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4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In the drought-ridden mining town of Cuzzert, West Virginia—population 335—the only things that seem to change are the price of cigarettes and the roll call at the prison. Time has dried up like the rain, but two sisters, Aimee and Crystal Lemley, have set out to become prophets at Glorybound Holiness Tabernacle, the basement church where their father Cord Lemley was preac ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 5th 2012 by WordFarm
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Sep 27, 2012 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
Ah, my lyrical friend's first novel. It takes us inside the kind of community that often gets simplified and caricatured--a West Virginia mining town where the people don't have much money or formal education, and within that, a church called the Glorybound Holiness Tabernacle, where there is speaking in tongues and snake handling, and knowledge of scripture is part of daily life. It takes us inside, all the way to the center of the hearts of the people who live there. Having been raised, I regr ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Brianna rated it it was amazing
Jessie van Eerden’s novel Glorybound is a beautiful novel. It tells the story of two sisters and their relationships with other people in the small town Cuzzert, West Virginia. The multiple voice construct of the novel makes it unique as well as very realistic. Jessie van Eerden allows us to accurately see details as spectators as well as through each of the characters’ eyes. Glorybound deals with faith from the very beginning as we find out that the Lemley sisters believe there is a calling on ...more
Pavi J
May 13, 2013 Pavi J rated it it was amazing
I started to read this story slowly, trying to soak up the intensity--all the layered images, emotions. But my reading sped up as I got attached to the characters and enveloped in the plot. I felt an urgency to know the ending! And when the ending came I was sad it was over! Though I thought the ending was rich, I wanted more of Aimee, Aubrey, Ronnie, Crys, Cord and is hard to say goodbye to characters that you love.

That being said, I know I'll need to go back and read it again, and
Aug 26, 2013 Jillian rated it liked it
Read it if … you have a free moment, because the novel just flies, or if you’re interested in new, rising authors. I hope Jessie van Eerden continues writing, because she has a lasting voice, one that’s attuned to addressing those lovely moments of simultaneous heartbreak and beauty.

Don’t read it if … you take issue with spirituality or religion. While Glorybound may not be a strict come-to-Jesus novel, its characters and its story revolve heavily around the central figure of an imposing God.

Abby Bryan
Feb 06, 2014 Abby Bryan rated it it was amazing
I loved reading Glorybound. This novel is a perfect blend of the beautiful imagery of poetry with deep and meaningful characterization. I found the character depth and development to be the cornerstone of this book. While the setting is unique, a rural West Virginian town with a collection of quirky Evangelical residents, Glorybound's value lies in van Eerden's ability to write poignantly and meaningfully about the common and often overlooked. Lines like "Crystal gathered in the voices and memor ...more
Charlie Byers
Sep 15, 2013 Charlie Byers rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: the author is a friend of my wife's, so if I'd hated the book, I probably wouldn't have said anything here at all. But I caught a reading at a university, and was wowed by the handful of pages I heard, so I picked it up, and read the book from cover to cover in the space of a couple of days. Glorybound combines two things I don't often find together: meticulously polished language, and an elegant sense for the pace and tension of the overall story. Nobody likes pat comparisons, ...more
Shari McCullough
Feb 14, 2015 Shari McCullough rated it really liked it
A cast of fractured characters are presented by Van Eerden in all their earthy, raw, flawed and yet redeemable manners in the context of their life in a small, failing town. I love, love, LOVE Van Eerden's gift of assisting the reader to see, touch, smell, get inside the characters and place.

"She did not shake it loose with any utterance, like a hand on an apron shaking loose a house spider."

"The soul was a tender bird hatched without warning, and there was no going back into the shell. The expo
Paige Goodman
Feb 07, 2014 Paige Goodman rated it really liked it
Glorybound does a wonderful job of explaining to readers all across the country what the world of Appalachia is like. The Lemley sisters are living in a soon-to-be-dead town in West Virginia, and they are living in a place that feels the same emotionally. Van Eerden's writing style is surprisingly detailed in places the reader would never expect. Her writing shows that repetitive details can add strength to writing. I found myself searching for button references in this book, due to the number o ...more
Hannah Notess
Oct 31, 2012 Hannah Notess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: seattle
Jessie Van Eerden's writing style is unique, really, unlike anybody else I've read or edited. It's hard for me to say exactly what makes it so distinctive, but it's definitely Jessie writing and nobody else.

I think it has something to do with the thick layers of metaphor woven into the narration and the onslaught of sensory detail that makes you slow down and read. So it's more like reading poetry than reading prose, but the story is still there and really quite moving. This book made me slow do
Richard Brand
May 02, 2015 Richard Brand rated it really liked it
There are a number of dimensions to this work. I particularly like the way she makes the pentecostal believers real. They have been deceived by the prediction of the second coming of Jesus, and they are living with the flight of the preacher who made that prediction, their father. Two girls who take vows and who in the end find a way to fulfill the vows and move on. There is a focus as well and the life of quiet desperation of the middle class vista volunteer. One has to feel that there is somet ...more
Jonathan Hiskes
Nov 13, 2012 Jonathan Hiskes rated it it was amazing
A tender, bracing look at a family of charismatics in backwoods West Virginia. The story creates a lucid world and then invites you inside, led by four distinct and equally complex lead characters. Utterly beautiful ending scene too. What I liked best is the way Van Eerden engages holy-roller religion -- she's critical, astute and yet compassionate, treating tongue-speakers and snake-handlers as human beings, capable of both foolishness and wisdom, like the rest of us.
J.W. Zulauf
Jan 07, 2015 J.W. Zulauf rated it it was amazing
A great read with great characters. I loved every word of this. I loved following these very different characters on their journey. I found myself thinking about them while working and doing other tasks. Very memorable. I was personally attached to Aubrey Falls and I kind of fell in love with Aimee. I have added this to that little spot I have reserved for recommended books. I hope more people read this. They should. It's fantastic.
Alexis O
Feb 23, 2015 Alexis O rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, paper, 2016
For some reason, I had a really hard time getting into this book. It had a slow start for a me. I think, at its heart, it was a lovely story. The main characters were just raw nerves and it became very clear why as the story unfolded. It is ultimately about forgiveness, acceptance, and growing into oneself.
Daniel Jr.
Apr 05, 2013 Daniel Jr. rated it it was amazing

I hope that GLORYBOUND continues to find readers for a very long time; it's one of the best American novels I've read in the past few years. It's clear that Jessie van Eerden is a truly exciting writer to watch.
Jan 25, 2014 Bonita rated it really liked it
It took me a long time to get into this book. I wasn't invested in the characters until about halfway through, then I wanted to know what happened to them. I was surprised to find a liked the book in the end.
Mar 13, 2013 Karin rated it it was amazing
It was a little hard to get into this book due to the many different perspectives and flashbacks as well as the fact that the characters seem pretty strange. However, it was totally worth getting through the first third. The ending is amazing!
Gerry LaFemina
Oct 27, 2014 Gerry LaFemina rated it really liked it
Although a bit slow at times, Glorybound is the work of a strong craftsperson who is able to juggle multiple characters, their personal agendas, and their damaged relationships in prose that is graceful. A solid read.
Aug 13, 2015 Debbi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mfa
Glorybound was slow to pull me in, but worth the patience. The characters are remarkable,as is the setting. It is a world of faith healing, snake handling,and community created by and bound by religion. I highly recommend it.
Jun 28, 2013 Charity rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I couldn't put it down.
Jun 29, 2013 Alissa rated it really liked it
Beautiful! I was drawn in by each character. I want to read it again from the start now that I feel like I've come to know each of them.
Vincent Trimboli
Vincent Trimboli rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2016
Jessica rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2013
Shauna Jones
Shauna Jones rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2012
Trinh Hoa
Trinh Hoa rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2014
Patrick O'Hearn
Patrick O'Hearn rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2016
Lucas Trovato
Lucas Trovato rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2016
Lovemyfamily rated it it was ok
Feb 19, 2014
Marci rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2014
Joan Lamont
Joan Lamont rated it it was ok
May 11, 2013
Courtney Willis
Courtney Willis rated it it was ok
Jun 03, 2015
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A West Virginia native, Jessie van Eerden holds a BA in English from West Virginia University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Oxford American, River Teeth, Image, Bellingham Review, Rock & Sling, and other publications. Her essays have been selected for inclusion in Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, Seventh ...more
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