Monday, May 4, 2009

The Laws of Harmony

The Laws of Harmony
by Judith Ryan Hendricks
480 Pages
Harper Collins Publishers
February of 2009

Sunny Cooper is the daughter of a hippie mama and a dad who moved on to a new family. She grew up in the communes of New Mexico, dirty, arguably neglected and living off the earth. Her mom does not see things the way she does, she says she gave her daughter what was most important: faith in herself and the ability to enjoy life.

After a turn of events, (which I will let you read about for yourself) she is left wondering how all the people who she loved seem to have left her. There are just too many mysteries which surround her, engulf her life. This is especially true of her boyfriend, and when his ugly past comes to light, it gets uglier and uglier until she has to bail. Sunny runs to a place so different that she immediately feels she left her fears and past behind. However it is hard to run from your past, because when you turn around it is usually following you like baby chicks fall in line after their mother. What does life hold for her? Will she be able to start fresh and put down roots more powerful than the ones that were ripped out?

Okay, here is my take. I really liked this book, it was mysterious, it was absolutely fab. I couldn't put it down and wanted to read page after page and said something like "keep it coming!", under my breath and my husband (B) asked, "what?". Yes, it is good, very good. Judith Hendricks' writing is so smooth and rich that it will make you want to devour each following page, neglecting chapter breaks, potty breaks, snack breaks and all other breaks just to keep your eyes on the words.

In all honesty I looked at the cover and watched the trailer and didn't want to read this. It seemed too- sad loner girl searches for herself and finds something completely different than she expected- type of book. It was not that at all. I also was turned off by the cover, mostly because it reminded me of a Jodi Picoult cover as the colours and fonts and stuff just made me think of bubbly writing and no depth. Oh, I am so thankful I was wrong, Judith Ryan Hendricks is nothing like Picoult! This is the kind of book that keeps you reading, thinking and wondering and while you read, the writing delights your senses. I loved it from the first page actually. So, can't judge a book by its cover, or its trailer or any review. Only by itself can you judge a book. The Laws of Harmony stands on its own, as a mysterious piece of splendid fiction writing.
Now I just need to get my hands on her other books!!!

PS. I keep going back and forth between giving this a Stellar Five Chicken Book Award...I will have to wait a couple of days and let it sink in. I'll be sure and let you know if I chose to give it my highest recommendation.

Make sure you also check out:
Literate Housewife is giving away a copy of The Laws of Harmony!!
Judi Hendricks' blog

Check out the remaining hosts on this TLC Book Tour:

|May 6th: Books and Cooks | May 7th: Baking and Books | May 11th: Book Addiction |May 12th: Prudence Pennywise |May 14th: Farmgirl Fare| May 18th: Peeking Between the Pages |May 20: Baking Delights |May 28th: Stephanie’s Written Word |May 29th: Caribou’s Mom


megan said...

It sounds great, and right up my alley! Do you know if it's going to be published in Australia?

bermudaonion said...

I won this a little while ago and need to make the time to read it. Great review.

tea said...

Great review, I have read a couple of books by Judith Hendrick. I really like her. I would love to read this one.

Ti said...

I really enjoyed this book too and I had fun doing my Q&A with the author. I found the book to be so charming. I just wanted to pack up my bags and move to Harmony. I wish the place existed.

Alyce said...

I have this one on my shelf but haven't read it yet. I'm glad to hear that it's so good.

Literate Housewife said...

I remember you mentioning that you thought the cover looked Picoult-ish and it made me laugh. I see exactly what you are saying. Unlike Picoult, I did not anticipate most of her twists and even the one that I did turned out differently than I anticipated. I enjoyed this more than my favorite Picoult novel. Great review!

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest reading Bread Alone next. And don't worry if it doesn't hook you right away. I didn't fall in love with it until it moved to Seattle.

Joanne said...

"Only by itself can you judge a book."

That is such a fantastic quote, I may have to steal that - I'm planning to make some mosaic tile trivets and I want bookish quotes on them.

Anyways (lol) wonderful review. It sounds like the main character goes through some pretty heavy self-discovery, which I love in a book.

Anonymous said...

i haven't read any works by judith hendrick, but your review is motivating me! i'm adding her on my library reserve list right now! i enjoyed the review, thanks!!!

mee said...

Mmm a no-Picoult book! This could be good :P. I have this on my shelf for a prize, but I'm a bit reluctant to start, thinking it's a soul-searching kind of book. But hey, maybe at the right moment. You've been giving the 5 chickens for many books lately. You had good reading rows!

bethany said...

megan- I don't know! Probably eventually right? I hope you get to read it!!

bermudaonion- Oh, it is SO good, you'll love it!

tea- thank you!You should add this one to your pile, it is so good. I need to read the others :)

Ti-I know! It is so good. I'll need to come check out your Q&A!! Oh, Oregon is pretty much like should move here.

Alyce- I hope you like it too!!

Literate Housewife- I am so glad you understand what I am saying! Yes, her twists and turns are SO unpredictable I loved it.

Softdrink- I will have to get that from Powell's. This was too good to forget, I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

Joanne- Thanks! I am so glad you liked that quote :) The self-discovery is both heavy, and not..she is not a moper (sp??) She is a very lovable heroine!!!

booklineandsinker- Oh I hope you do! It is so captivating. I can't wait to see what you think.

Mee- Oh you HAVE to pick it up. It is not heavy and hard to get through, it is amazingly appetizing and so light as well as being profound and deep. You at least have to pick it up and try the first couple chapters. I think you'll be hooked!!

Thanks peeps!!!

Stephanie said...

Great review!! I've heard her other books are good as well.

Yolanda said...

I really liked this book too.

S. Krishna said...

I have this one on my shelf and am really glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Great review, Bethany! I really appreciate how much energy you put into your reviews- thank you!

Jena said...

That is a great review. (I went over to throw my name into the hat for Jennifer's giveaway because of this review. And I'm adding it to my library list.)

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