- 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
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,627,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bound on Earth Paperback – February 1, 2008
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I cried while reading this book. It meant a lot to me to read something so well-written and moving about my own people.
I haven't been this excited about LDS fiction since somebody put me onto Levi Peterson, a couple of years back.
She doesn't write like Levi Peterson. She writes like herself. Clear, keen, incisive insight into human nature, that made me cry because she used my very words to express her character's emotions, "I ruin everything" (Alicia Palmer). Angela Hallstrom gets it.
Bound on Earth is about three generations of the Palmer family, Tess, the matriarch; her son Nathan, married to Alica (who feels she ruins everything); and their three daughters and their spouses. Her writing is never effusive, it's spare, which I love in a writer. I couldn't put the book down because she told enough in one chapter to make me want to read on, to understand.
From her youngest granddaughter's husband, Kyle's struggle with bi-polar disorder to middle child Tina's wild child promiscuous ways to Marnie, the oldest's valiant fight to remain righteous, each character is so well drawn that they became real to me. Hallstrom is never preachy and I loved Alicia's attitude toward her children's rebellion. You'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about. This is a book about real life and real life isn't pretty tied up in bows, with temple marriages and missions for all.
"Bound on Earth" is an apt title, as the book explores each individual's level of commitment to eternal marriage without spelling anything out, trivializing the subject, or insulting the reader's intelligence. It's a fairly small book, as LDS fiction goes, and isn't one of those multi-sequeled two pounders that Mormons are famous for loving. It's quiet in its storytelling--and always respectful of the Mormon faith.
I think Richard Dutcher should make a movie of this book. It's been "written true" as Elizabeth Berg teaches her students. Somebody tell him. I know some of you big cheeses know him. This is the movie he should make.
Here are a few teasers--I'm going back to read it with a red pencil.
Alicia, big with pregnancy to her calm quiet steady husband, Nathan: "Do you ever wonder who's in charge? I mean, is it God? Sometimes I wonder if he's just watching, not mixing himself up in any of this. Like our lives are just a big play and he's waiting to see what happens next. Wouldn't we feel silly, then?"
She kept her silence with God for many months (referring to Tildy, a character I invite you to find in the book, after the death of her fourth baby). Then one summer while feeding chickens in the yard, her thoughts wandered; she found herself talking to God as she once had, telling him her troubles in her mind. She spoke to God in an ordinary way, thinking things like "Lord, this hen is not a good laying hen. I could use your blessing on this hen." Suddenly she realized to whom her mind had turned. "What have I done? she thought. "How can I be speaking to him again, so easily, as if nothing had happened between us?"
When I finished reading, late into the night, I studied the photo of the author on the back page, trying to figure how one so young was so wise. Angela, you touched me with your book. Thank you.
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