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This is the Place

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Publish America

Published : 2000

Copyright : Carolyn Howard-Johnson 2000

ISBN-10 : PB 1-58851-352-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-58851-352-6

Publisher's Write-Up

Sky Eccles has a father who is Mormon and a mother who is Protestant. Her father's roots go back to the founder of his church and the pioneers; her mother's roots are foggy and forgotten. Because she was born and raised with a double identity, Sky sees her surroundings in duplicate, like a Kodak color print sitting beside its own filmy negative. A new career in journalism is giving her clarity of vision.

This is the Place won Sime-Gen's Reviewers' Choice Award in the spring of 2001 and was named Top Ten Novels in the Preditor and Editors Readers' Poll that same year. AmErica House honoured it for exceptional sales and a chapter from the book was a finalist in the prestigious Masters' Literary Award. Another was selected for inclusion in The Copperfield Review and one was a finalist in The New Millennium Review's annual contest. It was also an NUW Book Club selection and the author received their award of excellence for service.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (280403) Rating (8/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 8/10
This novel is about Mormon culture in 1950s Utah. It's also about the sting of bigotry and intolerance and how it can be disguised as love and acceptance.

Sky (short for Skylar) Eccles is a young woman who has several "strikes" against her. In the insular Mormon community, she is considered a half-breed (in her case, her father was Mormon and her mother was Protestant, the religion under which she was raised).
She is unmarried; Mormon women are supposed to marry young, stay home and have lots of children. Sky agrees to marry a man named Archer Benson, a man about as true-blue Mormon as they come. But they decide not to have a Temple wedding (not to get married in the Mormon church), which doesn't go over well with her relatives. Not only does Sky work outside the home, she writes for the Other Newspaper in Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune, the one not owned by the Mormons.

Raised with something of a double identity, Sky is forced to look at her own family history, containing several instances of women who entered into mixed marriages. Her career in journalism clarifies her vision of herself and her ancestors. Suffering a series of devastating events, Sky begins to see that her future is up to her, that she must find her own way in the world, find her own true north.

This is a fine piece of writing. It gives quite a look inside a culture with which few outsiders are familiar, it's a "quiet" book that says a lot, the characters are real people, and, overall, it's well worth reading.
Paul Lappen (28th April 2003)

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