Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Moonflower Vine - Jetta Carleton

Summary: A timeless American classic rediscovered--an unforgettable saga of a heartland family

On a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters. Jessica will break their hearts. Leonie will fall in love with the wrong man. Mary Jo will escape to New York. And wild child Mathy's fate will be the family's greatest tragedy. Over the decades they will love, deceive, comfort, forgive--and, ultimately, they will come to cherish all the more fiercely the bonds of love that hold the family together.
Summary from book, photo from barnesandnoble.com

My Review:
The story opens in the 50's with the grown Soames family back on the farm for their annual summer vacation where they are working hard to plan the perfect day, a day that was not in the cards as one thing after another pops up to ruin the carefully laid plans. All these plans center around the blooming of the Moonflower vine. As the novel progresses we are taken back to the late 1800's and the family's history is recounted through each members individual view point, though not in his or her voice. The theme of a plan going astray continues throughout the book, coming to a head in Matthew's (the father) life, who the tale seems most to belong to.

This is a story about love and loss, joy and struggles, deceit and victory all wound together. It's a tale of the turns life can take depending on our choices. It will leave you pondering how one choice effects various other dimensions of the future. This tale, such as life, is composed of triumphs and disappointments, sins and repentance, betrayal and consequence.

The Moonflower Vine is difficult to put down. It can be read as a simple enjoyable tale or one can peel back the layers to reveal multiple dynamics taking place. Much like a prism this story will change depending on the light you read it by. Many additional facets that were hidden during the previous reading will be uncovered during sequential readings. This is the perfect book for book club as each reader will discover something different. The book was so multi-dimensional that I decided to re-read it after book club and enjoyed it this time even more. I would have loved there to be a sequel but must admit that the end was really quite satisfying as it leaves it open to the reader to put your own finishing touches on a remarkable story.

My Rating: 5 Stars

To Sum it up: A hidden classic that begs to be read time and time again


Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

Oh my gosh -- I thought I was the only one who had read this book -- I LOVED IT!!
Here is my review from last year:

Heather said...

Actually your great review, Gerbera Daisy mom, was the reason I picked up this book!


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