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Bound on Earth Paperback – February 1, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Bentley Enterprises (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961496096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961496098
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,437,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. H. Johnson on April 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I finished the first chapter, I loved this book. Beth is struggling through Thanksgiving with her family after just leaving her husband who suffers from Bipolar disorder and quit taking his medication. By its middle, I had changed my mind. Tina seemed to be every character in a Jack Weyland novel. She does bad things and bad things happen to her. As I turned the last page, I loved it again. Wait a minute. This is it. These are the stories of families trying. Some of their tales are quite extraordinary.

I don't generally read much LDS fiction. I find the stories usually a bit too tidy and my most important qualifier for really good literature is that it be honest. A lot of time, LDS fiction can be fluffy. Yes, there is usually some necessary conflict that involves the bad character doing bad things. By its end, however, the punishment usually fits the crime and when a miracle is in order, it rarely fails to show up.

I saw a recommendation for this book on Blog Segullah and it got such rave reviews from some seemingly picky readers that I requested it from my library. It's brand new and I was the very first person to check it out. If you consider where I live and what kind of book it is, you'll agree that it was a special moment.

At just under 200 pages, this is the kind of book you can easily read in a day or two. I started it last night and have had a hard time putting it down. Bound on Earth follows the Palmer family through many generations, although not chronologically. The chapters bounce around in time and between family members, a writing technique I'm not always super fond of. Part of me thinks it's a shortcut, to eliminate the tricky transitions that progress a plot.
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Format: Paperback
Angela Hallstrom's debut novel Bound on Earth fleshes out the fiction and non-fiction of marriage and family. Through a series of vignettes written from the perspective of different members of the Palmer family (mother, daughter, father, grandparents and others), the book allows its reader to discover the texture of being bound to those we love. It describes what happens between "I do" and our final whispers, the price of raising and losing children, the toll of mental and physical illness, and the not-so-black-and-white choice to leave or to remain. Reading the novel was like looking in a fun-house mirror. I recognized a faint double of myself but it was distorted, turned upside down, made shorter, taller, extended through time and tested. This book does what good fiction should do-distort reality just enough to tell the truth.

It is difficult to find an LDS novel that adequately communicates the nuance that fills the dusty corners of our lives-that faces the reality that we must become perfect even in our imperfection. And there were moments in the novel where I thought it might easily descend into trite summaries of belief. It never did.

The most powerful image of the book is found in the concept of `being bound.' At first, I felt like telling the characters to run away from their bonds, quickly and deftly, in an act of self-preservation. However, the book artfully aided my discovery that our bonds can teach us where and how to grow.

It is in this imagery of `being bound' that I found my one critique. The dominance of this theme left me wanting a richer subtext of symbols to decode. I wanted more ambiguity that would keep me returning to the text.
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This is a multi-generational story about a family that goes through various challenges, adjustments, and temptations. Feels very real, and very close. Knowing what the different family members have been through in the point of view chapters gives them an extra sense of depth and significance when you read about them as side characters in other chapters. While I think most people could get a lot out of this book, it has special meaning for Mormons who take family extremely seriously and see characters who share some of the same outlook and values wrestle with life's problems.

I cried while reading this book. It meant a lot to me to read something so well-written and moving about my own people.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story is so well written. Seamless, understated, but emotionally gripping. The women in this story all have different challenges and weaknesses, and yet they are each strong in their way. I found myself wondering how I would react in each of their circumstances. I found this a refreshingly non-judgmental, multidimensional exploration of families and choices in the context of LDS culture. This book will stay with me for a while, and I'm glad.
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By WriterChick on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Finally, a deeply satisfying read about real, complex characters who just happen to be Mormons. I've been waiting for this book for a long time. And, as any great work of literature, it speaks to all audiences regardless of culture. Hallstrom skillfully depicts real family dynamics through situations that make you squirm, cry, rejoice. I can't wait to give it to all my friends.
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