Summary and book reviews of Our Lady of The Forest by David Guterson

Our Lady of The Forest

by David Guterson

Our Lady of The Forest by David Guterson X
Our Lady of The Forest by David Guterson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2004, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A provocative new novel about a teenage girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary, by the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars.

In a suspenseful and emotionally charged story of faith at a contemporary crossroads, the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars offers a provocative new novel about a teenage girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary.

Chapter I
Annunciation
NOVEMBER 10-NOVEMBER 13, 1999

The girl's errand in the forest that day was to gather chanterelle mushrooms in a bucket to sell in town at dusk. According to her own account and the accounts of others in the North Fork Campground who would later be questioned by the diocesan committee, by Father Collins of Saint Joseph's of North Fork, by the bishop's representative, and by reporters covering the purported apparitions--including tabloid journalists who treated the story like a visitation by Martians or the birth of a two-headed infant--the girl left her camp before eight o'clock and walked alone into the woods. She wore a sweatshirt with its hood drawn tight. She didn't speak to others of her intentions. Setting out with no direction in mind, she crossed a maple bottom and a copse of alders, traversed a creek on a rotten log, then climbed a ridge into deep rain forest and began searching for mushrooms in earnest.

As she went the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!


The purpose of the discussion topics, questions, and author biography that follow is to enhance your group’s reading of Our Lady of the Forest, a suspenseful and emotionally charged story of faith from the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars.


Reader's Guide
  1. The book’s opening echoes the tone of official reportage, using "the girl" instead of naming Ann Holmes. Elsewhere in the narrative Ann is called "the visionary." Why? Does this create a sense of distance from her? Does the narrative tone of voice, as well as the narrator’s stance, shift throughout the novel? Is the tone of objectivity about the events and characters maintained?

  2. What role do sexuality and sexual desire play in ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Sharp and incisive without a trace of either cynicism or credulity a clever take on a familiar fable of redemption.

Publishers Weekly
Searching for the miraculous in the mundane, this ambitious and satisfying work builds vivid characters and trenchant storytelling into a serious and compassionate look at the moral quandaries of modern life.

Library Journal
Posters, reading group guides, and a 16-city author tour-Guterson is getting what you would surely expect of a highly recommended novel.

Reader Reviews

marian hunter

Our Lady of The Forest is a diamond amongst dross. The writer, David Guterson, a wonderful wordsmith and talented storyteller, with a keen insight into the restless fears in every one of us. I recognised every one of his carefully drawn characters...   Read More

NAVAL LANGA

The narrator has taken pain to depict the life of a ptagonist which comes from the class of the people having colourful dreams in the eyes and the hard realities on the road. Every reader wanyts to be idintified with such charecter in which he/she ...   Read More

boston reader

First I thought: who wants to read about an asthmatic, mushroom-picking waif masturbating in a rain sodden glen next to a god forsaken logging town? But then, Guterson pulls you into a Marian legend of lost souls: Ann Holmes, the visionary run-away...   Read More

Laurita Fernandez

Insult
In the beginning of the book, at first I found it entertaining. On page 83 the first paragraph someone shouted, a football comment these guys better get a "nigger" a running back like all the good teams got these days. Continued on, If the ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by David Guterson

If you liked Our Lady of The Forest, try these:

  • Maybe A Miracle jacket

    Maybe A Miracle

    by Brian Strause

    Published 2006

    About this book

    By turns humorous and heartbreaking, personal and sweeping, familiar and extraordinary, Brian Strause's first novel takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey into America's heartland.

  • The Master Butchers Singing Club jacket

    The Master Butchers Singing Club

    by Louise Erdrich

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Drawing on her German and Ojibwe heritage, Erdrich offers another stimulating exploration into the human heart that will appeal to old fans and new readers alike. It's not exactly a breakaway, but more of the same from such a good writer is just fine.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson

A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.