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The Tree House Paperback – January 5, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zarahemla Books (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978797175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978797171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,683,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a truly remarkable book. At first, I kept thinking "nothing is happening," but then I thought back--LOTS had happened. It was very much like real life, which sneaks up on you and happens when you aren't looking for it. I was most impressed with the descriptions of life as it occurs--so real! But what makes this a 5 star book for me is not just the excellent writing, but the way it has made me think AFTER I read the last page, and continues to stay with me. That is what makes it an exceptional read--it has lingering insights which flicker back and impact my life.
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Format: Paperback
Harris Thatcher has pretty much everything a 15-year-old boy could want, in his opinion at least: a perfect dad, a good family, and Luke, his best friend. He's a good Mormon kid living in Provo, Utah, where his dad is a high school science teacher. It's summer, with swimming and fishing to look forward to and high school starting in the fall. His only complaint is that World War II is winding down, so it'll be over before he can be part of it.

And then things start going wrong. His dad's diabetes, which he hasn't been taking care of very well, flares up suddenly. His death at the beginning of chapter 2 brings harder times, as the same unambitious attitude that made Harris's father spend time with his kids instead of trying to get ahead leaves them financially strapped. They take in a boarder, with Harris moving into a room with his younger brothers. Harris has to get a job at a local cafe, where he washes dishes and learns how to make pies. A little over a year later, his girlfriend dies of pneumonia. After graduating from high school, Harris serves a mission in Germany -- and then he and Luke are both immediately drafted to serve in Korea, where Luke is killed and Harris becomes, in his own eyes at least, a hardened killer.

Coming home to Provo is hard for him, as he worries that he doesn't fit there anymore. And then a fire while he's at work kills his mother and two younger brothers, leaving him pretty much alone in the world despite the concern of Luke's parents and the bishop and even the owner of the cafe where he works.

#####

So what is it that makes life worth living and belief worth hanging onto when you feel like you've lost everything that was important to you?

That's a one of the Big Tough Questions.
Read more ›
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By Jess on February 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked The Tree House. In the beginning, I didn't really like the writing style, but by the middle, it seemed natural and fluid. It had plenty of good twists that you don't see coming. It helps you appreciate how horrible, demoralizing, and just past feeling war is and can cause you to become. Would recommend this book.
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By MAB on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the The Tree House by Douglas Thayer and I absolutely loved it...it is surprising because I don't really like Mormon literature but I decided to give it a try after the author came and spoke to us in my class. The book explored the theme of spirituality throughout different parts of of the main character's life. It was interesting to see how Harris, the main character, grew in the face of much tribulation while learning how to become a good man. It was interesting to see how he reacted to these difficult situations and how his feelings toward his religion changed drastically when he was caught in extreme circumstances, it made him more real to me. I think many people, no matter what faith they belong to, often experience feelings of inadequacy and they feel like they struggle gaining a testimony. I thought that the author did a great job juxtaposing Harris's beliefs and attitudes as a he filled the roles of missionary for his church and as a soldier in the midst of war. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to experience warfare's conditions much less how it would feel to make sense of any moral questions that one may face internally while out at the battle front. I thought the book was an easy read but the material and the thought behind the book was very deep. I am glad because I rather not get distracted by fluffiness that many authors seem to like use. I enjoyed this thought provoking book.
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By Sara on December 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Douglas Thayer's The Tree House is a beautiful and heart-felt coming of age tale. He vividly paints the picture of the life and experiences of a young boy who not only grows in to manhood, but truly becomes a man. He allows us entrance into the mind and heart of Harris the last summer of his boyhood, and we experience through his gentle language the happiness and security he enjoyed. The passing of time and situations flows easily, blending like the seasons around his life, and we see Harris grow and change as he deals with the challenges of the death of his father, and the death of the first woman that he ever loved. We see how he questions the traditions of his family, and the faith of his parents as he struggles with age old questions. His search for self is genuine, and the account that Thayer portrays through Harris' eyes is incredibly honest. Time and time again we see him meet different challenging situations with doubt in his own ability, but the courage to continue and do the best that he can, even though he might not know what that is, makes Harris a compelling character. The strength that he remembers from his Father is one of the defining characteristics that he incorporates into his life as he moves away from home and embarks on the journey in a far off war torn country. As he ministers to others, he learns to minister to himself, and how the strength of faith burning inside his own heart is able to guide some of the most challenging decisions he will ever face. The Tree House is a compelling coming of age story. Not only are we inspired by Harris' decisions, we see how the love of family and of God makes young boys in to noble and courageous men.
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