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On Bear Mountain

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,125 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Only the most peculiar fate could link the star-crossed Riconni family of New York with the dirt-poor Powells of the Georgia Mountains. Little do Ursula Powell and Quentin Riconni know that a strange and abstract iron sculpture of a bear will draw them together. They have nothing in common except the power that the Bear has in both their lives. The sculpture, which now sit ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 25th 2005 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Bark's Book Nonsense
I read and reviewed this author many years ago but never again and this is why.

Here's my original review so those who will cannot accuse me of being a drive-by troll. If anything I was a silly fangirl. I wrote this way back when. Ahhh, innocence was bliss.

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.
Lin Stepp
Dec 29, 2010 Lin Stepp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 '
Nov 17, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 20, 2014 karenbee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
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
Aug 09, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Susie James
Jul 01, 2016 Susie James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Deborah Smith several years ago after noticing a paperback copy of her novel, "A Place to Call Home" on our library's swap rack. Her story and writing truly drew me in and I hoped to find more of her work. A year or so later I found a used hardback version of yet another wonderful Southern story she'd published, and a copy of "On Bear Mountain" was among a hodge podge of used books a friend boxed for me for Christmas 2015. I just found time to read it and, though I was afraid I'd be ...more
Mary Ann
Jun 21, 2015 Mary Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read by this author, and frankly doubt I will look for more of her books. I found this one on sale, and now I see why. The first part of the book was so boring, and confusing, I found myself skimming pages to get to better parts. There were two interwoven plots but the transition from one to the other was choppy and I was unsure which plot I was reading for awhile. As the book progressed, the story did become more interesting but since I skimmed parts and found some of the story ...more
Feb 20, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Martha Meyers
This was a free book on my kindle, but it wasn't worth my time. Too predictable, and I didn't even like the story.
Jan 03, 2009 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a no-thinking fictional book that was okay. It was an impulse purchase at Sam's Club.
Mar 14, 2014 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Got to 25% and put the book down. Didn't care for it.
One of my reading highlights of 2010. I have read another of her books since and REALLY like her writing style!
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
Marialaura Runchina
Non trovo ancora le parole, per descrivere tutte le emozioni suscitate da questo romanzo. È il classico libro, che quando finisci ti lascia la sensazione di aver perduto qualcosa di caro, e vorresti ancora trattenerlo con te. È un libro corale, con tanti personaggi che si intrecciano fra loro uniti tutti da l'orso. L'orso di ferro che raccoglie attorno a se due generazioni di famiglie, così lontane eppure unite da un plantigrade che ha x essi un significato spirituale e affettivo. É colui che ca ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Jimmie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura Foster
I really enjoyed this book. If for no other reason, I would encourage reading this for the development of two minor characters--a loved, autistic brother and a "challenged" cousin of the major female character. Remarkable!

The book is about the conflicts between art and practicality, magical thinking and harsh reality, shouldering the expectations of family history and finding the lightness of one's own actualization. The story evolves around building the hard shield of detachment and control and
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
Jul 22, 2012 Tressa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Sep 21, 2012 Debookie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 19, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Mar 23, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 23, 2014 CindySlowReader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Really good story.

FYI the romance doesn't start until halfway through the story. Things could have been wrapped up much more quickly but that's ok because you don't want to leave the mountain anyway. (view spoiler)
Sue Jochens
Mar 24, 2013 Sue Jochens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
♆ 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.
Chris Conley
Jan 16, 2017 Chris Conley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am getting so much pleasure from rereading all of Deborah Smith's book. Happily, the stories seem as fresh as when I first read them. Quentin and Ursula's story took me the mountains in Georgia and into the world of art and its effect on the lives of those who create it and those who love it. Smith is a marvelous writer.
Oct 14, 2014 Marja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the setting, I kinda cared about the characters and overall the reading experience was nice, but I don't think this is going to stay in my mind very long. The prologue or whatever it is called, spoiled the whole book for me and it took a way too long before the story got truly interesting as I wasn't really interested in the Ursula and Quentin's childhood. Nice read but that's all.
Feb 15, 2013 Lia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 10, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 06, 2010 Mine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 Georg
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