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Sheri Reynolds

Forfatter af The Rapture of Canaan

8 Works 3,308 Members 83 Reviews 6 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Sheri Reynolds teaches writing and literature at Old Dominion University.

Omfatter også følgende navne: Sheri Reynolds, Sherri Reynolds

Image credit: sherireynolds.com

Værker af Sheri Reynolds

The Rapture of Canaan (1996) 2,117 eksemplarer
A Gracious Plenty (1997) 561 eksemplarer
Firefly Cloak (2006) 237 eksemplarer
Bitterroot Landing (1994) 236 eksemplarer
The Sweet In-Between: A Novel (2008) 135 eksemplarer
The Tender Grave (2021) 7 eksemplarer

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The Rapture of Canaan is the story of a young girl’s coming of age within the confines of the Christian cult her grandfather devised. She struggles to understand her place in a community ruled more by her grandfather, Pastor Herman, than by Jesus. She’s desperate to avoid the sin her grandfather preaches against and uncertain why she doesn’t feel the connection to Jesus that has her family speaking in tongues and crying out to God during Sunday services. Into this confusion comes James, her prayer partner, and the two are equally torn by their desire to please God (or maybe just Pastor Herman) and to explore their newfound feelings for each other. When Ninah finds herself pregnant and abandoned, she fears her life in the church and the only community she’s ever known is over, but it may be that her indiscretion and its unexpected outcome will change the lives of the congregants of the Church of Fire and Brimstone and God’s Almighty Baptizing Wind forever.

This story starts off quickly with simple prose and a sympathetic narrator in Ninah. She has had the laws of the church drummed into her but finds herself confused that all the rhetoric and suffering for Jesus doesn’t produce the spiritual outpouring in her that she witnesses in the rest of her family and community. In fact, at points in the early going the writing style actually seems too simplistic, and I found myself bored for just the briefest moment before the story rapidly picked up steam.

As Ninah begins to experience the consequences of her pregnancy, the book plumbs the depths of radical religion, the fragility of community, the mysterious ways of God, and the weaknesses of self-proclaimed arbiters of right and wrong. Reynolds has created a very captivating picture of a community dominated by a charismatic leader. Ninah’s journey to discovery of what she herself will choose to believe is compelling reading.
… (mere)
yourotherleft | 34 andre anmeldelser | Jul 30, 2023 |
It's a good book, about dysfunctional families and about trying to create a better family/space for yourself. Dori is 17, leaving home to avoid the law after having participated in a hate crime against a gay boy at school. She decides to find the older half-sister who is estranged from their mental ill, artistic, evangelical mother. Her sister is Teresa, a high school teacher, married to Jen, and trying to become pregnant with their child.

That sounds melodramatic, and it is, but it also works. Good characters and writing. I like that the author brings up moral/ethical dilemmas, but doesn't tell you how to think about them.… (mere)
banjo123 | 2 andre anmeldelser | Feb 26, 2023 |
this is excellent. the writing, the way the story goes (definitely unexpected in many aspects), and the complete full characters. i really loved this.

reading much of this from dori's perspective - the point of view of the character who literally killed someone in a homophobic hate crime is a brave and effective choice. we see into her head and the times when she is remorseful, but also how she makes excuses for herself. we are witness to her arc of acceptance that she needs to face consequences for what she did, even if she doesn't really know why she did it or even if she didn't mean for it to happen. the incident with sugar britches is a nice parallel to the incident with owen, as she does something awful without really thinking about it or even, really, malice. i really like seeing her start to want to repent (in a much different way than her religious mother would) but not knowing how to do that, or if she could.

as for teresa's journey, which was completely different, seeing her with jen and sugar britches and in her life where she was out sometimes but not at work and seeing her struggle with her past and her fertility (and if she even really wanted a baby) felt like such a real and true look into someone. it felt so honest a depiction of a person and i loved her struggle with her memory of her mother and the knowledge that she only sees it from her perspective and not at all from her mother's. and what incorporating that truth might mean. (or not. she really mostly seemed like a shit mother.) but just that she was thinking about it and wanting to go there, for dori, was powerful and felt really real.

i really, really liked this. the writing is stellar, too. i thought i knew where this story was going, but it really surprised me. it wasn't as predictable as i thought - the writing would have carried it if it was, but it was nice that it was also not what i expected from the plot.

i hadn't been interested in reading her before, but i will definitely read more by her now.
… (mere)
overlycriticalelisa | 2 andre anmeldelser | Feb 4, 2023 |
This book was hard to put down! Although I was raised in the Catholic church, I don't practise anymore. To me, faith is a very private thing and I prefer to keep my relationship with God between me and God. I find stories like this one fascinating - how a whole community of people can exist this way. While reading, I kept thinking how brainwashed the characters were and I encouraged those teetering on the edge to find the courage and strength to push through the barriers around their community and break free! The ending did leave me hanging - wanting to know more about how things were going to go, but overall, I did love this book.… (mere)
LynnHansen | 34 andre anmeldelser | Jan 25, 2023 |



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