Rated of 5
by Beth K. (USA) The Land of Decoration
Rarely have I encountered such an engaging narrator as 10 year-old Judith McPherson. I am amazed at the way the author crafted the voice of this sensitive young girl who believes that she is in direct communication with God. The descriptions of the bullying and abuse that she and her father endure are so authentic that I found the book hard to read at times. This is a very well written novel, though one that left me feeling quite depressed. For that reason alone, I would hesitate to recommend this to others.
Rated of 5
by Kelly H. (Martinsville, IN) The Land of Depression
I liked this book, although it was utterly joyless to read, and I usually hate that! I definitely needed to keep reading to see if these characters could ever find any peace or happiness. I liked Judith, the 10-year old main character, but my heart just ached for her the whole way through. And after finishing it, I still don't know what was really happening, and I usually hate that, too, but the end left me reasonably satisfied. I will pass this one around.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy S. (Hendersonville, NC) The Land of Decoration
Wow! I'm nearly speechless. I found this book to be extremely compelling and well written. The fact that the entire narrative is told in the voice of a child, a very gifted and sensitive one at that, is one of the book's most unique features.
It is interesting that in order to understand Judith one must try to understand how others respond to her. Her classmates see her as odd at the very best, a freak at worst. Her father, though reticent to show the affection she deeply craves, loves her deeply, but also fears for her and is most anxious to protect. From what? obviously from the cruel torments of her classmates, from the world, from himself? The dour, fundamentalist religious milieu he has created becomes more real for Judith than the life around her, from which she wishes to escape to the land of decoration, where she will be reunited with her mother, and her father will be happy again.
Most telling is the reaction of her teacher who sees Judith for the troubled child she is. Indeed, it seems that at least one point in her development Judith suffered from a form of autism, which would explain her fascination with her imaginary world.
Yet, the most captivating of all, are the conversations between Judith and the god she has created. He is petulant, dogmatic, father-like? and so much more than could possibly be conceived in the mind of a child.
Do I believe in miracles? Let's just say that after reading McClean's brilliant novel, I have an open mind. More importantly, I am convinced of the inherent danger of a rigid, extremely fundamentalist religion that can cripple a child's happy existence in the real world and her relationships with others.
Rated of 5
by Julie G. (West Hartford, CT) Fantasy and Imagination
Grace McCleen has done a very good job of capturing the voice of 10 year old Judith McPherson, a lonely girl raised by a passionately devout widowed father. I was initially entranced by the characters, but, unfortunately, soon found them all to be so stereotypical as to be unbelievable. I was moved at the end of the book [edited for plot spoiler]. Overall, however, I was disappointed in the book, especially because I thought it began so promisingly.
Rated of 5
by Gail G. (Northbrook, Illinois) The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen
The novel is about a 10-yer old girl named Judith McPherson. She is exceptionally faithful in her religious belief. Her two primary relationships are with God and her father. But this exceptional faith isolates her from the majority of kids her age and adults who are not believers. She builds The Land of Decoration her bedroom out of discarded materials. She often imagines herself in the made-up town.
It is easy to forget how scary and sad life can be for a 10-year old, after you become an adult. The meaning of a life experience is not the same for both a 10-year old and an adult. My heart went out to this delusional girl who exhibited utter confusion in her understanding of reality and in her interactions with people
I tried to read the book twice. The first time I found no endearing qualities to continue further on into the story but then Judith got to me and I started back at the beginning so as not to miss anything. That little person really hooked me in.
Rated of 5
by Alexandra S. (Chicago, IL) What Happens When the End Really is Near
A beautiful story of imagination, faith and the end of times. Judith has grown up in a world of unwavering faith, and the belief that the end is near. While other children play, Judith, her father and their small church, roam the streets of their town knocking on doors to proselytize their neighbors. Rather than play with friends, she creates a model of The Promise Land in her room made from garbage she finds. And one day, her unwavering faith pays off, and Judith becomes the Hand of God. But as we have always learned, be careful what you wish for, it just might come true. This is a story about loss, love, faith and family. The Land of Decoration is a beautifully moving story that you won’t be able to put down.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...