle that can crush a weak spirit. The one who has been victimized must reach down, deep inside and find that strength of spirit and determination to fight back against its devastating effects, to reclaim and reinvent their lives. This is an incredibly moving depiction of such a struggle.
The author manages to put us INSIDE Jael's heart and soul and mind -- we journey this difficult road along with her, discovering the roots of her trauma only as she discovers them herself. The flashback scenes are particularly compelling -- their meanings become clearer and clearer with the passage of time.
When I got his book recently, I read it one day, then re-read it over the next 2-3 days -- I wanted to burn this story and these characters into my mind while the images were still fresh. I sat in the laundromat reading, completely unashamed of the tears streaming down my face -- someone I love very much has been facing this with incredible courage over the last three years, and I couldn't help but see her on almost every page.
I cannot recommend this novel highly enough -- it does more than anything I've ever read to help the reader understand and relate to the pain, struggle and courage that are involved in 'walking the path' to recovery.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janice M. Hansen on March 4, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incest, sexual abuse, child abuse, neglect and mental illness are not attractive issues. Hence, an author, courageous enough to write hard-ball reality places in your hands a story that produces emotions probably never entertained by most of the population. I choose to read stories that will move me and I feel it is a gift to experience a novel that challenges me to regroup my thoughts and evaluate concepts differently. Her stories are raw and spiritual. Do not be put off by the simplistic cry-babies who feel grossed out by some body fluids. When you are reduced to the level this young woman was, you focus on the only things you have left and attempt to re-organize. Most people have never had to experience this kind of disintegration. I work in a woman's prison providing medical care and this novel has given me insight into the self-destructive/ self-mutilation issues I see from 80% of the population. I can understand how they cut, inject and tatoo themselves to release the pain and the poisons, just as Jael did when she was at her most vulnerable. But, fortunately for Jael she allows herself to feel her strength and her spiritual nature guides her to the doors of recovery. Allow yourself to read some really raw writing. You will be moved to Bitterroot Landing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By momma in Charleston, SC on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Story of a girl growing up defending herself by hiding from abusive grandmother/mother figure. The girl resorts to despirit measures and accidentally kills someone defending herself. She is also a victim of incest by a "man-of-God" who is taking care of her. She gets a job doing cleaning and slowly begins to find herself. Wonderful story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on February 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Jael grew up poor and the object of sexual advances which she could not fend off. She escapes into the woods, and lives there for a time until she is 'rescued'. She hears voices and sees people that aren't really there, and that becomes her private reality which helps and heals her. Jael's journey is not only to heal her wounds from incest, but also to find her own voice that is not clouded by other people's views. Sheri Reynolds has crafted a massively moving portrait of a woman finding a way to her true self, that is crisp and gem-like in its brilliance. It's more than a story of an incest survivor. It's about all survivors, those who've been led to believe one thing, but know in their hearts something different, something more true. Like "When Rabbit Howls", this book is a potent story of survival with spiritual leanings that leaves the reader nearly breathless. A beautiful novel.
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