Review of New Parish
“I did two reads of the book. The first time in January and then I just read it again and made comments. Honestly, most of my comments were simply wanting more information. It sounds like a second book is in the works that it covers more culture which will be fantastic. Julie is a captivating author. After the first six chapters I spent more late nights reading than I should have. I found that I made comments in the first few chapters and then as I got caught up in the story I had less to say because I was just truly enjoying the story line. This story captured the magic of your community, it’s the kind of hometown we wish we all had, and the kind of community where we wish all of our children could be raised. I’ll be first in line to buy anything she publishes.”
Jaclyn Knapp, M.S., ED.S – Weber State University, Ogden, UT
Now all I need is an agent and a publisher…. Going to Las Vegas April 29th for the writer’s conference. Wish me luck!
by Douglas Malloch
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.
My book New Parish, is a literary fiction, light romantic comedy, with an intriguing polygamous twist, it’s very different and diverse from the run-of-the-mill romance novels flooding the market these days.
The story follows Sarah from bad dates to total frustration as she explores her thoughts, fears, and feelings while contemplating plural marriage as an alternative to dating the losers she’s had to deal with. She asks the hard questions of her new friends, and even asks herself if she’s nuts or desperate for considering this option. All factors are explored, but the better side of living this unique social arrangement is truthfully told through the voice of its lovable characters. The story reveals happiness, fulfillment, and safety in this lifestyle. The manuscript is 92,000 words.
Review of New Parish by Jaclyn Knapp, M.S., ED.S Weber State University, Ogden, UT:
“Julie is a captivating author. I spent more late nights reading than I should have. This story captured the magic of your community, it’s the kind of hometown we wish we all had, and the kind of community where we wish all of our children could be raised. I’ll be first in line to buy anything she publishes.”
This is a work of fiction but it has a lot of real life experiences that I’ve encountered as I moved west to live in a small polygamous community in Arizona. The realisms I use in the book are ones I’ve either experienced or heard about from others I’ve interviewed.
Sarah the main character is a 27 year old, graphic artist. She lives in Atlanta but is originally from Savannah Georgia. She’s had too many bad dates over the years with guys that just weren’t quite what she wanted.
She does volunteer work at a children’s center, which she enjoys and it gives her a way to spend time with children while she longs to have her own. She meets a new friend at the children’s center, this new friend comes from a polygamous community which arouses Sarah’s curiosity, her new friend tells her about a different way of finding a companion which sets Sarah on a quest to find out the truth about this lifestyle as a viable option to dating. This leads her to consider making a decision that will affect the rest of her life… go live out west in a community where they live plural marriage or continue to date hoping to eventually find someone, maybe.
Through her investigations she finds out that the people living in the polygamous community use an old form of matchmaking. Their system sounded similar to what her grandmother described when she married her grandfather, only it involved prayer and church leaders not just parents.
She goes to New Parish to visit and asks some of the women in the polygamous community to tell her the whole story “warts and all” so she can make her decision with all the information possible. She hears some difficult stories about women who had been mistreated but also sees how happy other women living plural marriage are. Sarah struggles with both sides of this coin and finds it difficult to focus on work or anything else after she returns to Atlanta. The distraction of her new knowledge is so much that she needs to take a few days off from work and go to her family’s condo on Tybee Island to sort it out…
I love Christmas! It might even be an obsession… maybe. All year I’m thinking about Christmas, the tree, the presents, the decorations… the reason it’s celebrated… Many people celebrate Christmas for many different reasons, I have my own reasons and super happiness for celebrating it and loving it.
I hope everyone has the best holidays and new year ever! Merry Christmas!
Such a tragedy… heartbroken for their senseless loss…