Linda A. (Palo Alto, CA)
This is a wonderful heartwarming story about people I cared about, set in geographically familiar territory - always a plus for me. Themes of love, trust, grief, and connection run throughout.
Barbara B. (Alta Loma, CA)
Jo-Ann Mapson fans will not be disappointed in this newest novel, which takes place in Central California.
It is a wonderful story of 3 people, who have lost a dear one and find some peace in their grief through one another. All of the characters & animals are very lovable & I found myself rooting for them along the way.
Through Ms Mapson's writing I could feel Glory's, Joseph's & Juniper's pain. I have recommended this book to so many of my friends & I feel as though it would make a great book club selection, as there is much to discuss.
Vy A. (Phoenix,
Solomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson
Solomon's Oak can be appreciated on many levels. If one is an animal lover, especially of dogs, it will touch your heart,somewhat reminiscent of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. If you are a nature lover, you will appreciate the folklore of trees and flowers woven throughout. What I valued most, however, was the skillful handling of three very different and believable characters who are dealing with loss in their lives. How their interactions with one another help them through the healing process results in a good story line amidst a rich tapestry of setting and description. I highly recommend it not only for individuals but to book groups as there would be many facets to discuss.
Elizabeth P. (Lower Burrell, PA)
"The chapel had been Dan's final project. One summer morning over his oatmeal he'd said, "I've got a bug to build myself a chapel. Nothing fancy, just a place to worship out of the rain." Page 9
Thanksgiving day, the oldest white oak tree on the Solomon property, a chapel built by Dan Solomon, a wedding, and now a foster child dealing with grief just like Glory Solomon.
Glory had to do something since Dan died...her savings was gone, and her part-time job didn't really pay the bills.
One day she was asked/begged if a wedding and a reception could be held in the chapel that Dan had built. Glory hesitated and then decided the $3,000 she would get would definitely help pay the bills that were mounting. The wedding party wanted a Thanksgiving dinner and also a reception with a pirate theme and a sword fight.
The wedding was a huge success and brought a few surprises as well.....a former policeman who happened to be photographing the oak tree and a new foster child that unknown to Glory had some connection to her family dog. The connection was too close to home, and Juniper wasn't going to be too bad to have around or so she thought, so Glory told Caroline she would keep the new foster child.
Joseph the policeman was also pretty interesting...his grandmother had lived a few miles down the road from Glory when Joseph was a child, and he remembered the oak trees of California and especially the one on the Solomon property.
"Solomon's Oak" told the life stories of the three main characters who definitely fit and worked well together even though the connection was through their misfortunes. The book was a cozy read for me...family life, real-life situations, talents we all have hiding inside and waiting to emerge, and just plain heartfelt warmth in the book.
You will fall in love with Glory, Juniper will drive you crazy, and Joseph's patience will amaze you.
Enjoy the book....I definitely did. "Solomon’s Oak" was very touching….it will make you smile, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will restore your faith in mankind’s goodness.
Mary M. (Lexington KY)
Heartwarming not mushy
This is a wonderful book about strangers who have had tragedy in their lives coming together to heal and form a family. The story is told at times in the voices of the main characters, Juniper, Glory and Joseph. Juniper's essay about foster children and the holidays will stay with me forever and should be required reading for foster parents everywhere. The book is heartwarming without being mushy and unbelievable. I loved it.
Marsha E. (Woodland, CA)
The Power of Love
In her tenth novel, Jo-Ann Mapson crafts a story of life, loss and the redeeming power of love. From almost the first page, we move into Glory's rustic farm house along with her foster daughter, Juniper, and just make ourselves at home. Told from the perspective of Glory, Joseph and Juniper—each struggling with his or her own abandonment issues due to death, divorce and parental desertion—we experience their anger, fear and struggle to pull themselves out of the mire their lives have become.
In the back-to-nature setting Mapson has created, we can smell the goats, feel the horses wet coats, and snuggle - and laugh - with the dogs, humorously named Edsel, Cadillac and Dodge. And the healing power of nature is most symbolically embodied in the famous oak on their property. When Glory’s sister Halle remarks, "…your house reminds me of one of those Christmas cards put out by Leanin' Tree. Everything is so homey and cozy and Western…" It was meant as a put-down, but the scene that Mapson creates is so homey and cozy that you want to curl up on the couch along with them.
If this is Mapson’s tenth novel, I have nine new books to add to my TBR list!
Krista H. (Grayslake, IL)
Glory is a grieving widow, Juniper is a wounded teen, Joseph has his own hurts. These three sad characters come together in a sweet story. I thought at times that the story dragged and the ending was predictable, but if you're looking for a light read with characters that you care about, you will enjoy this book.