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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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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 14 reader reviews for Our Lady of the Prairie
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Becky S. (Springfield, MO)

Guilty pleasures
I truly feel guilty for enjoying this book about a 50 plus married woman's new love affair...I was happy for Phillipa that she fell madly in love with Lucious... I think we all would love to have that kind of fairy tale romance, and sex like a couple of teenagers. I am sorry it was at the expense of her husband, Michael. The characters in this book are rich and so interesting.. the mentally ill daughter, the Amish in-laws, the mother-in-law with all the secrets. It was just a good read that was hard to put down. I look forward to reading more by this author!
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.
Jennie R. (Highland, CA)

Mixed feelings...
I loved parts of this novel, and disliked other parts. Phillipa was so, so everything! She was not a character I could feel sympathy for...much too selfish, but part of me sort of fell in love with her anyway...I applauded her honesty. But, while she was aware of her weaknesses, she didn't seem inclined to do anything about them. I thought the insertion of her whole dreamt-up life of Bernadette dragged on too long and wish she'd wrapped it up faster. Overall, I enjoyed this book though and plan to look for this author's other work.
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.
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.
Power Reviewer
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.
Henry W. (Lake Barrington, IL)

Reacting
An interesting read about life on the margins of segments of society including the agrarian, educational and Amish. Most of the characters react to situations rather than take charge, the result, weak character development. In the end,I was driven to want to know what happened to the characters. The ending is a great leap forward and strains reality. I gained a better understanding of the role of a parent of adult child with mental health issues.
Power Reviewer
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.
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