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Solomon's Oak: A Novel Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Mapson's (Hank & Chloe) latest is an emotionally genuine if predictable story of three lonely, damaged people who find solace in one another. A year after the untimely death of her husband, Dan, Glory Solomon is adrift, in financial trouble, and unable to find much meaning in a world without her mate. But when she opens a wedding chapel on her historic California ranch (known for its ancient oak tree), she attracts a variety of couples in search of unconventional nuptials--and two lost souls. Juniper McGuire, an angry teenage girl, is still reeling from the tragedy that put her into the foster care system. And a former crime scene photographer, Joseph Vigil, suffers chronic pain from an on-the-job accident. Together, the three grievers form a tentative support system that could--if they'll let it--be called love. As in her previous novels, Mapson seems most at ease describing the relationship between human and animal--especially dogs and horses--and in rendering the Western landscape. Her facility with dialogue, however, is less impressive, but most readers will be too involved in the sweep of loss and recovery to stumble for long over awkward talk.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Newly widowed, Glory Solomon is barely holding on to her feelings or her finances when she begins hosting destination weddings in the rustic chapel her late husband built in the shade of their towering, historic white oak. On the day a pirate-themed ceremony takes place, however, Glory embarks on a bigger adventure than any saucy bride or her swashbuckling groom could imagine. Having raised foster sons in the past when Dan was alive, Glory finds herself totally unprepared for the tattooed, pierced, and ill-tempered 14-year-old girl who is put in her care. Juniper’s family fell apart when her older sister disappeared, and her raw emotions at being abandoned by her loved ones prove to be more than fragile Glory can handle. Fortunately, help arrives in the form of Joseph Virgil, a wounded ex-cop with significant emotional baggage of his own. With abundant compassion and soothing humor, three damaged souls are rescued in Mapson’s delicate tale of renewal and healing. --Carol Haggas
Top customer reviews
I just wish she had included recipes and that I could Skype Glory, Joseph, and Juniper to check in on what is happening now!
For those who love dogs and who doesn't, three rescue dogs show us the power of loyalty, the comfort they offer and the joy they bring.
This book has so many beautiful descriptions of nature, you will feel as if you are inside this novel!
From there we open on another world, in another century, and a woman named Glory Solomon, whose life and joy have centered on this land and near this huge white oak tree named Solomon's Oak. Here she had shared a wonderful time with her husband Dan--until he abruptly and unexpectedly died.
Putting her life and her finances back together in the year afterwards comes to be her biggest challenge yet. But near the old oak tree is a small chapel her husband built. And an unconventional couple pleads with Glory to allow them to have their "pirates wedding" there. From this beginning, a new business of hosting weddings for unconventional couples is born.
And on that first day, she meets two other damaged souls: Juniper McGuire, a broken teen, abandoned by her family and the plight that took them under; and ex-cop Joseph Vigil, wounded and still in critical pain, who drops onto the scene unexpectedly to photograph the oak tree.
Juniper is Glory's latest foster child (and first girl), and even though they almost immediately connect, there is so much trouble on the horizon. Will Glory be able to improve this girl's life without taking herself down too? And what will the newly developing bond between her and Joseph bring into their lives? And how will Glory's rescue dogs and horses add or subtract from the scene?
Watching Glory's struggles with Juniper was the most enjoyable part of the story to me. And while the somewhat predictable romance brewing between Glory and Joseph felt like something that could and even should happen, I didn't really "feel" any chemistry between them. To me, it just seemed like one of those plot points that was tossed in there to give Glory something to help her move on. Which is why I deducted one star.
What I loved most about Solomon's Oak: A Novel was the descriptive language that brought the oak tree alive until I could almost see it bending over the people in its wake, as if it were some kind of warm, embracing, and spiritual presence.
A four star read that is sure to captivate many, Solomon's Oak: A Novel was definitely an unforgettable read.