Recommended byNY Times
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.
About Grace McCleenSee more books from this Author
Although “The Land of Decoration” is philosophically sophisticated, it is still narrated by a 10-year-old girl...some things are beyond her purview, and some language beyond her limits.Read Full Review of The Land of Decoration: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times
But the book’s tensions mount in a simple and schematic way, with danger escalating on cue and Judith’s mental state getting scarier, until it’s time for them to stop mounting and for Judith’s little world to become a better place.Read Full Review of The Land of Decoration: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times
Any author, of course, is free to scramble history into any shape they fancy. By doing it in this book, though, McCleen perilously weakens her argument.Read Full Review of The Land of Decoration: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
Like her biblical namesake, Judith does conquer her oppressors, but there is no sense of triumph the novel's final message is of religion's failure to offer real solace.Read Full Review of The Land of Decoration: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
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