On Bear Mountain
Deborah Smith
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On Bear Mountain

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  834 ratings  ·  80 reviews
From the art scene in New York to a tiny town in the Georgia mountains, On Bear Mountain is an evocative tale about an affair of the heart that cannot be broken by distance or difference.Bestselling southern writer Deborah Smith brings us a page-turning, heartbreaking novel about two unlikely people who are truly destined to meet. Ursula Powell and Quentin Riconni are draw...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 446 pages
Published March 5th 2001 by Wheeler Publishing (first published 2001)
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Lin Stepp
This is the first of Deborah Smith's wonderful southern books I discovered. Since reading this book, I have hunted down and read all Deborah's books - all equally good reads.

On Bear Mountain is set in the rural mountains of Georgia near the Tennessee Smokies line. I just re-read this novel for my book club this fall. Again, I enjoyed Deborah's tough, spunky main characters - Ursula Powell and Qnentin Riconni, the regional descriptions, the captivating plot, and the psychological insights into '...more
Barks & Bites
This is a beautifully crafted book filled with characters who leap off the pages and into your heart. These aren't perfect people, they've made mistakes and make a few during the course of the book which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. I have a short attention span and most books simply bore me or just plain annoy me. Despite a few obvious tear-jerking plot contrivances this is one that will stick with me for a bit and one of the better books I've read this year.
Quentin Rinconni Stood With His Mother As They Waved Goodbye To His Father, He Was Eight Years Old And Did Not Understand Why Is Father Had To Go All The Way To Upstate New York And Leave Them There In The Bowels Of Poverty. He Faithfully Waited For His Papa To Ask Him To Come Down And Say Goodbye Once Again And He Flew Down The Stairs. His Papa Made Art From Scraps Of Metal And He Was So Proud. But Months Became Years And Papa Failed To See How They Struggled To Survive On His Mothers Salary As...more
This review should come with a warning: I am not a regular reader of straight-up romance novels. On Bear Mountain is a romance. I picked it up because it was two bucks, and the setting (mountains, rural Georgia) sounded interesting, and the story involves artists and scrappy farmers, and why the hell not?

Here is why the hell not: SO MANY WRONG THINGS. I was very optimistic for the first big chunk of the book, where the two main characters' childhoods are narrated -- really enjoyed that, though I...more
There are many parts of this hauntingly beautiful book that are lyrical and philisophical. But here are three of my favorites:

"He(Daddy)taught me that life was a work of art we build on crudely welded turning points and hopeful imagination. He said every birth, every death, every joy, and every heartache shaped our destinies from thin air, while we were busy pretending we were in charge of our own construction."

"If you only love someone after they've changed to suit your tastes, then what did yo...more
Alasandra Alawine
Charming as always.

Quentin Riconni's life falls apart after his Father Richard Riconni gets a commission to build a bear out of "junk" for the campus of a small Southern College (Mountain State College). Richard uses the money from the commission to move away from his wife and son and devote his time to his art. Richard fails to see the abject poverty his wife and son endure for his sake and when a wealthy patron notices his art Richard falls prey to her charms. When Quentin learns of his Father...more
Enjoyable emotional romance novel. I have not read a Deborah Smith book that I have not enjoyed. The history and stories of the 2 main characters and their families was an intimate look at the emotional baggage we all carry and must face in this lifetime. Well portrayed and an enjoyable romance story. I especially loved Arthur and his simple yet profound connection to nature and the things around him. I feel his character brought a new dimension to the romance aspect. Good book.
One of my reading highlights of 2010. I have read another of her books since and REALLY like her writing style!
Moose Jaw
Inhalt: Quentin Riconni aus New York macht sich auf in die Berge Georgias, um eine hässliche Bärenskulptur zu kaufen, die einst sein Vater geschaffen hat. Aber er ahnt nicht, dass die Bärenskulptur untrennbar mit der Geschichte der dort ansässigen Familie Powell verknüpft ist, und dass nicht mal seine 3 Millionen $ die Skulptur loskaufen können. Und worauf Quentin außerdem nicht vorbereitet war, ist Ursula.

Positiv: Gleich mehrere Familiendramen reingearbeitet, so dass die Geschichte viel...more
Sally Bennett
A father's obsession with his scrap-metal art brings together two wildly different families in this poignant, almost mystical romance. In the shadow of Bear Mountain, a giant sculpture of a bear divides the community for decades, eventually forcing Ursula Powell to make an impossible choice: selling the bear to the wealthy son of its creator would allow her to pay for the care of her developmentally disabled brother, but the bear sculpture provides a sense of security to her brother that he does...more
The journey was the joy of this book. And remembering places in the N Georgia mountains familiar to me. Hearing snips of language that don't need explaining and realizing that they may be unfamiliar to someone else.

The characters are strongly rendered and interesting. I wanted to know them.

The one literary device that frustrated me and broke the spell time and again begins when the two main characters meet. There is a switching back and forth between perspectives that left me dizzy at times. W...more
I felt that On Bear Mountain was about choices and how those choices reverberate down the generations. It was about making choices, grappling with those choices, and also learning how to live with the choices that were made. It's a very character-driven story.

As the story progressed, I wasn't certain how it would unfold and how the events would impact the characters. I liked the slow exploration and the development of the relationships between the characters, the community, and the inanimate obj...more
I liked the setting and the characters for the most part, but it was somewhat predictable and some of the choices the characters made as well as the repeated reluctance for characters to be honest with each other could be a bit annoying. I felt the prologue was unnecessary and distracting because it gave away an important scene at the end of the book, but it was so vague I spent half the time wondering when that scene was coming up and what it meant...therefore distracting me from getting there...more
One of the wonderful things about the Kindle and Amazon is that once you start adding books to your Kindle, new authors are suggested. This was one of those books I probably would have never picked up. It is a little slow in places but worth slogging through those slow spots. About relationships, family and friends, it is one that dares to show the good, the bad and the ugly. And truthfully, isn't that what happens?

I purchased this (free) back in August 2010 but didn't get around to it until ear...more
Got to 25% and put the book down. Didn't care for it.
Sue Jochens
A ne'er do well chicken farmer in the mountain of northern Georgia. A ne'er do well well sculptor of 'junk' in Brooklyn. How their lives affected and marred their families, and how one man's love for art and the others love for creating it, forged together after the death of each one. A very good novel about the frailties of human life and the word hope.
♆ BookAddict ~ La Crimson Femme
Ursula Powell and Quentin Ricconni are brought together by Quentin's father's sculpture of a bear. Ursula is a stubborn woman who refuses to give the sculpture up. This is really all I remember about the story's details. While we are treated to a bit of an education on metal sculpting, it didn't do as much for me as some of her other books.
It was slow-going for half the book, but once the two protagonists met each other, BAM, the plot exploded like a firework. The only thing that demoted this love story to 4 stars is that the writing kept switching from omnicient, to first person, to other character first person all in the same paragraphs and kind of made my head hurt.
I am 16% into On Bear Mountain and it is so boring. The reviews are great so I keep reading; hopefully a story will develop. So far I would not recommend.

I am 50% through Bear Mountain and beginning to enjoy the book. An interesting story, finally!

I finished On Bear Mountain and enjoyed the last half of the book.
I really enjoyed this book. It has twists and turns throughout and keeps you wanting more. It is written very well and it reflects real life perfectly. I listened to this book on audiotape and I would catch myself smiling and laughing aloud as I went down the road.I am sure people driving by me thought I was losing it.
OK, I am getting a reputation as a guy who likes to read "Women's books" whatever that means but this book is absolutely fantastic. A remarkable tale of clashing hopes, fears and lives that I couldn't put down. If this guy is strange for liking this tale, so be it! Bring on some more.
Mrs. M.
Vihdoinkin luettu. Tämän kirjan lukemiseen käytettyä aikaa ei saa takaisin, pahus. Taas sorruin vanhanaikaiseen; ajattelin, että josko kirja tarinan edetessä paranee. Hitto, kun pitää väkisin lukea, vaikka ei millään maistu. Oma moka.
Tricia Cerrone
Read this years ago, and could not put it down. Deborah Smith does characters no one else have come up with, and situations that show as a writer she will take any risk. I think I've read everything by her now, and love them all.
I have no idea how I ended up with this book, but I loved it. It reminded me of John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River - though I can't say precisely why. I really enjoyed it and even cried near the end. It hit a cord, several in fact.
Read this book while up here in the mountains of Northern Georgia where it is set. A gentle story, of love in families, of fathers and children and of trying to come to terms with the emotional baggage we all carry in life.
i rarely read romance novels, but this one isn't the usual love story. this has fleshed-out characters, characters that will make you care for them. and when they get you to care for them, you know what follows. good book.
A great Southern read with great characters and plot. I loved the way the two main characters came to have so much in common with their parents' lives. Smith is a great writer... I discovered her through Kindle deals.
I read this book multiple times when I was younger and plan on reading it again soon. There is so much emotion in this book, it is impossible not to feel for each of the characters. Many, many wonderful quotes.
"It's a blessing to know who you love, and where you belong, and what you're willing to die for. Wonderful pieces can be salvaged from damaged hopes, and new foundations can be created from even the saddest memories."
This was such a thoroughly wonderful, well-crafted, magical book with unique, well-drawn characters. I always prefer my characters a bit wounded, scarred, and flawed, just like real people. One of Smith's best IMHO.
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Bestselling Author
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Vice-president, Editor in Chief
BelleBooks, Memphis, TN

Deborah Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home, and the No. 1 Kindle Bestseller The Crossroads Cafe, A Gentle Rain and other acclaimed romantic novels portraying life and love in the modern Appalachian South. A native Georgian, Deborah is a former newspaper editor who tu...more
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