- Paperback: 141 pages
- Publisher: PublishAmerica (September 9, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591295505
- ISBN-13: 978-1591295501
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,641,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered Paperback – September 9, 2002
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A skilled word painter, the author does a fine job of recording her family's stories..." -- From Word on Romance, Reviewer Lina Mae Baldwin
"Howard-Johnson has written a most extraordinary book..." -- From The Copperfield Review, Reviewer Rolf Gompertz
"If I could describe Harkening in one word, it would be 'captivating!'" -- The Midwest Review, Reviewer David Leonhardt
Reviewer David Leonhardt said: "If I could describe Harkening in one word, it would be 'captivating!'" -- The Midest Review
From the Publisher
"Harkening" has been awarded three times since its release in November of 2002. One of the stories was given the Red Sky Press Award. This is awarded by a panel of judges at the University of Akron headed by Rose A. O. Kleidon, Professor Emeritus of English. It also took Word Thunder's most prestigious award for 2001, The Award of Excellence, and was just voted Top Ten Novels of 2001 by the Readers' Poll at Preditor and Editors.
Top customer reviews
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'Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered' takes us into the heart and lives of a family whose roots extend deep into the red soil of Utah - told only as the author, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, can tell it. Howard-Johnson is a one of a kind writer and her novels will be remembered long after we are gone. She has a way of turning what would normally be just an ordinary story into a polished gem that we will cherish and take out of our treasure chest to examine again and again.
'Harkening' is made up of seventeen stories, each of them excellent and unique. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite among them. If forced to choose, I would have to go with two of them: Child's Play and Remembering Winter.
Child's Play gives us a look at the prejudice in this world against anyone who is different from others in their surroundings - told through the eyes of an innocent child. The hurt and confusion of this innocent child radiates from the pages.
Remembering Winter is another look at this same innocent child who just does not fit into the world in which she finds herself. As Howard-Johnson tells it, `There was a child in the central portion of my brain who was new in school. New in town. She had come from a different place, a different background, and a different religion. She did not fit into the frame but there she was.'
Be sure to add 'Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered' to your list of favorite books - right up there beside Howard-Johnson's first novel, This Is The Place. I know that I will.
Reviewed by Kristie Leigh Maguire, author of 'Emails from the Edge (The Life of an Expatriate Wife)' and co-author along with Mark Haeuser of 'No Lady and Her Tramp'. Contributor to anthologies 'Calliope's Mousepad: Women Writers Online'; 'Musings: Authors Do It Write!' and 'NUW Roads Travelled'. Contributor to cookbooks 'Now We're Cooking! 43 Authors in the Kitchen' and 'Cooking By The Book'.
Judith Woolcock Colombo
We stroll through a garden, we take a museum tour, or we look through a friend's family album. These are all quick glances at the bits and pieces that make up the whole. However, "Harkening: A Collection Of Stories Remembered" by Carolyn Howard-Johnson is more than a mere glimpse of the whole. Each story is like the petal of a rose, perfect and unique, an entity unto itself. When merged together each petal becomes more than itself. It becomes the rose superb and perfect.
"Harkening" presents us with the rose petal by petal. They are memories emerging from a woman's mind, recollections of her childhood or of stories handed down to her with love. The unique perspective of the person telling it colors each story. "Most stories came filtered through one glass or another."
There are stories that shock us. In "Legacy" an aging woman recalls discovering as a small child that her youngest aunt had syphilis, a legacy from one of her many lovers. She also discovers that her mother had an illegitimate child who disappeared. Stories such as "Mama's Depression" move us with the triumph of the human spirit over poverty. In "Child's Play", "Neighbors", "What isn't Lavender", and "Remembering Winter", religious intolerance mars a child's life. We are left stunned at the stupidity of an intolerant society and awed by the resilience of children to surmount hate and prejudice and to survive intact.
In "Harkening", we relive childhood's hurts and disappointments and revel in its triumphs, like learning to milk a cow. We wince in recognition of the mother, daughter conflict, but nevertheless, it intrigues us, and we wonder where the next story will lead.
Throughout the pages of "Harkening", another story emerges. It is the story of Utah, the land of towering mountains, glorious lakes, gray desert plains, and shimmering white salt flats. It is the story of a land whose soil, according to the author, "Harbored the pulse and throb of her heritage." This land nourishes, comforts, and punishes. It is part of its children's lives. Utah is in Howard-Johnson's blood. She cannot escape her great mother whom she both praises and damns, this nurturer and devastator. Without Utah the stories would lack the beauty and majesty that they now possess.
"Harkening" is a must read for anyone who loves the written word or wonderful stories told well. If you have read Howard-Johnson's first novel "This Is The Place" and loved it, you will also love Harkening because these are the experiences from which the novel sprang. If you have never read "This Is The Place", do so.
There are seventeen wonderful short stories inside this book regardless if they are 100% truthful or enhanced versions of reality. You will find them all compelling and well written. Some are heart wrenching, some with bring you a smile, others reveal more family secrets but all of them are poignant and entertaining. The author's use of phrasing is most eloquent and flows like honey on a hot July Utah day.
The book's stories deal with many of the same issues that Carolyn's first novel did. However, I think the reader will begin to see how much more the author's outlook and insights have grown and matured since she wrote her first book. The author feels more at peace within herself as she still deals with old issues and stories. This book show cases the story telling talents of the author. This is truly a great book and worth reading!
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