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When Patty Went Away by Jeannie Burt

When Patty Went Away (edition 2014)

by Jeannie Burt

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3817436,623 (3.44)2
Title:When Patty Went Away
Authors:Jeannie Burt
Info:Muskrat Press, LLC (2014), Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:farming, Oregon, teen prostitution, coming of age

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When Patty Went Away by Ms Jeannie Burt



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was lucky enough to win this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers. It takes place in Oregon in a quiet farm town. The story unfolded in a very deliberate way which kept me reading until I finished the book. Jack McIntyre is a farmer who has struggled to make a living in this hard countryside. When his daughter's friend, Patty disappears, he is one of the very few people who are worried about her. She has caused so much trouble in this town, most everyone else seems happy that she's gone. I feel that this book got the atmosphere right on how lonely it can be doing the right thing. Very hard to believe this was Jeannie Burt's debut novel...I will be watching for her next one! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Apr 13, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jeannie Burt's debut novel takes place in 1976, in eastern Oregon wheat country. When a local teenager goes missing, no one seems to care except for Jack, the father of the girl's only friend. Although Jack is struggling to keep his farm afloat and his family together, he sets out to find the missing girl.

Burt's writing is elegant and spare, like the country she writes about. It is a beautiful story with a little mystery thrown in. Really great stuff. Burt is definitely a new author to watch. ( )
  RoseCityReader | Apr 5, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through LT's Early Reviewers program. I enjoyed the first part of this book. The characters were heartbreakingly flawed. They felt real. I "knew" them. It was paced in a way that allowed me to really invest in them and watch how they coped with what was slowly unfolding in their lives. The writer drew me into their story and I couldn't stop reading. It was like watching a car accident in slow motion. I knew it was going to hurt but couldn't stop watching and couldn't stop it from happening. I don't know what happened to the last part of the book though. For me, once the location changed, the pace changed, too, and I felt that the descriptions and situations lost the sense of authenticity I was drawn to in the beginning. I think the author may have been trying to get to gritty but it felt overly sensational to me, unrealistic. But, nevertheless, getting to know the characters at the beginning made the book well worth reading and I look forward to the next effort by this author. ( )
  EllsieFind | Apr 1, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ms. Burt has crafted a good old American novel. Starting slow with detailed descriptions of the farm that Jack, Molly and Edie McIntyre work and live on. Days blur into one long routine. The year of the American Bicentennial brings the McIntyres a devastating hail storm that destroys the majority of their crop. The only farm in the small community that had such catastrophic loss, Jack and Molly must deal with the sympathies of townfolk and the requirements of the bank that holds their mortgage.
Molly is very religious, trusting in her faith to make everything alright. Edie is very withdrawn, choosing to spend hours in her room when not doing required farm chores. Jack just wants to remain isolated there on his farm - the farm that has been in his family for generations. But how can they pay the bills with no crop?
Ms. Burt hints of something that happened a dozen years earlier that shook the McIntyre marriage to the core.
It takes a while to build up to "when Patty went away." Patty is Edie's friend. The two girls and their friend, Kenny were caught skipping school and smoking and Molly imposed punishment on them. Refusing to allow them to see each other until she felt they had redeemed themselves.
Once the girls are allowed to see each other again, Patty is different. No longer the headstrong, defiant teenager, Jack notices but does not delve into possible reasons for the changes in Patty.
Told from Jack's point of view, there are hints of abuse in Patty's home, but Jack seems unwilling to do anything about any suspicions he has.
When he sees Edie bringing food to the barn in the middle of the night, he follows her and discovers Patty camped out in the seldon-used hay loft. After he confronts them, Patty leaves town.
There are many secrets and/or unspoken opinions within the family and especially within Jack. Until he decides to do something.

PS. - the handwritten note and signed title page from the author that came with the advanced reader's copy were unexpected and thoughtful. ( )
  aimless22 | Mar 26, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
3.5 stars.
The farm setting, the slow pacing, and the storyline reminded me of Kent Haruf, but the writing doesn't quite measure up to his talents.

There wasn't much happening in the first half except farm life, the loss of an important crop and the impact that can have on a family, and just overall the struggles and dedication of our farmers. Jack seemed like a good fellow, not really what you'd call happy, but content with his life up to now. His wife Molly is a Bible quoter while he won't set foot in a church. They have just one child, Edie, but her best friend Patty is almost like a daughter, except Patty is too wild and sassy for Molly to really get as close to her as Edie and Jack have gotten. When Patty's mother let's a man with questionable motives move in with them, Patty takes off and it takes a while for Jack to decide that if he doesn't try to find her, even if just to get Edie out of her depression, certainly no one else cares enough to do so.

There were some things left unanswered for me, but overall I liked this a lot, enough to finish it all in one weekend. If you don't care a bit about farming, this may not be for you as its loaded with perhaps too many such details.

Thank you to Library Thing for an Advanced Uncorrected Proof. ( )
  kdabra4 | Mar 16, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098954463X, Paperback)

What event could turn a quiet man from one who has always followed and gone along, to one who takes a stand against his community?

In 1976, in a remote farming corner of Oregon, rebellious fifteen-year-old Patty vanishes. Blamed for awful trouble, the community, everyone but farmer Jack McIntyre and his daughter, bid her good riddance. Even Jack's wife dusts her hands of the girl.

As wild as she turned, Patty had once been close to Jack's family and was his daughter's only friend. Jack cannot help but care what happened to her. His feelings for the girl force him to make the most difficult decision of his life: to find the courage to search for her. The journey he takes will change him, and everyone he loves, profoundly.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

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