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Download The Land of Decoration: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Land of Decoration: A Novel Audiobook, by Grace McCleen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 5 3.87 (15 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Grace McCleen Narrator: Kate Harbour Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781469228754
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Ten-year-old Judith McPherson is a believer. She sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith. Where others might see rubbish, Judith finds possibility and traces of the divine.

But at school Judith’s difference marks her only for persecution at the hands of her classmates. And lately, even at home she struggles to find connection in a house filled with relics of a mother she’s never known. To escape, Judith makes things in the Land of Decoration, a model in miniature of the Promised Land made of collected scraps. Piece by piece, the world in her room mirrors the town outside: a discarded shoelace is a garden hose, an orange peel a slide. But in the Land of Decoration, nothing is what it once was, and nothing is quite as it seems.

As ominous forces disrupt the monotonous everyday—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 such a gift is difficult to control, its origins uncertain, and its consequences may threaten the very foundations of Judith’s world.

A debut as intimate and original as it is electrifying, The Land of Decoration casts startling light on how far one extraordinary young girl will go to protect the people she loves most.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 2/19/2014

    " Easy to read but not so sure I "liked" it. Think the characters could have been developed more (especially the father). Looking forward to discussing at book club. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay (Little Reader Library) | 2/8/2014

    " Judith is a ten-year-old girl who has embellished her bedroom with all manner of everyday items to transform it into 'The Land of Decoration.' She makes use of whatever she can find, turning ordinary bits and bobs that are essentially rubbish, into people, buildings, landscapes; whatever she imagines, she conjures it up somehow, and this is the place she retreats to. She lives with her father, her mother having passed away, and they have a fairly simple existence. They are fervently religious, regularly attending their meeting house every Sunday, believing that the End is on its way, and taking their message door-to-door. With only her father for company, eventually Judith beings to converse directly with God. One day Judith transforms the land she has created to look as if it has snowed, and wishes for it to snow the next day in the real world. When this actually happens, Judith believes she has performed a miracle, and that further miracles are possible. At school she is bullied for being different, by one boy in particular, and she begins to wonder if she can influence this too, with another miracle thought out in the Land of Decoration. Meanwhile her father has troubles of his own, as a strike at the factory where he works threatens to bring further problems to the family. This is a delightfully inventive and unusual story, and I loved Judith’s voice, at times sad, but always honest. There is such an innocence to her at times, yet the fatalistic beliefs that she has grown-up with via her father and their faith give her thoughts a much darker edge too, especially later in the book. Her father evidently also carries a deep sadness, despite his beliefs, and it is moving to see if, and how, their relationship will change. Whilst not intending to compare the two, or suggest they are the same, it reminded me a little of 'Room' by Emma Donoghue, in the way that the child narrator is key to the story. What happens to Judith affects everything, and it's through her insights into the confusing world around her that we experience her world. The chapters are for the most part very short and it's easy to get pulled into Judith's story. I was a little hesitant after reading some reviews and discovering the extent of the religious content, but actually this didn't affect the experience for me. In fact, there is a wonderful passage as she describes how she first hears God respond, and likens it to a long-distance telephone call. This novel may not answer all the questions it asks, and definitely leaves the reader wondering about certain elements of the story. It's a fresh, unconventional debut novel, and I found it an enjoyable, effortless and interesting reading experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenmoher | 2/6/2014

    " Very suspenseful...couldn't put it down!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 1/30/2014

    " enjoyed this novel of Judith and her relationship with her father and also GOD, even though relationship with both is fraught at times "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/23/2014

    " The child voice has amazing potential when used the right way in fiction and McCleen clearly grasps that potential in ways that few authors manage to do. The innocence and purity of the voice pierces both the world of the novel (layered as it is with the model world, the immediate world, and the forecast world to come) and the part of the reader that hasn't yet been deadened to the world. The emotion shared as a result is compassionate and understanding, completely clean of any sense of plastic falseness. This book would be impressive for a writer of any experience level and is even more marvelous as a debut novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Siobhan | 1/18/2014

    " A wonderful surprise. Vivid novel about the interior life of a young girl who has created - literally - a world of her own. She's faced with some profound questions about her own life, questioning her own ability to create miracles, her relationship with God, and of course, how to deal with the local bully, all while her widowed father copes with being out on strike. A sensitive and really well written book that is incredibly touching and ultimately deeply moving. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marie | 1/14/2014

    " Absolute crap! What a complete waste of money! Depressing and boring! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggymca | 1/13/2014

    " Intriguing, worthwhile. A good exploration of faith and the reality of the invisible. But now a month later I don't remember much. Probably because it doesn't have much of an ending, couldn't have really. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 12/7/2013

    " Quirky, creative and different! Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Dyer | 11/30/2013

    " So i really loved this novel, and was surprised that I did, with its religious subject. This is a book where i resented the father in the beginning, but in the end wanted to hug him. The writing was fantastic and it had a grabbing plot. Loved the protaganist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Saliba | 11/5/2013

    " A really fun book. Hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen E | 10/23/2013

    " Book club book April 2013. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Tuzuner | 8/17/2013

    " Heart-breaking tale with an ambiguous ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 4/29/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, but I know it won't be everyone's choice. The land that Judith creates in her bedroom is wonderful. The debates that go on in her head are ones that challenge us all from time to time. I think this would make a good book club read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry Bridges | 8/17/2012

    " Written as if written by a child which can get a bit grating sometimes, but a very interesting idea and cleverly thought out. A nice relief after all those Song of Ice and Fire novels! "

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