Writer: Karen Jones Gowen
Challenge: What's In A Name Challenge
Genre: Literary Fiction
How I read it: Kindle
Synopsis: The story of a young woman, Marcie McGill, her husband, Shawn, their five children, and her sisters. It chronicles the day-to day-events in their lives as they struggle with inflation, job loss, severe weather, family dynamics, and the subsequent strains on the McGills' marriage.... Marcie is involved in typing up her grandmother's handwritten journal. Excerpts from the journal are used to parallel the events in Marcie's life. There's also a subtle parallel to the current economic depression. Gowen has a good command of language. There are a few expletives that may bother some readers, but they're used in a pretty inoffensive way.
Karen is a great writer. Her stories are rich in detail. I felt I lived her life, I felt I suffered when she suffered. There was one moment in the book where someone knocks on the door and she's afraid to answer, I felt that fear. She writes characters with unique personalities and none of her characters are cliche or cookie-cutter. They show real emotions, sometimes even negative ones.
This story is timely as well. Although the book takes place in the seventies (and some journal entries from early in the twentieth century, it discuss a subject that faces many--not only in the US but around the world--financial hardship. I love how the characters deal with it.
Only one thing bothered me about the kindle book: I couldn't understand the parts that related to the Mormon culture. Terms such as: the calling, the branch, the testimony. Because I'm not Mormon, I couldn't quite understood what was happening at those moments. Now, there is a glossary at the back but with kindle it's kinda irritating to have to flip back and forth. However, those parts are few and for most people, it won't distract from the wonderful story. Hmm, here's an idea: read the glossary before reading the book!