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The Land of Decoration

The Land of Decoration Cover

ISBN13: 9780805094947
ISBN10: 0805094946
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A mesmerizing debut about a young girl whose steadfast belief and imagination bring everything she once held dear into treacherous balance

In Grace McCleen's harrowing, powerful debut, she introduces an unforgettable heroine in ten-year-old Judith McPherson, a young believer who sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith. Persecuted at school for her beliefs and struggling with her distant, devout father at home, young Judith finds solace and connection in a model in miniature of the Promised Land that she has constructed in her room from collected discarded scraps—the Land of Decoration. Where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility and divinity in even the strangest traces left behind. As ominous forces disrupt the peace in her and Father's modest lives—a strike threatens her father's factory job, and the taunting at school slips into dangerous territory—Judith makes a miracle in the Land of Decoration that solidifies her blossoming convictions. She is God's chosen instrument. But the heady consequences of her newfound power are difficult to control and may threaten the very foundations of her world.

With its intensely taut storytelling and crystalline prose, The Land of Decoration is a gripping, psychologically complex story of good and evil, belonging and isolation, which casts new and startling light on how far we'll go to protect the things we love most.

Review:

"British musician McCleen's debut explores the complexities of love between a widowed father and his daughter. In her bedroom, 10-year-old Judith McPherson has recreated in miniatures the world she and other believers like her will go to after Armageddon — called the Land of Decoration (named after the biblical Promised Land), there are cookie-carton houses and a sun made of bead-strung wires. Judith is vocal about her beliefs at school; as a result, she incurs the wrath of class bully Neil Lewis. Struggling under the pressures of Neil's cruelties and an increasingly distant father, Judith decides to try her hand at miracles. According to Judith, miracles are 'what you see when you stop thinking, and they happen because someone made them.' Small wonders start to occur — she makes it snow, and she brings a lost cat home, but her newly acquired powers take a toll. Like many child narrators, Judith is precocious, and McCleen prudently avoids cutesiness, choosing instead to concentrate on Judith's creativity. McCleen was raised in a fundamentalist religion, allowing her to write of a potentially sensational subject with nuance and sensitivity. McCleen adroitly combines cinematic momentum with intuitive description in this novel about the consequences of faith and what happens when we believe that we have the power to effectuate change. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize

Judith and her father dont have much—their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother shes never known. But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility. Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land—little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars, and a mirror sea—a world of wonder that Judith calls the Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving cream and cotton balls and Scotch tape) there will be no school on Monday. Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And thats when her troubles begin.

With its intensely taut storytelling and gorgeous prose, The Land of Decoration is a breathtaking story of good and evil, belief and doubt. Grace McCleen is a blazing new talent in contemporary literature.

About the Author

Grace McCleen is an author and singer-songwriter who lives in London. This is her debut novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Jen F, January 16, 2013 (view all comments by Jen F)
This was the best book I read in 2012!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lisa-Bug, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Lisa-Bug)
Enchanting story of a young girl who creates a world out of found objects and wrestles with the idea of God and her own power. Vividly told from the child's point of view. I loved it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
The Loopy Librarian, April 13, 2012 (view all comments by The Loopy Librarian)
Reading The Land of Decoration was a unique experience. It was imaginative and hopeful, philosophical and dark, fascinating and disturbing, and brilliant. It was not an easy read, but it was definitely compelling. Sometimes the experiences were very uncomfortable and upsetting, as when Judith cleans up after the boys deface the sidewalk in front of her house. But, Judith has this inner strength about her that makes you as the reader want to be strong on her behalf, even as you cringe and want to look away. This story gives the reader a great deal to consider about religion, sanity, philosophy, psychology, and humanity. The author offers up few answers, and the book is all the better for it. If you should visit The Land of Decoration with it’s candy-wrapper lakes and pipe-cleaner people, be prepared to be challenged. Like Judith, you will spend much time pondering, even long after you’ve turned the final page.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note that I received a review copy from the publisher.
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View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805094947
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Picador
Author:
McCleen, Grace
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Coming of age
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130305
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
Coming of Age

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Land of Decoration
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805094947 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "British musician McCleen's debut explores the complexities of love between a widowed father and his daughter. In her bedroom, 10-year-old Judith McPherson has recreated in miniatures the world she and other believers like her will go to after Armageddon — called the Land of Decoration (named after the biblical Promised Land), there are cookie-carton houses and a sun made of bead-strung wires. Judith is vocal about her beliefs at school; as a result, she incurs the wrath of class bully Neil Lewis. Struggling under the pressures of Neil's cruelties and an increasingly distant father, Judith decides to try her hand at miracles. According to Judith, miracles are 'what you see when you stop thinking, and they happen because someone made them.' Small wonders start to occur — she makes it snow, and she brings a lost cat home, but her newly acquired powers take a toll. Like many child narrators, Judith is precocious, and McCleen prudently avoids cutesiness, choosing instead to concentrate on Judith's creativity. McCleen was raised in a fundamentalist religion, allowing her to write of a potentially sensational subject with nuance and sensitivity. McCleen adroitly combines cinematic momentum with intuitive description in this novel about the consequences of faith and what happens when we believe that we have the power to effectuate change. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize

Judith and her father dont have much—their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother shes never known. But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility. Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land—little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars, and a mirror sea—a world of wonder that Judith calls the Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving cream and cotton balls and Scotch tape) there will be no school on Monday. Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And thats when her troubles begin.

With its intensely taut storytelling and gorgeous prose, The Land of Decoration is a breathtaking story of good and evil, belief and doubt. Grace McCleen is a blazing new talent in contemporary literature.

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