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The Oak Leaves (The Oak Leaves #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,049 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Two time periods—Victorian England and contemporary Chicago—are woven together when Talie Ingram finds an old journal belonging to her great-great-great grandmother, Cosima Escott. Through Cosima's entries, Talie learns that her family was once considered cursed with feebleminded offspring, the result of a genetic disorder (Fragile-X) that may have been passed down to Tali ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 12th 2007 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Sarah Anderson
Jul 19, 2008 Sarah Anderson rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Inspirational readers, Austen fans
Recommended to Sarah by: I met the author, Maureen Lang, at a conference.
I mostly enjoyed this book, even though I am not the target market. This is a inspirational/Christian novel - I only came by it because I met the author, Maureen Lang, at a conference, and she's a super nice person. I put off reading it for a while because I was afraid it would be like Christian pop music - not quite as good as regular pop, with a lot more God thrown in - but I was pleasantly surprised. The bulk of the novel takes place in Victorian England, and was not terribly different than r ...more
May 17, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, on-kindle
Where I got the book: free on Kindle at publisher's discretion. Maureen is a friend in real life.

This inspirational novel has an alternating-chapter two-story structure, the linking factor being the genetic ties between the two female protagonists, Talie in the modern day and Cosima in the 19th century. But in this novel genetics don't just mean familial ties; the Fragile X gene runs through the two women's family giving rise to cognitively disabled children.

This setup would be bound to get me i
Margaret Chind
Dec 16, 2007 Margaret Chind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: entire families who struggle with genetics they do not understand
I read the first chapter of this book online several weeks ago, and was finally able to get it from inter-library loan this past week. I started the book last night, and could not put it down. I did sleep, but once I woke up this morning, I did not even get on my computer. I just read, stopped to make a PB&J and read. It is now almost four in the afternoon and I am finished. Maureen Lang has quite the affinity for story telling. I was completely entranced by the family heritage story that sh ...more
Shari Larsen
Sep 22, 2011 Shari Larsen rated it really liked it
This story weaves together two time periods - Regency England and modern day Chicago. Talie Ingram finds an old journal that belong to her great great great grandmother Cosima Escott. While reading through it, Talie discovers a family "curse"; children born with what was called in those days "feeblemindedness", but was really the result of a genetic disorder called Fragile-X. Talie finds this news very unsettling, as she has noticed developmental delays in her own son, but she is not ready to fa ...more
Jen Hayes
May 27, 2009 Jen Hayes rated it it was ok
Can't wait to read this - I've been recently going through all of my grandmother's photos and journals and am so awed but how much I'm learning about her and her ancestors, my family and myself! Thanks for the introduction to this book!

OK, now that I've read it, how the heck did I miss the reviews that discuss the Christian part of this book? This is considered Christian writing. In fact, there's probably not a page that doens't mention God, or his blessedness, or god's grace, or doesn't have so
Jennifer Nelson
Sep 16, 2011 Jennifer Nelson rated it really liked it
Judging from the cover and the book description, I wasn't too sure I'd enjoy this book. It looked like another run-of-the-mill Christian chick-flick. But, after seeing the high ratings I thought I would give it a try.

I was completely stunned by the depth presented in this book. The realistic characters grapple with some very difficult questions about suffering and pain and along the way discover some answers that are both satisfying and deeply encouraging.

Maureen Lang weaves a story that is qu
A very realistic fictional account of two different generations dealing with fragile x syndrome, the author skillfully goes back and forth between the past and the present. This story is definitely enhanced by the fact the author has a child with fragile x; she gives a great deal of interesting information about the syndrome in an interesting plot. The depths of love and what it can endure, the gamut of emotions a parent goes through when they find out their child's future will be different than ...more
Feb 20, 2017 Loraine rated it really liked it
It was good, but I didn't like very much going back and forth from present day to the 1800's. For some reason it was annoying in this novel. I preferred to stay in Cosima's world. Perhaps I didn't understand why the present day woman, couldn't accept the fact that her son was perhaps, not "normal". I thought our society was beyond that. And I have a disabled younger sister, so have never had a problem with people who are "different." In fact, the longer I live, the more I think we are all "diffe ...more
Mar 15, 2013 Leigh rated it really liked it
I just finished this last night. I should mention I picked it up only four days ago. Though I read it in an accumulation of probably less than two days. Crying kept causing a pause - to push book back and gather myself and utter some prayers and confessions and - it was rich and lovely. I was swept mainly by the 19th century storyline (this book alternates between current time (written in 2007) and the mid to late 1800s. It was the latter dealings where I found myself most engaged, though both f ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Faydra rated it liked it
This was must read for me because of the fragile X story line, but I was still a little wary as my last visit in the world of Christian fiction didn't go so well. A little like Morton's Forgotten Garden in that present day characters learn about themselves by looking into the lives' of their ancestors, but it's shorter, clips along at a much faster face as there is less to explore, just one journal to read through.

The chapter alternates between a young modern family and the journal of the wife's
May 10, 2010 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was amazing
I can’t remember where I first saw this book mentioned, but something about the cover made me want to read it. I had no idea what it was about or that the author Maureen Lang was writing this story from personal experience.

I am so glad I read The Oak Leaves and consider it one of the best books I have ever found at my local library.

I enjoyed the question and answer section in the back of the book, where Maureen talks about what inspired her to write this painful story. Although the story is bas
Mar 02, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was different from most Christian fiction I have read so far. It alternated perspectives between modern-day Chicago and Victorian Britain, which sounds confusing, but it wasn't; the back-and-forth was handled very well. I'm really bad at writing reviews, so that's all I'm going to say!

Historical inaccuracies:

There is a major problem with titles in this book. Cosima's aunt and uncle should have been referred to as Lord and Lady X (X being the name of the dukedom; I do
Sep 02, 2011 Priya rated it did not like it
Shelves: drama, give-it-a-miss
The story is about a mother's discovery and eventual acceptance of the fact that her toddler son may be suffering from some extent of mental retardation due to a genetic disorder passed down to him by her. The Author's note tell me it's partly her story of her own son who's afflicted. Poignant, yes. But somehow it's all completely lost in this extremely amateurish attempt at putting it down in words.

The book was long by around half it's current length! I mean, there's only so much repetition a
May 18, 2013 Natalia rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2013
I picked up this story for free on my kindle a while ago. Being in between books, this book seemed a good, quick read. And it was, quick and good but not great. The thing with what is known as Christian fiction is that, frequently, is just only good, rarely great. Once more this is true, at least in my opinion.
The Oak Leaves is a book about Talie who brings home a box of memorabilia from his father's house with the intent of making some scrapbooks. In the box she discovers a journal. When she re
A moving story of a family learning to cope with the loss of the child they thought they had even as they love of the one God gave themone with fragile X syndrome, a genetically passed form of autism. There are two stories hereone in the present day where Talia tries to ignore the signs that her baby Ben is not like other children, and one in 1850s England where her ancestor, Cosima, expects to never marry because of the curse of feeblemindedness on her family. There is a love story here and a m ...more
Rachel Thompson
I downloaded this book for free for my Sony e-reader.

The story follows two lives. Talie lives in the present day, with her husband and young son. After finding an old journal that mentions a curse involving the male children in her family, Talie realizes that he son doesn't behave as the rest of the children do. Cosima is one of Talie's ancestors. Her brothers suffers from an affliction. Knowing that quite a few of her male relatives had the same problems, Cosima believes she is cursed, and had
Jul 13, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it
Looks like I had a theme going here with my last two book titles...but honestly, they were just books that appealed to me. The subjects they covered were both interesting and educational to me. This one deals with what is now known as Fragile X syndrome. At one time people with this syndrome were labeled as feeble-minded.

Talie and Luke Ingram have everything they've ever wanted...a good marriage, financial stability and a beautiful little boy. Talie notices that her little boy is a little behind
Sep 27, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
There are two stories being told in Maureen-Lang's book The Oak Leaves. One in modern-day US (perhaps New York) and one from the late 1800s between Ireland and England. I much preferred the story coming out of Ireland and England and so desperately wanted to get back to that aspect of the novel each and every time the modern day story took the stage. This is not, however, to say the modern day story was not as well written, I simply didn't enjoy the characters to the same degree. The book is wri ...more
Dec 10, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Oak Leaves is a phenomenal look at disabled children, those that carry a gene called Fragile X. This book is not new, having been on my TBR (to be read) pile for a year or more, and was published in August 2011. I really enjoyed this book, and was disappointed when I came to the end of it. But then I found out there is another one...On Sparrow Hill which I find I also have! This story takes place now, but through a journal that Talie (Natalie) finds among her father's memorabilia we learn about ...more
Feb 07, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it
I just read this book for the second time (first time was in March 2010), and I liked it just as much the second time around.

I enjoyed the Historical (Regency England) and Contemporary settings of this book; connected via ancestral history found in a diary. Both stories held my attention, perhaps the historical a bit more than the contemporary.

The story stems around genetic abnormalities that carry on from generation to generation. The fact that the author has pulled from her own personal strugg
"The Oak Leaves" by Maureen Lang is a moving book about responding to God when He allows the trial of having a special needs child in a person's life. (view spoiler) I am an amateur genealogist and I appreciated Talie's search for truth. The story is told in alternating ch ...more
Rosemary Cantrell
This was a pretty good book, bringing together a number of interesting issues. Talie finds a journal written by her great-great-great grandmother (or how ever many greats it was) and learns that they had been cursed with feeble minded children. The story jumps back and forth between Talie and Cosima, the ancestor, and is quite well done. As the journal story unfolds, Talie is learning that her own son has problems. By the end of the book, she learns that her child has fragile X syndrome, which m ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Olya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story, I didn't know what to expect when I first started but I was impressed right away how easy read it was and it did not confuse me.. This is a christian story or it does revolve around God and the Holy Bible. Its about two different story's that come together and they learn from each other, I think it was a perfect love story, one after another. I was deep into the story never bored out my mind..the character's were nice too. If there was a film on this book I would watch ...more
Maribel reyes
Jul 11, 2011 Maribel reyes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned
This novel is almost like two stories in one, Talie(main character) finds an old diary and begins to read it, and in it she discovers a family history that she is not happy about. That secret in her family secret comes back and the victim is her young one year old son. What I liked about the way the book is written is that one chapter it is the account of Talie and the next chapter are sections (excerpts) from her ancestor, Cosima. It teaches people how to deal with problems that no one can fix ...more
Lori Henrich
Jun 29, 2011 Lori Henrich rated it really liked it
Talie Ingram was helping her mother go through some things in preparation for an up coming move. Talie brings home a box of things, including the family bible and what looks like a journal. As she is looking through the information written down in the bible she discovers that 5 people died at the same time. There is no other information so she decides to read the journal to see if there is a clue to what happened. She is taken back in time and the life of Cosmia unfolds. The information in the j ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
This truly captured the slow process of realizing something isn't quite "right" with your child. Going from thinking he's just delayed to only seeing the things he does "right" and making excuses for all the other things he doesn't do.... Getting an evaluation , test, etc is best done early and not put off! It could put your mind at ease , better than wasting time worrying about what you do not know, and helping you to understand why your child is the way he is. One can sit around and say why me ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Keely rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I actually got this book as a free kindle book and read it for my 2013 A-Z title challenge. The synopsis of the story sounded very interesting, however, I had no idea it was christian fiction which is typically a genre I dont read. The story itself was pretty interesting, a little slow in places, but good enough to keep me wanting to read to find out how it would end. The beginning wasnt overly preachy, but the end was definitely getting there. I found myself starting to skim over these sections ...more
Well written! Novel based on author's own experience with Fragile -X genetic disorder

Realistic, well developed characters and realistic response of society to developmental disability in both historical and contemporary society. The author handles the false guilt, questions of faith related to God as Good, and finding "blessings through the burden". She accurately portrays the struggle toward acceptance from a place of acute disappointment in the midst of loving a child who will always be depend
Debie Orrell
Aug 28, 2011 Debie Orrell rated it really liked it
Was a great story about unconditional love and how those with special needs are the ones that experience and know happiness. They teach the rest of us that happiness is just who and what we are not what we have or who we might know. Faith, in God or whatever, is what keeps us looking for that happiness when life tends to kick us in the knees.

This book showed that those with special needs are the ones that teach others to just accept and be. Enjoy today, live and love today. While Talie worried
Sep 02, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
I got this book as a free download for nook. It is Christian fiction. It is the story of modern day Talie, interspersed (every other chapter) with that of her great great great grandmother, Cosima. Just as Talie begins to suspect developmental delays in her baby son, she comes across Cosima's journal, from which she learns that several generations back, there were a number of family members known as feebleminded. After initial denial, Talie finally has her son tested and finds out that he has a ...more
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Maureen Lang

Maureen Lang has always had a passion for writing. She wrote her first novel longhand around the age of 10, put the pages into a notebook she had covered with soft deerskin (nothing but the best!), then passed it around the neighborhood to rave reviews. It was so much fun she's been writing ever since.

Most of her books are historical, with an emphasis on faith and romance.

Maureen liv
More about Maureen Lang...

Other Books in the Series

The Oak Leaves (2 books)
  • On Sparrow Hill

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“love is stronger than fear, especially with faith in the One who is love: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” 1 likes
“They called him Royboy because he was still such a little boy of mind and showed scant hope of that changing.” 0 likes
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