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Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins

by Katarina Bivald

Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald X
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald
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  • Published Jan 2020
    448 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 19 member reviews
for Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins
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  • Windell H. (Rock Hill, SC)
    Slow start
    This book has a great story line but slow to start. I enjoyed the characters and their quirks and how they came together in the end. It addresses current social issues with finesse. As with this book we would all like to relive our past and maybe right some wrongs or change a few things. The best we can do is accept our past and learn from our past. Another good view of small town America and it's "supposed innocent" past. Much love is shared throughout this book and proves to be the overall theme. This would be a great book for book clubs. Overall I liked this very much except for the slow start.
  • Arlene I. (Johnston, RI)
    Friendship and so much more....
    It took me some time to get into this book, but having read Katrina Bivald's other novel,(The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend) I figured that out by the time I got to Chapter Three. At the beginning of the story her characters are what I call "threadbare". As the story develops, each character gets more definition and the reader feels more comfortable with the characters and the book becomes a "can't put this down book".The novel begins with the death of Heddy, which is stated in the very first sentence: " My funeral begins in an hour." Through Heddy, we begin to learn more about each character and their best qualities; the definition of true friendship and how a community can sometimes define your life. The author's attention to details makes you feel like you are right there in the state of Oregon experiencing the smells and sounds of the forests and Pine Away Motel. I would highly recommend this book not only for the characterization or the setting but because it brings LGBT issues to the forefront. Maybe you will even learn a little more about yourself.
  • Pamela W. (Piney Flats, TN)
    Slow Start But Heartwarming.
    I love reading books that capture my interest immediately so I was a tad disappointed in this book. Many of my friends would have given up by page 50. Because I volunteered to review, I kept reading and was rewarded with quirky, charming characters in this small Eastern Oregon town. Much like the students of all ages I taught over decades, the characters evoke a range of emotions but never bored me.
    The novel isn't unique but is thought-provoking if one is willing to look at questions like: What makes a person happy? Is it a place? Is it a career? Is it the people you love?
  • Dorothy H. (Folsom, CA)
    A Feel Good Story
    I found this book to be in the style of Fannie Flag, so her followers will enjoy this book.

    The story is from the point of a young small Oregon town (Pine Away) girl, Henney killed in a truck accident. The town is conservative, has been struck by the mills closing down, people out of work and mixed views about the gay community.
    She is now a ghost and wants to be sure her family and friends come together about the gay issue that has torn the town apart and be happy with their choices. The characters are believable, some are quirky but likeable.

    The story line dragged a bit in the middle but overall it was a good read. Good for a book club that is open for the LGBT issue that can be polarizing.
  • Claire M. (Wrentham, MA)
    Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins
    Here's another multigenerational novel from Katarina Bivald whose The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend championed community spirit and reinvigoration. In her latest tale four friends are reunited in their hometown after many years apart. The story of their friendship drives the community into confrontation with attitudes of tolerance. What makes some friends stick close to home while others leave? Is it the nature of community to define who are acceptable members or instead to make a place for anyone who chooses to live there? It's not simply a generational divide that influences one's answer to these questions, as Bivald narrative makes clear. She creates an omniscient narrator who provides an emotional distance for the reader to view events with a bit of perspective. Bivald's strength is in the evenhanded presentation of viewpoints. Book group discussion might revolve around the author's choice for resolving the tension in the narrative.
  • Gerrie B. (Carmel, IN)
    Illusions Fade Over Time
    Having read The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend, I was eager to read The Pine Away Motel and Cabins. However, this book was more than I expected and when I finished it I wasn't left with a feel good residue. While the story traffics in lost love, missed chances, second chances and friendship, it is also a darker exposé on the treatment of the LGBTQ community by a group of Evangelical Christians in small town Oregon. It is a well written story with some uplifting and amusing moments but there are also many ugly and depressing scenes that play out as the storyline unfolds. This tension in the story provides opportunities for meaningful discussions in book groups and separates it from typical light-hearted fare. Bivald's characters are well drawn and some of them provided comic relief and much needed warmth. Others I despised so much I hoped for retribution or a magical transformation and was disappointed when neither happened. This allegiance to reality elevates this book from a mere candy coated snack to a full course meal. There are existential questions that permeate the story and engaged readers will find themselves ruminating over these days after they finish reading. This isn't a feel good, fairy-tale book, in places it is a sad depiction of reality. On page 197, Henry is speaking about illusions and says, "...but life takes them away from us one at a time." This is part of a telling passage concerning illusions which is a major theme in the book. Like life, this book takes away our illusions one at a time.
  • Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)
    A Mixed bag
    Actually, I had a hard time getting into this book. For me, there were parts that moved along and there were parts that dragged. Still, there were some good insights sprinkled throughout. I like the idea of all the different characters who formed an unlikely family of friends. I am glad that I read it through til the end although it took me awhile.
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