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The Spirit of the Place by Samuel Shem

The Spirit of the Place

by Samuel Shem

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8333214,365 (3.43)40



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This is the story of Dr. Orville Rose, returned home from Europe to small-town America -- and forced to remain for just over a year in order to inherit approximately $1 million. The story is interesting enough, but I found many aspects a bit contrived -- the unusual will, setting the story in the 1980s and "foreshadowing" the success of Microsoft. At times, it read like chick-lit; but it was redeemed by other times of keen insight into the human heart. All in all, ok, not terrific. ( )
  LynnB | Jun 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I first received this book, I wondered what I was thinking. I read science fiction and fantasy. I prefer dragons and spaceships to real world based fiction. With the exception of classic literature, my reading leans that way. Upon reading, I can definitively put this book, Spirit of the Place, in the Modern Classic category. I put books in this category when I have a hard time putting them down. And thus having a hard time waiting to pick them back up again.

When Dr. Orville Rose is informed of his mother's passing back home, he is living a nearly Utopian life in Europe with a yoga instructor and happily engaging himself as a physician in a high end spa. His mother has left him a good sized inheritance, but a condition comes with it. He reluctantly returns home to a town he never wanted to return to. He must stay in his mother's house for a year and thirteen days. To occupy his time, he assists the town doctor. During the time he spends there, he finds something he's been lacking (but thought he had) in his Utopian life.

As the imposed time draws near, he struggles to choose between two vastly different lives. I enjoyed following him on his journey of the soul. Even though it's been a while since i sat down and read Spirit of the Place, but it has stayed with me. Dr. Rose' journey into true healing of his spirit.
  thegreatpenguini | May 3, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read this quite a while back, and delayed writing a review because I didn't quite know what to say ... I don't think it was terrible, I've read much worse, but it definitely wasn't memorable. I had to pick it up again and scan through it to remember it -- not the most engaging book I've ever read, and not much happening plot-wise. There are so many other books about small-town America that I would choose over this one. The author does, however, shine a bit when he ventures into medical territory. ( )
  Bks4JHB | Mar 9, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What’s it about? Orville Rose, a doctor with Doctor Without Borders in Italy, is called home to upstate New York after his mother's death. He goes to collect his inheritance, but his mother has left a catch in her will. In order to collect, Orville must live in her house for a year and thirteen days. He reluctantly decides to stay and, in the process, reconnects with the man who was his mentor and the man who was his childhood bully. While he's there, he winds up taking over his mentor's practice and reexamining his own life.

Random thoughts: Such an odd book. It kind of reminded me of a episode of Seinfeld -- nothing much happens (or at least not quickly), but it's so compelling you can't help but keep reading (or watching, as the case may be). In places amusing and in others confusing, the book doesn't attempt to solve all the mystery or clear up all of the misunderstandings between the characters and, in that, was very life-like. Overall I found it an interesting, if not terribly exciting, read. ( )
  passionforthepage | Jan 14, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an ER book that I was scheduled to receive, which never arrived; hence, I could not write a review. It looks interesting from the posted reviews.
  pdebolt | Sep 29, 2009 |
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For some years, I have been afflicted With the belief that Flight is possible to man. -- Wilbur Wright, Letter, May 13, 1900
For three generations:  Rose Fuchs Bergman / Janet Lynn Surrey / Katie Chun Surrey-Bergman
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Even a shy American can be happy in Italy, and Orville Rose was about as happy as a childless man can be.
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