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Where Yesterday Lives

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  2,240 ratings  ·  90 reviews
At thirty-one, Ellen Barrett has already won a Pulitzer prize. Sadly, though, her skill as a journalist far surpasses her ability to sort out her troubled past. When she returns to picturesque Petoskey, Michigan, for her beloved father’s funeral, it’s a traumatic emotional and spiritual journey for Ellen—a rediscovery of what is truly important and eternal.

Will facing her
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 15th 2006 by Multnomah Books (first published June 30th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer Lombardi

I LOVED this book and I will tell you why. The very FIRST page is captivating. You immediately want to know who this guy is and what is going on. That continues ALL the way through. I was absorbed in the characters. I wanted to know WHY they were the way they were. I wanted to know if they would be able to work it out or not. Not once did I get bored or want to put it down!

The way the author wrote this story was amazing to me. Just as I was getting to know a character and really want to know the
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Valerie
Out of all the Karen Kingsbury books I've read this is one of my least favorites. The story line dragged.
Kari Coleman
Title: Where Yesterday Lives
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Date Finished: July 18, 2008
Pages: 416

If you have never read a book by Karen Kingsbury before, I strongly suggest you pick one up. I was introduced to her books a couple years ago and every time I read one, the same thing happens... I cannot put it down. I started this book Friday evening and was so involved in the world of the Barrett family, that I did not want to leave, so I continued to read page after page until I finally finished somewhere
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LOLAinSC
This book was so bad that it makes me ill that I wasted good money on it. The story just doesn't ring true, and the phoniness of the characters with their unrealistic responses really grated on my nerve. So Ellen's supposed to be responsible for her idiot sister's rape (exactly how makes no sense at all) so everybody still hates her many years later, and all the other gutless morons let the idiot sister run roughshod over them no matter how idiotically bad the idiot behaves. The idiot sister, al ...more
Ellen Taylor
Mar 17, 2011 Ellen Taylor rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
I read this on recommendation from a good friend, who counts Kingsbury as one of her very favorite authors, and was sorely disappointed.... If one more person cried, I thought I would strangle them through the pages! Yes, a father's funeral is very sad, and old family hurts seem to inflame emotions during stressful times, but the week with the Barretts gave me a headache... I don't feel sorry for people who are hurt and want their friends/family to read their minds as to the reasons... talk, peo ...more
Kristi
This story gave me so many emotions. All the books by Karen Kingsbury have so far. There was laughter, crying, anger, and so much more. This story was so heartfelt.
Ellen Barrett overcame so many things in this story. It reminded me a little of a Nicholas Sparks book I read. Which this one came out first but I read his first. But they ended completely different. I think everyone should read Karen Kingsbury books. They are just THAT good.
Inspirational, heartfelt, heartwarming, sincere, breathtak
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Erin
Anyone who thinks Karen Kingsbury only writes about perfect families should check out this book. Then again, if they read this one they might not read any of her others. The inter-family fighting is so strong in this book that I actually had to put it down and step away from it for several days. There are so many similarities between this book and the Baxter family - except that Baxters don't hate each other. I would suggest you skip this title and move straight to "Redemption".
Karen
There are so many things that I love about this book-- one being that the setting is in Petosky, MI-- northern Michigan is one of my favorite places on earth!! Another being the draw that the character feels to her first love-- I think that is a topic that is often not explored with Christians-- women nor men-- if they are Christians and married-- any mention of former lives is often taboo. But the reality is, bonds are formed with people we've once dated-- especially if the relationship wasn't ...more
Delinda Mauney
I loved this book. Maybe because of the family issues involved. I have read some reviews that state it is ridiculous because a married Christian woman would meet up with an old boyfriend and almost have an affair. Really?

In the book Ellen was struggling with her marriage due to reasons unknown to her at the time (or she did not take time to see them). When she went back home for her father's funeral with all of her siblings and things were very strange there with one sister being a hateful brat,
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Julie Horner
Our "yesterdays" are always there, buried. When they resurface, questions become too involved. Too many thoughts and how to sort them out?

Ellen's dad passes away suddenly. She has to go home to Michigan to plan the wake and funeral with her mom and other siblings. The siblings don't get along. Each has their own version of why.
Michelle Robinson
I wish I had not made such a harsh statement about Jane in my updates. She was horrible. I know she had reasons but the hate and bitterness she had were over the top. She and Aaron both seemed to be stuck in very adolescent stages of development. I understand why but it was still hard to listen to after a while.



I thought the ending was a little too pat for such a miserable dysfunctional group and it did not feel realistic.
THe mother was a paragon, there is no way I could have been as patient as
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Michelle
I'm not sure if this was written by a ghost writer or really by Kingsbury, but I hated this book. I usually really like her books but this one is tough to read because the family story is so unplausible and people's reactions to events are anything but normal.
Anne Martin
I disliked this book quite a bit. The father is guilty because he smoked and got fat, therefore the heart attack that killed him. The son is on the verge of being a psychopath, fighting with everybody. One of the daughters got raped when 18, and you get the feeling it was her fault too. What else? another daughter dated a guy, appropriately named Mohammed who was a drug dealer. The priesdt of the church where they have been going for 20 years does not say a word about the father's death.
Sure, th
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April
Too much self involvement.
Barbara
Karen Kingsbury seems to be an expert at fully involving you emotionally in her character's lives. Family relationship dynamics, dealing with grief, the lasting effects of severe trauma, and the healing and growth that openness and forgiveness can bring are some of the major themes of this novel. Karen seems to have a gift of creating characters that seem so real they almost feel like they are personal friends, and the circumstances and choices they deal with are those which we all confront at t ...more
Tima
Ellen is a top-notch reporter who lives a very busy life with her husband Michael. At the news of her father's death she flies home to be with her mother and four siblings. But the tension between them is eating everyone alive. Her husband didn't join her claiming work and now Ellen is fighting the temptation of a former flame.

The story centered on the week leading up to the funeral. It was frustrating and heartbreaking. Frustrating because the siblings in the story didn't seem to real. The fam
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Susan
It was about a family who lost their father and returns to their hometown for the funeral. Their are five siblings, four sisters and a brother, and their is much sibling rivalry with this dysfunctional family.
They are all trying to come to terms with their loss.

The book takes you into their past when they got along with each other and shows you how the tension grew amongst them. They were a religious family but and they drifted apart so did their beliefs.

Ellen the eldest is trying to come to te
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Andrea
I'm on pg 176 and I don't know if I want to finish this book. So far it's about a failing marriage, grown siblings who get together to plan their father's funeral and all they can do is fight about each other's past offenses. I think, knowing this author, she'll bring it back around to forgiveness, returning to their faith in God, etc, but I'm not sure it's worth my time in the meantime. Too much drama! Too much contention!
Update: I decided to finish this book since I was pretty sure the author
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Stacia
May 11, 2008 Stacia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone who needs a cry
This was a good book. Kind of sad, so if you're in that kind of mood or need a good cry, than this is a great book for that.

One thing I didn't like in this book was Karen's theology. The parents were Catholic and the daughter(s) turned Protestant. The parents somewhat disapproved of this change... however, the father still went to Heaven and was a wonderful man. While the Catholic/Protestant wasn't a main theme I felt an underlying theme was Catholics and Protestants are the same... they're not
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Liz
Karen Kingsbury is such an easy author to read and relax with. This book starts right off with the sudden loss of a father, leaving five adult children to grieve. But through the struggles that lead up to the funeral, and the flashbacks, you are moved to appreciate why family members are all the way they are. My siblings and I were debating if we should have a 40th Anniversary Party for my parents. This book sealed the deal. I realized we should make sure we honored them for their years of love ...more
Angela  Anderson
Loved it!

This book was awesome. So many families go through death & family discord. I was happy Ellen held on to her faith & did not cheat on her husband. I loved the ending when Jane & Ellen resolved their issues & we're able to be sisters again.
Carissa
3.5 stars. After reading a few more of Karen Kingsbury's books, this one seemed to lack something that her other books have. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters and the book was just very sad. Of course the first page sets the tone for the book, but I felt like the whole family hated each other. The middle sister was just downright immature with her actions and behavior. I'm glad all of them were getting along better at the end, but this book was still sad. Still a good read though.
Etha Carson
Deeply touching

I've cried through the end of another Karen Kingsbury book. Deeply touching. Karen does such a wonderful job of giving insight to lives and how God supports us if we will only allow him access to our soul.
Kimmy McLain
May 06, 2012 Kimmy McLain rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kimmy by: Marilyn Wilson
I just finished reading this powerful, emotionally moving book. It is about a family from Petosky, Michigan, whose husband, and father dies unexpectedly. This book digs deep into each of their lives. They had grown apart over the years and being back together for a week to plan for their loving fathers funneral, sparks many emotions and things from the past. They find away at the funeral services through each sibblings eulagies to mend their relationships. This book brings one, Ellen into tempta ...more
Shannon Cline
This book didn't have the exact happy ever after I expected. Which made it so much more realistic. Yes, things work out but life goes on and that's exactly what this book gives. I loved it for that fact!
Jessica
I've given this book a two because there was some of the content my morals would not agree with and that I don't agree with as a christian...no matter how good or bad my marriage may be at any given time (which I have a good marriage) I wouldn't go out with any male friend at any point...my marriage is too important to me and I would not agree with doing something like that...I wouldn't want my husband to go out with some other female. I think that its great that the character saw what she was d ...more
Zach32
This was an fantastic, heartbreaking, read. Kingsbury is now one of my favorite authors, of all time, I absolutely LOVED this book.
Delinda Mauney
I have never read a Karen Kingsbury book I did not love. This story is a realistic story of things that can happen with the death of a parent and the emotions that run high, dealing with siblings and things that can happen when a marriage sometimes gets stale. She makes the situations surrounding the characters interesting and at times surprising.

You never know what can happen when someone comes back into your life from the past when you are in a vulnerable state. Remembering who you are and Who
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CJ
I'd love to give it a zero, but that's not an option and after all, Ms. Kingsbury sells lots of books so someone is giving her a 4+ rating on Goodreads. The ham-fisted delivery of Christian tenets is obviously not meant for readers such as myself, but even an objective reader would have to admit that the writing is very simplistic and sappy. Everything gets wrapped up in a neat, predictable ending. I knew what happened to Miss Grouchy near the beginning, but it just popped up near the end to be ...more
Amber
This is a contemporary Christian fiction book about a woman named Ellen, her husband and her family. Ellen is thirty-one and a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. She is working on a story when she receives a phone call from her husband about her father passing away of a heart attack.

This book deals with grieving/letting go of someone you love, as well as problems marriages face and personal struggles within a family and how to overcome those struggles.

It was an emotional and enlightening read f
...more
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  • Covenant Child: A Story of Promises Kept
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FROM AUTHOR'S WEBSITE:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist. There are more than 15 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 40 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen has a true love for her readers, and she has nearly 1
...more
More about Karen Kingsbury...
Redemption (Redemption, #1) Even Now (Lost Love Series, #1) Remember (Redemption, #2) One Tuesday Morning (9/11 Series, #1) Leaving (Bailey Flanigan, #1)

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“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” 9 likes
“The years go by too quickly to waste them in silent prisons of hate.” 1 likes
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