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Godshot av Chelsea Bieker
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Godshot (utgåvan 2021)

av Chelsea Bieker (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2628102,373 (3.85)1
Fiction. Literature. HTML:Imagine if Annie Proulx wrote something like White Oleander crossed with Geek Love or Cruddy, and then add cults, God, motherhood, girlhood, class, deserts, witches, the divinity of women . . . Terrifying, resplendent, and profoundly moving, this book will leave you changed." T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Drought has settled on the town of Peaches, California. The area of the Central Valley where fourteenyearold Lacey May and her alcoholic mother live was once an agricultural paradise. Now its an environmental disaster, a place of cracked earth and barren raisin farms. In their desperation, residents have turned to a cult leader named Pastor Vern for guidance. He promises, through secret assignments, to bring the rain everybody is praying for.

Lacey has no reason to doubt the pastor. But then her life explodes in a single unimaginable act of abandonment: her mother, exiled from the community for her sins, leaves Lacey and runs off with a man she barely knows. Abandoned and distraught, Lacey May moves in with her widowed grandma, Cherry, who is more concerned with her taxidermy mouse collection than her own granddaughter. As Lacey May endures the increasingly appalling acts of men who want to write all the rules and begins to uncover the full extent of Pastor Verns shocking plan to bring fertility back to the land, she decides she must go on a quest to find her mother no matter what it takes. With her only guidance coming from the romance novels she reads and the unlikely companionship of the women who knew her mother, she must find her own way through unthinkable circumstances.

Possessed of an unstoppable plot and a brilliantly soulful voice, Godshot is a book of grit and humor and heart, a debut novel about female friendship and resilience, motherloss and motherhood, and seeking salvation in unexpected places. It introduces a writer who gives Flannery OConnors Gothic parables a Californian twist and who emerges with a miracle that is all her own.

[A] haunting debut . . . This is a harrowing tale, which Bieker smartly writes through the lens of a teenager on the cusp of understanding the often fraught relationship between religion and sexuality . . . It's a timely and disturbing portrait of how easily men can take advantage of vulnerable womenand the consequences sink in more deeply with each page."Annabel Gutterman, Time

Drawn in brilliant, bizarre detailbaptism in warm soda, wisdom from romance novelsLacey's twin crises of faith and femininity tangle powerfully. Fiercely written and endlessly readable, a novel like this is a godsend. A.Mary Sollosi, Entertainment Weekly.
… (mer)
Medlem:booksonadventures
Titel:Godshot
Författare:Chelsea Bieker (Författare)
Info:Catapult (2021), 336 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Godshot av Chelsea Bieker

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» Se även 1 omnämnande

Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
This book is a wild ride verging on the ridiculous but firmly planted in reality. Lacey May Herd is a 14 year old girl trapped in a cult and is fighting each day discovering more about herself, the world, and her faith as she's forced to comply with the whims of the church's leader Vern.

The prose is so wonderful - it focuses on the mundane, comparing and contrasting against the absurd to bring the setting into life. Lacey's narrative stays innocent, both appropriate for her age and not, tainted by the things she's forced to endure. It's bitter and it's sweet as she grows too fast but not fast enough.

The plot, I feel, is rather straightforward with the kinds of twists that make you think "oh no, when do they make it all stop? How far will it go before it blows up?", a good kind of anxiety.

I think the main focus is Lacey's and her mother's relationship - or lack thereof, a constant undercurrent from page one to the last sentence. I think it's more about breaking cycles than it is about her mother, who is the kind that even if they're present, they're emotionally absent. The moment her mother leaves, she's filled with "motherloss", the abandonment, the repressed memories of past abuse by her mother's boyfriends, the longing for a mother's love. And though she lives with her maternal grandmother, Cherry, she's confronted by the reality that her mother was just another link in the chain. I think it was the learning that motherly love doesn't HAVE to come from your biological mother, but also you can become the person you've always wanted in your own life. Manifest it.

I 100% cried at the end. It was satisfying, reflective, and touched on each theme of the book (what is faithfulness, what is motherhood, found families and breaking cycles). I couldn't be happier that I picked this book up. ( )
  zozopuff | Dec 19, 2022 |
The Wisest at 14

In her debut novel, Chelsea Bieker adds another voice calling out men taking advantage of and abusing women, and some women, for personal reasons, being complicit in their treatment. Turns out that smartest kid in the down and out, drought-stricken town of Peaches, CA, is 14-year-old Lacy May, even as she finds herself caught in the whirlwind of bad things happening to her.

Peaches, once a prosperous Central Valley grape growing area and raisin producer, has lost everything due to a persistent drought. What it hasn’t lost and what has proven to be its weakness: Hope. Conmen and grifters know how to exploit such hope born of desperation, especially when combined with an ardent belief in a living and intervening god. Such a con artist, Pastor Vern, has subsumed the town in his version of church and prophet, convincing all that he, and they with their sacrifice and loyalty to him, can implore their god to send down abundant, reinvigorating rain. Through freakish good fortune, he showed up in time to perform a gaudy rain dance of sorts that did seem to result in a downpour early on, with brief effect. Now the townspeople belong to his church, abide by wishes, including forsaking drinking or using water in anyway and submitting to a ritual that turns all of their daughters as young as Lacy into sacrificial lambs, nothing short of the mass rape of these girls by a deluded group of adolescent boys on behalf of the Pastor. Lacy, though powerless to resist, seems to be the only one who appreciates how morally corrupt all this is, apart from a small group of outcast women who operate a phone sex line and offer up salvation as a sideline.

This may sound crazy and not a little repugnant to you, and much in the book will offend many people. However, that appears to be the point: to illustrate how women and young girls fall victim to men and how easily people can be not only duped but inculcated into a belief system that defies all reason, not to mention reality. And how in this state of group mesmerization they can’t escape, even if remaining will destroy them. As fictional as this may seem, readers have only to cast their minds back on religious cults as destructive to human decency and life as Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Marshall Applewhite and Heaven’s Gate, to cite a few of the deadliest.

Reviewers have called this a coming of age novel, and in the sense that a child has to weave her way through a flood of dysfunction, from an alcoholic mother who deserted her on the false hope of stardom and looney grandmother who taxidermies and talks to little rodents, it is. However, the exaggerated writing lends the novel a cartoonish tone that maybe doesn’t serve the subjects very well. That said, however, those not put off by the tone and graphic descriptions of aberrant behavior should find it compelling.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
The Wisest at 14

In her debut novel, Chelsea Bieker adds another voice calling out men taking advantage of and abusing women, and some women, for personal reasons, being complicit in their treatment. Turns out that smartest kid in the down and out, drought-stricken town of Peaches, CA, is 14-year-old Lacy May, even as she finds herself caught in the whirlwind of bad things happening to her.

Peaches, once a prosperous Central Valley grape growing area and raisin producer, has lost everything due to a persistent drought. What it hasn’t lost and what has proven to be its weakness: Hope. Conmen and grifters know how to exploit such hope born of desperation, especially when combined with an ardent belief in a living and intervening god. Such a con artist, Pastor Vern, has subsumed the town in his version of church and prophet, convincing all that he, and they with their sacrifice and loyalty to him, can implore their god to send down abundant, reinvigorating rain. Through freakish good fortune, he showed up in time to perform a gaudy rain dance of sorts that did seem to result in a downpour early on, with brief effect. Now the townspeople belong to his church, abide by wishes, including forsaking drinking or using water in anyway and submitting to a ritual that turns all of their daughters as young as Lacy into sacrificial lambs, nothing short of the mass rape of these girls by a deluded group of adolescent boys on behalf of the Pastor. Lacy, though powerless to resist, seems to be the only one who appreciates how morally corrupt all this is, apart from a small group of outcast women who operate a phone sex line and offer up salvation as a sideline.

This may sound crazy and not a little repugnant to you, and much in the book will offend many people. However, that appears to be the point: to illustrate how women and young girls fall victim to men and how easily people can be not only duped but inculcated into a belief system that defies all reason, not to mention reality. And how in this state of group mesmerization they can’t escape, even if remaining will destroy them. As fictional as this may seem, readers have only to cast their minds back on religious cults as destructive to human decency and life as Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Marshall Applewhite and Heaven’s Gate, to cite a few of the deadliest.

Reviewers have called this a coming of age novel, and in the sense that a child has to weave her way through a flood of dysfunction, from an alcoholic mother who deserted her on the false hope of stardom and looney grandmother who taxidermies and talks to little rodents, it is. However, the exaggerated writing lends the novel a cartoonish tone that maybe doesn’t serve the subjects very well. That said, however, those not put off by the tone and graphic descriptions of aberrant behavior should find it compelling.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
I was hooked by the premise as soon as I read it. This is a book largely about mothers and daughters, but also about religious zealotry, faith, resiliency, and love. This book was a bit of a slow burn at first, but then towards the middle the pacing became more steady. The author writes vividly of the stark landscape; you can see and feel the parched earth, the stark isolation Lacey finds herself in.
There are many characters that make up this book, but care is taken to each one. Lacey is naive and smart at the same time; often times I was yelling at her to make another decision or at the horrible ones made by others. There were certain situations occurring where I wished I could physically pluck out the characters from the pages.
I do wish there was a bit more to the epilogue in regards to other characters, and I did have some questions about the town itself that went unanswered. Overall this was a gritty yet captivating book, and I look forward to the author’s next work. ( )
  brookiexlicious | May 5, 2021 |
This is my favorite book of 2020 so far. I recently read a few of Bieker’s essays and short stories- she has a hold on voice that I am in awe of. This isn’t an easy read in terms of subject matter. a lot was hard to swallow. But there was nothing gratuitous and the writing flowed like the water Peaches wishes it had. ( )
  erinrita | May 28, 2020 |
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Bieker, Chelseaprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Caputo, NicoleOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Remember this, for it is as
true as true gets:
Your body is not a lemon.

INA MAY GASKIN
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Harper, Finn, and Brenon,
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To have an assignment, Pastor Vern said, you had to be a woman of blood.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:Imagine if Annie Proulx wrote something like White Oleander crossed with Geek Love or Cruddy, and then add cults, God, motherhood, girlhood, class, deserts, witches, the divinity of women . . . Terrifying, resplendent, and profoundly moving, this book will leave you changed." T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Drought has settled on the town of Peaches, California. The area of the Central Valley where fourteenyearold Lacey May and her alcoholic mother live was once an agricultural paradise. Now its an environmental disaster, a place of cracked earth and barren raisin farms. In their desperation, residents have turned to a cult leader named Pastor Vern for guidance. He promises, through secret assignments, to bring the rain everybody is praying for.

Lacey has no reason to doubt the pastor. But then her life explodes in a single unimaginable act of abandonment: her mother, exiled from the community for her sins, leaves Lacey and runs off with a man she barely knows. Abandoned and distraught, Lacey May moves in with her widowed grandma, Cherry, who is more concerned with her taxidermy mouse collection than her own granddaughter. As Lacey May endures the increasingly appalling acts of men who want to write all the rules and begins to uncover the full extent of Pastor Verns shocking plan to bring fertility back to the land, she decides she must go on a quest to find her mother no matter what it takes. With her only guidance coming from the romance novels she reads and the unlikely companionship of the women who knew her mother, she must find her own way through unthinkable circumstances.

Possessed of an unstoppable plot and a brilliantly soulful voice, Godshot is a book of grit and humor and heart, a debut novel about female friendship and resilience, motherloss and motherhood, and seeking salvation in unexpected places. It introduces a writer who gives Flannery OConnors Gothic parables a Californian twist and who emerges with a miracle that is all her own.

[A] haunting debut . . . This is a harrowing tale, which Bieker smartly writes through the lens of a teenager on the cusp of understanding the often fraught relationship between religion and sexuality . . . It's a timely and disturbing portrait of how easily men can take advantage of vulnerable womenand the consequences sink in more deeply with each page."Annabel Gutterman, Time

Drawn in brilliant, bizarre detailbaptism in warm soda, wisdom from romance novelsLacey's twin crises of faith and femininity tangle powerfully. Fiercely written and endlessly readable, a novel like this is a godsend. A.Mary Sollosi, Entertainment Weekly.

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