Bound on Earth

Bound on Earth Combining deep emotional candor and spare elegant prose Hallstrom s debut novel is a poignant exploration of family faith and the ties that bind Kathryn Lynard Soper editor of Segullah Writings b

  • Title: Bound on Earth
  • Author: Angela Hallstrom
  • ISBN: 9780961496098
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback
  • Combining deep emotional candor and spare, elegant prose, Hallstrom s debut novel is a poignant exploration of family, faith, and the ties that bind Kathryn Lynard Soper, editor of Segullah Writings by Latter Day Saint Women.

    One thought on “Bound on Earth”

    1. When I finished the first chapter, I loved this book. Beth is struggling through Thanksgiving with her family after just leaving her husband who suffers from Bipolar disorder and quit taking his medication. By its middle, I had changed my mind. Tina seemed to be every character in a Jack Weyland novel. She does bad things and bad things happen to her. As I turned the last page, I loved it again. Wait a minute. This is it. These are the stories of families trying. Some of their tales are quite ex [...]

    2. This book started out with a bang and there's no doubt the author is creative and talented. I was totally absorbed in the first story, then was pulled out--much to my dismay. This book of short snippets of a multi-generational family could have easily been produced in a multi-volume series, much like other popular LDS authors have done. Well, nothing is "easy" but just some food for thought.Organization and focus is as important as a writing tool as the creative side. I wanted to see more of it [...]

    3. I tend to put books in two categories-- easy reads and books I learn from. Rarely do I find a book that I can put in both categories. Bound on Earth is a refreshing exception. I read it in about a day (it's only about 200 pages), yet several weeks later, I still find myself thinking about the characters and the struggles they face. In contrast to much of current LDS fiction, Hallstrom presents "real" flawed characters, who ultimately find that their family ties that hold them together eternally [...]

    4. I used to read more LDS fiction over a decade ago, but with full-time work and two small kids, I drifted away from it for a while. I was delighted to see Hallstrom make make many choices away from cookie-cutter characters and plot. First, she fragments the narrative by shifting time frames multiple times. This is actually more "natural" than a straight chronology. We learn about other people in the present as they unfold stories about their past to us. Also, she doesn't use an omniscient narrato [...]

    5. I found myself surprised at how well I liked this book. It is about an LDS family where the author writes about different family members spanning generations and three sisters in the same immediate family. I kind of like reading books with people in my faith as the main characters. They get me, I get them, we start out without having to explain all that to each other. ( : What I loved most was the author's honesty. I got really choked up in a few chapter especially some really touching moments b [...]

    6. So fun to read this book knowing that the author was my friend and neighbor! After getting over my awe that this was Angela's book, I fell into this story and thoroughly enjoyed it. This piece of fiction reads differently than most with short vignettes jumping around from perspective to perspective in different times and places. I felt the writing is clear and I never felt lost or confused, even though that could have easily happened with this style. The story is not complicated, but the writing [...]

    7. I was interested in the way the author developed a very mormonish setting---by just talking the talk and not doing a whole lot of explicating of the lingod even though I totally can talk in mormonese, I think this choice worked, even for a wide audience. The characters were complex and all but here's why the book only gets two stars: the plot was horrible.Basically it started out with this family in the middle of some really steep, dark drama with all sorts of potential for great plot developmen [...]

    8. I loved it!!! Really loved it And not just because the author is a friend in my ward. It was a refreshingly real look at Mormon family life. I related to the characters in a way that I haven't for a long time in a book. After I finished it, I stayed up late thinking about some of the struggles these characters faced in their lives and marriages. It left me to conclude that life is meant to be complicated and beautiful at the same time.

    9. A great little collection of vignettes detailing more or less a typical Mormon family. I felt the characters were relatable and life-like, however some of the dialogue dragged, and other times the writing fell a bit flat. However I enjoyed watching the Palmer family struggle and grow through the years with multiple view point characters. It started off very strong with the first story, bit then lost itself a touch in the middle. However I feel like the final few stories brought it all back toget [...]

    10. This isn't so much a novel as a series of short stories with linked characters who make up several generations of a Mormon family. The prose style and plot construction are very much in the literary, writing workshop/MFA mold. A number of the stories reminded me of Katherine Mansfield, in that they are beautifully written and pay meticulous attention to small, haunting nuances of emotion and sensation, but also in the occasional hints of girlish naivete or immaturity. Where the stories fail - an [...]

    11. I've wanted to read this book for a long time, but I worried that it would not live up to the hype I'd built up for it in my head. LDS fiction seems to disappoint more often than not, and I really had high hopes for this one, based on what I'd heard about it and knew of the author.So I was thrilled when my fabulous friend Darlene gave it to me for my birthday this year so I could finally stop putting it off. And, because it came from Darlene, I knew there was a good chance it was going to be gre [...]

    12. I've heard about this book for a while and I'm sorry to say that because it was so widely praised in Mormon circles I shied away from it. Most popular Mormon fiction is romance or sci-fi and I'm not a huge fan of either. So I assumed this book was some version of either genre, but it's not.It arrived yesterday and I started reading it after a long day and kept reading it. I finished it this morning over my cereal. It was a thoroughly satisfying read. This book fits into that space between what w [...]

    13. "Bound on Earth" is an honest and stirring portrayal of a family. Call them Mormon if you want, but I don't think it's necessary. All of the characters are incredibly real people; on more than one occasion, I felt I was intruding on very private conversations and moments. I thoroughly enjoyed the interweaving of narratives, the mix of points-of-view, the shifting of time and place. The prose is lovely; often I found myself re-reading lines so I could taste them again and get their full flavor. O [...]

    14. I finished this book last night, and I think I'm still trying to figure out what I think of it. The author writes with strong, clear prose that reads easily and powerfully. A nice combination. She also keeps her commitment to her characters pretty well. They are interesting, real people who mostly behave more like actual people rather than characters in a book. There are a couple of exceptions: 14 year old girl hiding in her teacher's closet while he is making love with a woman on the couch in h [...]

    15. UPDATE: This book keeps popping into my head. While I still wish I had more time with her characters, I am also surprised at the picture she has created in such a short book. So, while I am still trying to figure this book out, I've upped my stars to 4. If Hallstrom created such a vivid world in so little space (and in her first book), I look forward to following her writing.=======I'm still trying to figure out what I think about this book. It is head and shoulders above the majority of LDS aut [...]

    16. I just finished this book this afternoon. I still haven't decided how I really feel about it. The writing is good, much better than what I've read in the past with LDS writers. Hallstrom deals with sticky issues, depression, mental illness, difficulties in marriage without resorting to the sticky sweetness and pat answers of typical LDS fiction. I'm not sure if I'm sold on the multiple perspective narrative style. Sure it was intriquing, but each vignette left me wanting me more and feeling a te [...]

    17. Whenever I write a review of a book I tend to ramble. It's usually because I really liked the book and I want everone to read it. Nevertheless, in my reviews I'm not sure I am very coherent at times, and I want to be with this review, so I'm going to quote a review on the back flap, which details for me, my thoughts of the book very well. "Angela Hallstrom demonstrates an admirable mastery of the art of fiction. The subtle backgournd to this novel is the Mormon world view, established without pr [...]

    18. I rate Bound on Earth a four star book as compared to most of the books I read, but it is closer to a 5 star book as compared to other fiction by Mormon authors, set in Mormon culture, and written from a largely Mormon perspective. I find many other books that fit this description to ere on the side of cheesiness. The stories are often to nicely tied-up in the end, and the characters often resemble no one I have ever met (too black and white, either a hero or a villain, cartoonish in short). Hal [...]

    19. I loved this book. Comprised of multi-generational vignettes, each character faced unique, and yet quite common, struggles. When I picked this book up I wasn't sure I'd like it--I worried it would lack a story arc or sufficient character development. I'm also not a huge fan of literary novels. I had no need to fear on any level. Instead, it completely captured my attention and really had me contemplating the concept of being 'Bound on Earth' not simply working toward a celestial connection to ou [...]

    20. So I have to say that I was really surprised by how much I liked this book. It had all the things that I love about contemporary fiction (very interesting chapter organization, fascinating storyline, in depth characters, and lots and lots of thought provoking symbols and passages) with none of the things I HATE about contemporary fiction (swearing and sex). That however, is due mostly to the fact that it is written by an LDS author. :) It is about an LDS family and focuses mostly on their differ [...]

    21. It's been a while since I read this book, but I still wanted to add my comments. For LDS Fiction this is top notch. No cliche, no one-dimensional characters, no contrived plot. Angela Hallstrom did an excellent job in portraying real people with real challenges without making any of them inherently evil or unbelievably good. The story felt warm and genuine and although the characters faced real struggles, it ended hopefully.Bound on Earth is a series of short stories strung together all of which [...]

    22. This is the rare book about a Mormon family that isn't so sweet it gives me cavities. It is about real people who happen to be LDS, who struggle with real issues, as we all do. I appreciated its honesty and the way the religion of the characters was just part of who they were, not the whole point. Writers in other religions have been successfully using that worldview as their backdrop for years. I've been wondering for a long time when we would get a good Mormon writer like this--someone (please [...]

    23. Check off another one from my to-read list at my local library. This is LDS fiction. A treatise on marriage, specifically marriage within the confines of the LDS community.The author weaves her tale through the structure of three generations within one LDS family, the Palmers, and the impact that the marriage commitment has on the women in this family. Tess Palmer the matriarch, Alicia Palmer, her daughter-in-law and Marnie, Christina and Elizabeth Palmer, Tess' granddaughters. Each of these wom [...]

    24. I get tired of the regular LDS fiction format where the story is basically the same with new names. I was excited to read this book since so many people commented and said that it wasn't the usual LDS fiction book where everyone is perfect and beautiful and everything ends up wonderful for everyone.That said, I could not stand this book. I didn't mind the story skipping around each chapter with a different focus on different characters. That part was fine with me. What wasn't fine was most of th [...]

    25. I can't think of a better way to tell the story of this family than the way Angela chose to do itrough vignettes, varying points of view and tenses, mixing and matching to come up with a crazy quilt of people, problems, and (yay!) no real solutions. Also, it made me cry.This is more than a collection of vignettes on three generations of a Mormon family. It's a poignant, melancholy look at simply being a frail human being navigating the delicate balance of living with other frail human beings.Exc [...]

    26. Scott, my husband doesn't recommend books very often, so I usually pay attention. He has become knowledgeable about some LDS writers and I value his opinion. These writers don't publish through Deseret Book and so they probably won't ever be famous, or rich but people should read them. Mrs. Hallstrom writes about real life for LDS people. She writes it how it is, not glorified or saintly. Some of the chapters were so close to home that it brought me to tears. She has good descriptions and the ch [...]

    27. I enjoyed how the author moved from generation to generation in this book, creating a picture of an entire family by painting in the relationships between them. It makes me think of the strands that hold my family and extended family together. I think my favorite character was Nathan, who to me I see as a hero figure in the book. I liked all of the characters though because they seemed to hold up a mirror to the people I am family with. The only fault I would give to the book is that it seems ev [...]

    28. There was something striking about this book, which is a collection of semi-connected short stories involving different members of the same family. I liked it. Not only is the style of novel unique, but the topics are not the usual Mormon genre. A sampling: a young father struggling with a mental illness; a woman returning to school and career (after decades at home with family) when her husband suffers a stroke; a five-year-old who tries to help her mother as a surprise; a heartbroken mother wh [...]

    29. This is an interesting sketch of a Mormon family. I thought it accurately portrayed common struggles and issues that many Mormon families face. I also appreciated that it dealt with complications of Mormon religious life, but that it didn't blame the church for the family's hard times, either. My biggest complaint was that it flipped from one character to the next too quickly. I did enjoy hearing almost all the stories, but I would have preferred the entire novel to be about the first storye one [...]

    30. This book was amazing. I can't wait to read it again. It made me cry, very few books can do this. While it says that it is a novel I would really say it's more a collection of short stories all about the same family over three generations. The family is Mormon and I am guessing that has a lot to do with why it affected me so much. I also think it elicited so many emotions because so many of the characters were at the same stage of life I am in now, or in a stage of life that I have been through. [...]

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