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Wo Milch und Honig fließen by Grace McCleen
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Wo Milch und Honig fließen (edition 2013)

by Grace McCleen, Barbara Heller (Übersetzer)

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2544645,069 (3.78)17
Member:leselotte
Title:Wo Milch und Honig fließen
Authors:Grace McCleen
Other authors:Barbara Heller (Übersetzer)
Info:Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (2013), Gebundene Ausgabe, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Read 2013, Sekte, Alleinerziehende

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The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Author)

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English (45)  Norwegian (2)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
I kind of enjoyed this book but I did find it a little confusing.
Hard to determine the time it was set in, or the place early on in the book. ( )
  janeyhoho | Jul 2, 2014 |
Judith is ten years old and she knows that she won’t get much older. For soon Harmagedon will come and the world will come to an end. She’s actually kind of looking forward to that. Not just because she knows she’ll get to meet her mum, she who was so strong in faith she rather died than accepted blood transfusions when Judith was born. Not just because she secretly knows her dad doesn’t love her. But also because she has no friends her own age, and because the kids at school are horrid and brutal, and she can’t stop herself from wishing them ill.

Judith’s only toy is the intricate model landscape she’s building from junk in her room. And one day, after a sermon about miacles, she covers it in cotton and white paper and shaving foam, wishing for a snow storm so she won’t havet o go to school. It works. As does her next attempt, and her next. God has clearly selected her as his tool. But the consequences of miracles are hard to predict, Judith’s enemies don’t back down easily. And with her father being among the few who breaks the strike at the factory, the little family becomes the target of real terror.

Grippiing, moving and suspenseful, this is a rough read at times. The world seen through the lonely, indoctrinated eyes of Judith is difficult and unjust, and her meekness is a shaky defence indeed. The blend of reality seen through the eyes of a child not quite aware of how shitty her circumstances are, and a pinch of something that might be magic, reminds me of ”The earth hums in B flat”, especially with the welch setting.

Right up until the last fifty or so pages, I’m biting nails and wiping tears. The conclusion seems a little stressed and commodified though, and is my only little beef with this fine debut. ( )
  GingerbreadMan | Apr 23, 2014 |
this is told in the voice of one of the most screwed up 10 year olds I can imagine. Judith & her father are what i would think of as Jehovah's Witnesses and belong to a church that seems to sit somewhere in the Welsh valleys. I have in my head that this is set sometimes in the early 80s, a time of great social unrest and industrial disputes.
Judith has taken the teachings of Revelation so deep into her being that she has built a world on the floor of her room, which she calls the land of decoration, after the land that will exist after Armageddon has come & gone & the righteous are left. It's made of scraps of goodness knows what and she tells stories in this world. She is (perhaps unsurprisingly) bullied at school, mainly by Neil Lewis, whose father also has a conflicted relationship with Judith's father at work.
Then one day Judith hears a preacher that opens her mind even further. She begins to wish that it would snow (in October) so that she didn't have to go to school, so she makes snow for her world - and it duly snows. At which point this book takes a really quite dark turn. Judith starts to hear a voice in her head - that of God and telling her she's capable of performing miracles by changing things in her world. If I say that the end of the book has this god character encouraging Judith to commit suicide in order to save her father i think you might agree that there is a twisted mind at work here.
I'm not in favour of organised religion, and I think this might just be a very good argument against it, Judith is a very mixed up child and her father seems in serious need of some counselling at the very least. I was left very angry by the people in this book that should have been taking care of Judith, and had clearly spent most of her childhood not doing so. ( )
  Helenliz | Oct 14, 2013 |
The Land of Decoration 4/5

I thought this book was fantastic. Judith is such a strong character and you desperately want things to work out for her. Her trials and tribulations feel so real and the author has raised lots of things religion wise that i found quite thought provoking. Its a real down wards spiral and i found really quite sad but a really good read. Only thing i would say is that the boys who torment Judith seem to do things I would never expect a 10 year old to know let alone do so its a bit hard to believe some of the things or maybe i too am sadly as naive as poor Judith. I hope 10 year olds dont do those things in the real world though! ( )
1 vote shelley.s | Jun 17, 2013 |
Ten-year-old Judith isn't very concerned that Armageddon is coming.

In fact, she's not sorry that soon "nothing of this old world will be left".

"[I]t’s good because polar bears are starving and trees are dying and if you put a plastic bag in the earth it will never go away and the earth has had enough of plastic bags. And because in the new world I will see my mother."

That's Judith's voice.

She sounds ten, doesn't she? And the uneven cadence, that feels very ten-ish, too.

Then, it's easy to imagine her voice lowered, just a smidge, with that bit about her mother.

That could be because the pseudo-orphan child-narrator is a familiar character.

But Judith's story manages to avoid the most predictable tropes of that tale.

She misses her mother in a very matter-of-fact way. And although that loss hovers behind her daily existence, Judith has other things on her mind these days.

Even more pressing than looming Armageddon? Neil Lewis. The same Neil Lewis who has threatened to stick her head in the toilet on Monday. Neil Lewis, the bully.

Maybe Neil bullies Judith because she tromps around town, proselytizing, warning her neighbours of the dangers to their souls.

Maybe he bullies her because she doesn't have any friends.

Perhaps because she dresses funny.

Perhaps because she is often picking up promising bits of trash to use as construction materials in the miniature world she has created in her room.

Or maybe he's just a bully.

Neil is also a non-believer. He is in the majority.

"People don’t believe in very much. They don’t believe politicians and they don’t believe adverts and they don’t believe things written on packets of food in the Co-op. Lots of them don’t believe in God either. Father says it’s because science has explained so many things people think they should be able to know how everything happens before they believe it, but I think there is another reason."

Judith thinks about this kind of thing a lot. More than many ten-year-old children.

And, yet, in her appropriately child-like way, as much time as she spends thinking about things, a lot of things remain intact, unexamined, unchallenged. Much of Judith's worldview is simple repetition, memorization of the principles of her father's fundamentalist faith.

But the vague threat of Armageddon pales in the face of the real dangers she faces at the hands of Neil and his friends. And it's this threat which fundamentally changes the world that Judith inhabits.

More about the world that Judith inhabits, and more about the way that Grace McCleen creates it here, on Buried In Print. Please check it out.
1 vote buriedinprint | Apr 8, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCleen, GraceAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scholten, TheoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wammen, JulianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is what the Sovereign Lord said to me: "In the day that I chose the nation of Israel I also lifted my hand in an oath to their seed, to make myself known to them in the land of captivity. Yes, I lifted my hand in an oath and I said: 'I am the Lord, your God.' In that day I swore to them I would bring them forth from the land of captivity to a land that I searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey: it was the decoration of all the lands."
—Ezekiel 20:5–6
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In the beginning there was an empty room, a little bit of space, a little bit of light, a little bit of time.
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Ten-year-old Judith McPherson sees the world with the clear eyes of faith. Other students persecute her for her differences. To escape, Judith builds a Land of Decoration, a model in miniature of the Promised Land. When her father's factory job is threated by a strike and the taunting of school slips into dangerous territory, they threaten the very foundations of Judith's world.… (more)

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