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The Arms of God: A Novel Hardcover – October 20, 2005

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An assured if overly emotive storyteller, Hinton (Friendship Cake) spins the tragic tale of Olivia Jacobs, beginning with Olivia's unexplained appearance at the North Carolina home of her grown daughter, Alice, whom she abandoned decades earlier at a day-care center. When elderly Olivia dies just three weeks after suddenly reentering her daughter's life, Alice, raised in a series of foster homes but now the single mother of a 10-year-old daughter, is left to unlock the mystery of her mother's life from a scrapbook of clues. The bulk of the novel chronicles Olivia's Depression-era childhood and adolescence in rural Smoketown, N.C., the uneasy fringe between two enclaves—one black, one white—where racial tension, violence and fear intrude like choke weed. Olivia's marginalized and impoverished white family—including her neglectful single mother, Mattie, and older brother, Roy—is treated kindly by their African-American neighbors. Olivia and Tree, the girl next door, bridge the racial divide with friendship, but violence and misunderstanding shatter their lives. Olivia's story affords Alice a deeper understanding of both her errant mother and herself. Addressing love, faith, friendship and race, Hinton delivers an overwrought but satisfying apologia for Olivia.
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"Lynne Hinton is a born storyteller, here at the top of her form, writing with compassion and understanding."
Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

"Through memorable characters and lovely language, Lynne Hinton tells a story of forgiveness and personal transformation with remarkable grace and skill."
Ann Howard Creel, author of The Magic of Ordinary Days

"Beautifully written and captivating from the very first line, The Arms of God is one of Lynne Hinton's best novels yet. Long after the last page has been turned, the characters will continue to linger in the minds of all who read this haunting story.
Michael Morris, author of Slow Way Home

"Everyone who has read and enjoyed Lynne Hinton's books, will love The Arms of God. This lovely book will add to her roster of fans. Moving and touching and everything a good book should be."
Philip Gulley, author of the Harmony series

"Lynne Hinton has gifted us with a wondrous novel. Sit at the feet of her characters and learn from them. Love and grief, truth and courage bloom wildly in the garden of their lives. Read this book slowly--like a prayer book. The poetry of these words will sing to you and anoint your soul with every page your turn. Do not deprive yourself of The Arms of God."
Macrina Wiederkehr, author of Gold in Your Memories

"If you thought you had Lynne Hinton pegged as a novelist, think again. The Arms of God is a stunning leap for what was already a gifted storyteller. Hinton gives us the profoundly moving story of a woman searching for the soul of the mother who abandoned her years ago -- and finding, in the journey, frighteningly dark places and, ultimately, understanding and forgiveness. The characters are compelling, the writing graceful. You won't find a better book than this anytime soon."
Robert Inman, author of Captain Saturday and Dairy Queen Days.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312347952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312347956
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,142,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A retreat leader and writing teacher, Lynne Hinton is the author of numerous novels including Pie Town, Wedding Cake, Christmas Cake, Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, and Forever Friends. She also writes a mystery series under the name Jackie Lynn. She lives in New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mamareadssomuch on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This IS Lynne Hinton's best novel yet. It almost doesn't read like she wrote it only because it is so different than her other books. THE ARMS OF GOD is a lookback into time and threads the mother-daughter relationship into the present. The characters were heartfelt ~ it was a story most touching.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Mama on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite of all of Ms. Hinton's novels, and I've loved them all. In this story, which repeats some of the themes her other novels addressed (the importance of friendship, the mother-daughter relationship, the ongoing struggles of racism), the emotional depth keeps the reader engrossed to the very end. While it is a very sad story, in the end the novel satisfies our need for redemption and reconciliation. I read this more than a week ago and can't stop thinking about it.

Lynne Hinton feeds my soul!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allyson Decker on February 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
and a wonderful story as well. When Alice excavates the remainders of her dead mother's belongings, she discovers why she was abandoned at 4 years old and the terrible life her mother tried to leave behind. The writing is beautiful, the word choices are fantastic and the prose is artful and so full that you actually miss the characters after you read the final page. A must read!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mel - Girl on December 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I agree that this is by far Lynne Hinton's best novel to date. It is beautiful and inspiring. The writing is nothing less than art leaping from the pages. Long after the last page has been read, the characters will stay with you. I'd love to read a follow-up to this book!
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