Advance reader reviews of Our Lady of the Prairie

Our Lady of the Prairie

by Thisbe Nissen

Our Lady of the Prairie by Thisbe Nissen X
Our Lady of the Prairie by Thisbe Nissen
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 23, 2018
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 9 member reviews
for Our Lady of the Prairie
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  • Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)


    Turn out women can have a mid-life crisis too!
    Written with a keen wit and clever turn of phrase, Thisbe Nissen's Our Lady of the Prairie looks at what happens when a 50 year old woman with a life that looks like it will finally be stable after years of upheaval with a very challenged daughter discovers the "love of her life" and jumps into an affair with all the enthusiasm of a teenager who has just discovered sex. Set in Ohio during the campaign for George W. Bush's second term, the personal chaos that Professor Phillipa Maakestad creates is reflected in the division of the country and the author gives us a few hints of what is coming. Since some of the fall out from Phillipa's destruction of her long term marriage is fairly sad, I felt a bit guilty enjoying this book as much as I did but I did.
  • Donna W


    Main protagonists were sympathetic and real, however...
    I was hooked by the first third of the story; no segue to part two, and found this section to be almost textbook for the time (WWII)... However, it all came together during the last section.

    Having said that, I found myself wanting to walk away after part two. Up to that point, the book seemed like it was a collection of short stories.

    I rated it 4 stars due to the fact that the use of language was top notch, but there wasn't a lot of substance to keep me hooked.
  • Priscilla M. (Houston, TX)


    A whirlwind of a story
    I have to admit that it took me a while to get into this book. The author relates every thought that passes through the main character's head. Phillipa is constantly thinking, weighing, supposing, and imagining. It must be exhausting to be Phillipa. Having said that, the author does draw you into the midlife crisis Phil is experiencing and weaves that into her complicated family life with her estranged husband, unstable daughter, bitter mother-in-law and the irresistible lover with whom she fell madly, inexplicably in love with at first glance. Once I got used to the fast pace and the barrage of mental processes, I realized that there are parts of the story that every reader to can relate to. Who among us does not fantasize about escaping to Paris for a romantic interlude? Don't all of us wish for a solid, stable life for our children and a close circle of friends? Phil is a good mom and a good friend, but it took a whirlwind of events to bring her to that realization. Fasten your seatbelts for the ride! There are weddings, funerals, road trips, colorful characters, and vivid slices of life in store for you with this book.
  • Jane H. (Prospect, KY)


    Our Lady of the Prairie
    Loved, loved the writer's command of the English language and wry approach to what life threw her way. I will definitely read other books by her. In this specific book, I felt she led with a strong first third of the story, began to seriously lag in the middle, but rallied a bit in the last third of the storyline. In other words, lost my interest through the middle of the book. The beautiful writing pulled me through and caused me to give this a 4.
  • Joan P. (Owego, NY)


    Our Lady of the Prairie
    This book has more plot lines than most trilogies. Each, if fully explored would make a book. The main story concerns Phillipa who leaves her husband of 26 years for a colleague, Lucius. Phillipa and Michael have raised a I dysfunctional daughter, Ginnie, who seems to have found happiness with a lapsed Amish boy, Silas. Their wedding takes place during a tornado. Ginnie's friends Linda and Randall have a big role in getting the wedding performed. They are sponsor and sponsee in NA and have their own story. Michael's mother, Bernadette, has no discernible past and says that Michael's father died in WWII. Throw in the stories of Regina and Creamer, people met at the Gas Stop Bar. The book explores mid-life confusion, bulimia, a Presidential campaign angst, pro-life and pro-choice arguments, and even Nazi collaborators in WWII. I found bright spots in the writing and even passages that were memorable, but I felt that there were too many side trips that that were distractions from the main plot.
  • Joan V. (Miller Place, NY)


    Our Lady of the Prairie
    I really enjoyed the way Ms. Nissen used language. There were scenes where her descriptions made me almost laugh out loud. She made a tornado funny!

    This book would be a fabulous choice for a book club because it was so confusing at times that I really wanted someone else's opinion to clarify things. At times she was all over the place - politics; flashbacks to French collaborators and then a fantasy ending. She also changed scenes very quickly ending one paragraph and then jumping into a scene several hours, or days later. It became confusing and the political rants didn't enhance the story. I also could have done without the spanking scene which seemed to go on forever.

    Phil was not a very likeable or relatable character as others kept remind her she "just didn't get it." sadly neither did I.
  • Ann L. (Park City, UT)


    Not my favorite
    Positive: it is an easy read; not at all tedious. Negative: this book comes across to me as the author's platform to vent her negative political thoughts, and negative opinions of midwestern people. The plot is very thin, the characters boring and not well developed. It reads like so many novels of dysfunctional families, however with no depth or originality.
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