Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Solomon's Oak

Happy white Wednesday!  It's a beautiful snowy, slushy day here in Tulsa.  And it's about freakin' time!  It seems like every time there's been snow anywhere within our region recently, it misses us.  And we are in such a drought...not to mention the fact that this Kansas City-raised girl loves snow.  I loved growing up with inches and inches of snow during's one thing I really miss about living up there. 

Our Japanese maple tree earlier this morning...

I thought I'd share this tree considering the fact that I'm going to give you a review of Solomon's Oak.  First off, I'll say that this is one of my mother-in-law's recommendations.  Shortly after she read it, she said it was so wonderful and was trying to get everyone around her to read it.  It seemed like every time I saw her she'd ask, "Have you read Solomon's Oak?"  Knowing that my reading queue can be up to a year long...well, you know the answer. 

The novel follows three individuals that all happen to congregate around Solomon's Oak...a 200-year-old white oak tree.  Glory Solomon owns a central California farm where Solomon's Oak is located, which also happens to include a chapel where the young widow has begun to host weddings.  Glory and her deceased husband always fostered young boys, but a local friend (and caseworker) encourages Glory to take on Juniper McGuire (a pierced, tattooed and angry teenage girl).  Joseph Vigil also enters the picture wanting to take pictures of Solomon's Oak (a regular request on the farm by out-of-towners) while he's there temporarily. 

I'll be honest and say that this was a good book, but definitely not my favorite.  It was very maudlin and the ending was pretty predictable.  As you can probably guess, the three make up a happy family in the end despite each characters' struggles and flaws. 

I think that my MIL related a little more than the average reader because at one point in David's later teenage years, the family took in a young girl who was an extended member of the family.  A few of the problems that Glory experiences with Juniper were mirrored in real life with my mother-in-law and this young, female relative.  Because of that, I think this book affected her on a deeper level.  Simply because I don't have that same inner connection, I probably wouldn't necessarily recommend this one.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good book...but, not one I'd run around telling everyone to pick up immediately or even soon.

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