Kandi D. (Beaverton, OR)
Soloman's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson
Jo-Ann Mapson has a talent for creating fascinating, down-to-earth characters you connect with right from the beginning and who you want to follow to the end to see how their story plays out. I’ve read several of her books and in my opinion this is one of her best. The three central characters in this story each have their own heart breaking past to deal with and when they come together they help each other see the world in a whole new way. This is a wonderful story of personal growth and a second chance at life. I highly recommend it.
Sherri A. (westbrook, ct)
Reading a novel by Jo-Ann Mapson is like spending quality time with a best girlfriend--it goes by too quick and you can't wait to do it again! "Solomon's Oak" delivers on all fronts; from Glory, recently widowed, to Juniper, the teen who comes for the night only to stay forever, to Joseph, the ex-cop with his own pain--these characters WILL stay with you...
Amber B. (Canton, Ohio)
I really enjoyed this engaging novel. I found the characters raw and vulnerable - and while they certainly came to grips with their losses, it felt genuine and not sentimental. More importantly, they seemed to let themselves feel their losses for what they were and didn't force themselves to just 'get over them.' I loved the imaginative wedding scenes Mapson created. Some of the dialogue felt a little forced in the beginning, but got better as the story progressed. There are many themes for book clubs to explore, such as grief, honesty, the role of nature, vulnerability with others, marriage, friendships, family relationships, and community.
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.