Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson
(Guterson, David)

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Synopsis

From David Guterson—bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars—comes this emotionally charged, provocative novel about what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl becomes an instrument of divine grace.

Ann Holmes is a fragile, pill-popping teenaged runaway who receives a visitation from the Virgin Mary one morning while picking mushrooms in the woods of North Fork, Washington. In the ensuing days the miracle recurs, and the declining logging town becomes the site of a pilgrimage of the faithful and desperate. As these people flock to Ann—and as Ann herself is drawn more deeply into what is either holiness or madness—Our Lady of the Forest—seamlessly splices the miraculous and the mundane.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About David Guterson

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David Guterson is the author of a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense; Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and was an international bestseller; and the national bestseller East of the Mountains.
 
Published September 30, 2003 by Vintage. 336 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Our Lady of the Forest

Kirkus Reviews

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A devout Catholic who never goes anywhere without her catechism and rosary, Ann is considered something of an oddball by the other campers, but she makes several friends, including fellow runaway Carolyn Greer, an active doper with none of Ann’s religious sensibilities.

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The Guardian

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"We must build that church, Father," Ann pleaded.

Dec 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

The Guardian

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This is especially apparent when he is dealing with Ann, for whom the singing of pilgrims "was ethereal, enchanted, it might have been mere wind in the trees or a distant band of woodland dryads who were also exceptional ventriloquists ...

Nov 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

Publishers Weekly

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And as Ann's visions stimulate a tourism boom and draw the attention of media vultures and a skeptical Catholic Church, Guterson explores larger social themes—the demise of blue-collar America;

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Star Tribune

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Her apparent loyalty doesn't stop her from ridiculing Ann's visions and upbraiding the waif-like teen: "Get help, okay Ann?

Oct 04 2003 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

Book Reporter

Ann alone sees the figure again, but Carolyn is witness to Ann's bodily movements and reaction to the apparition.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Oct 03, 2003 Published in issue #731 Oct 03, 2003 Order article reprints

Oct 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

Pajiba

Pilgrims begin arriving within 24 hours of the first vision and then the miracles begin, large and small: a woman is cured of warts, a lost sheep finds his path, a church that couldn’t get financied gets built in under a year, a priest reasserts his faith and focus.

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People

Faith is in pretty short supply in North Fork, Wash., until an asthmatic 16-year-old runaway, after foraging for mushrooms in the forest, says that the Virgin Mary appeared before her and asked her to visit the parish priest and help build a church.

Nov 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Our Lady of the Forest (Guter...

Spirituality & Practice

The real miracle, Guterson demonstrates, is not Mary's appearance but the outpouring of spiritual yearning that was there but unexpressed in all the characters — the good, the bad, the wounded, and the venal.

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Reader Rating for Our Lady of the Forest
45%

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