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The View from Mount Joyby Lorna Landvik
Synopses & Reviews
The View from Mount Joy, Lorna Landvik's delightfully quirky and intensely moving new novel, is about a man, a supermarket, the roads not taken, and the great, unexpected pleasures found in living a good life.
When hunky teenage hockey player Joe Andreson and his widowed mother move to Minneapolis, Joe falls under the seductive spell of Kristi Casey, Ole Bull High's libidinous head cheerleader, the kind of girl a guy can't say no to, even when saying yes guarantees trouble. Joe balances Kristi's lustful manipulation with the down-to-earth companionship of his smart, platonic girlfriend, Darva. But it is Kristi who will prove to be a temptation (and torment) throughout Joe's life.
Years later, having once dreamed of a career in pro hockey or as a globetrotting journalist, Joe can't believe that life has deposited him in the aisles of Haugland Foods. But he soon learns that being a grocer is like being the mayor of a small town: His constituents confide astonishing things and always appreciate the value of a hard-to-pass-up special, a free toy for a well-behaved youngster, a pie for the best rendition of "Alfie," or simply Joe's generous dispensing of the milk of human kindness. For Joe, everyday life is its own roller-coaster ride, and all he wants to do is hold on tight.
The path Kristi has charged down, on the other hand, is as wild as Joe's is tame — or at least that's how it appears to the outside world. But who has really risked more? Who has lived more? And who is truly happy? As Joe discovers — in this dramatic, heartbreaking, and hilarious novel — sometimes people are lucky enough to be standing in the one place where the view of the world is breathtaking, if only they'll open their eyes to all there is to see.
The View from Mount Joy is truly glorious: a warm, wonderful picture of life as seen from the deepest places in the heart.
"'Landvik's latest light drama opens as Joe Andreson transfers into a Minneapolis high school as a class of '72 senior. Like everyone else, Joe has a major thing for head cheerleader Kristi Casey — a version of Reese Witherspoon's character in Election. Joe gets some action, but is estranged from Kristi by graduation. As the years pass, and they stay in touch sporadically, Joe, who narrates, can't quite let go of his infatuation. He becomes an innovative grocer, still unmarried at mid-book, and Kristi transforms into a Bible-thumping radio/televangelist. Joe builds solid relationships with his mother and her new husband, and reconnects with high school friend Darva Pratt (who returns to town with her daughter, Flora), while Kristi sets her sights on the White House. Landvik (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons) deftly mixes humor and pathos in Kristi's ditzy On the Air with God radio show, starkly contrasted by her quietly powerful portrait of Joe, a man with real family values. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Though the plot seems to circle around with no real destination, it's a delightful journey nonetheless, full of humor and poignancy and the potential for joy in everyday life." Charlotte Observer
"The lesson at the heart of this deeply satisfying novel is clear: Even the most seemingly ordinary lives can be extraordinary in their own way." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Once again displaying her genuine affection for Minnesota's salt-of-the-earth people and offbeat customs, Landvik's latest homespun homage is pure bliss." Booklist
"Warmhearted (if a bit uneven) tale of a sensitive man's journey through life." Kirkus Reviews
From the much-loved author of the bestselling phenomenon "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" comes this irresistible, hugely satisfying tale as funny, heartbreaking, and unpredictable as laughter itself.
About the Author
Lorna Landvik is the bestselling author of Patty Jane's House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, The Tall Pine Polka, Welcome to the Great Mysterious, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and Oh My Stars. Married and the mother of two daughters, she is also an actor, playwright, and dog park attendee with the handsome Julio.
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