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The View from Mount Joy

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,439 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
The View from Mount Joy, Lorna Landvik’s delightfully quirky and intensely moving new novel, is about a man, a supermarket, the roads not taken, and the great, unexpected pleasures found in living a good life.

When hunky teenage hockey player Joe Andreson and his widowed mother move to Minneapolis, Joe falls under the seductive spell of Kristi Casey, Ole Bull High’s libidi
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Published September 4th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Dec 08, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like the Lifetime network
Recommended to Jennifer by: Yelp Book Club
This is my third Lorna Landvik book and probably the one I liked the most. I read Angry Housewives Eating Bon-bons because my dental hygentist told me I would love it. The Second one I read was Patty Janes House of Curl which I read because my mom wanted to know what I thought of it. I had pretty much decided to not ever read another Lorna Landvik when the book club I decided to join picked this as the first read. *sigh* I know - Poor me. :)

So this one is the story of Joe Andreson. We tune into
My 40th high school class reunion is this year. I received a list of names and addresses of the 150 or so former classmates and this began to make me think. Myself, I've traveled far and wide and lived in a number of places. But others in my graduating class have stayed at home... all forty years after high school. Has this determined who we are?

Joe and Krista graduate the same year and head to university. Krista, head cheerleader, keeps up a shining facade while underneath she is scheming to ge
Beth F.
Dec 08, 2008 Beth F. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Full House
Recommended to Beth F. by: Yelp Book Club
The scope of this novel was ambitious. We meet Joe Andreson, the narrator, at the beginning of his senior year of high school and 300+ pages later, the story ends at a surprise 50th birthday party for Joe’s wife.

To borrow the most overused first sentence ever in primary school book reports across the land: “This book was about…” Well, this book was about one person’s life.

Joe was born and raised in a small town in northern Minnesota. When Joe was 14, his father was killed in a plane crash and
Alina Borger
Jan 18, 2011 Alina Borger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
So usually Katie and I agree on like 1/10th of the books we read. And that's okay because mostly we swap charmers and beach reads as needed for a tough week or a fun vacation. I'll love one that she thinks is just okay and she'll adore one that I think is so-so.

But when we hit on those books we both find delightful, it's always a treat and we're glad we shared the other nine to arrive at that one.

The View From Mount Joy is one we both agreed on. It's not going to win any awards or make any splas
I learned here that Lorna Landvik can write in the first person and that person is a male character, all to well! Joe Andreson is the character, and he is the main protagonist of "The View from Mount Joy".
It's basically a coming of age story that starts the last year of high school in the early 70's and brings us up to the current date with Joe realizing his true 'view of mount joy'. It is a great story, great characters and i like how Landvik brings up 'Patty's house of curl', which is her fir
Apr 04, 2009 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I just love Lorna Landvik. One doesn't just read her books; one crawls into them. Her characters are so ordinary that you could easily know them, but their lives are so richly detailed. She makes the every-day things of life - work, family, friends - extraordinarily beautiful. This book was a little different from her usual fare in that her main character was a boy. He told the tale of his life from high school through adulthood/mid-life. His life was greatly shaped by the women in it, which bri ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Lyz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, stories like this are a rare find. Each of Lorna Landvik's characters in The View from Mount Joy are realistic representations of people we may love and/or love to hate in our own lives. She moves deeper than the superficial goofy, pimply kid or the hot, jock hockey star. Each of the characters have history and depth and their own complexities. While the storyline reflects the ups and down, highs and lows of the characters lives, it's not depressing. It's a story of Faith, Hope an ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Lorie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just ok for me. I was really drawn in by the characters in Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons, but the characters in this novel left a lot to be desired. Joe, the main character, was kind of wishy-washy and seemed like he was always crying about something, and I kept trying to figure out why he indulged Kristi and her off-the-wall antics through the years. She was one of the most selfish and unlikeable characters I have ever come across in a book. The book did have some feel-good mom ...more
Rachael Uponen
Not all books that even the most skilled author writes can be winners, and "The View From Mount Joy" is proof of that.

Now, if this book had been written by Iris Johansen, I probably would have given it four stars. But Lorna Landvik? Come on, you can do better than this.

I'm going to copy-and-paste the second half of the jacket summary here because I have a comment on it. Don't worry, it's short.

"Years later, Joe can’t believe that life has deposited him in the aisles of Haugland Foods. But he soo
Jun 12, 2014 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book. Wow. This book is one of the best I have ever read. And for those who know me, I am not all that much a fan of fiction, but between Lorna Landvik and Fannie Flagg, those two have me reading more fiction in the last few years than I ever have before.

Joe Andreson and his mom have moved to Minneapolis from a small town since Joe's dad and his mom's husband has died. Being a hockey player, Joe fits in with the jock crowd; but because he needs to help out, he works in Haugland Foods. Duri
Nov 11, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: btkeefe
She is a good writer. Creates wonderful characters and even if the story is sometimes a bit "pat", it is a good read and I didn't want to put it down.
Aug 04, 2015 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed The View From Mount Joy. I was also in high school when Joe was, and the attitudes toward classes and teachers among my friends was similar; however, his exploits with Kristie were something not in my experience. The enthusiasm of hockey players and fans was introduced to me in college, so I recognized this in the book. That the story took place in MN also made it interesting.
I like the development of Joe who hated to show his emotions, yet he was a very "feeling" man. His relati
Jun 28, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish Goodreads had .5 stars, because this one would be a solid 3.5 for me.

Overall, the novel was rich, the characters complex, and the overlying plot line (the comparison and eventual juxtaposition of the main character to the most popular girl in school as they traverse through life's ups and downs) was very strong.

Sometimes the book was a little too "cookie cutter" for me, with everything seemingly happening in perfect matching of couples as the book progresses, and at times, the book is for
I just love Lorna Landvik's novels. Her characters struggle with the problems in their lives and seek to find happiness. Something we can all relate to but her characters do it without the typical grandiosity found in other novels.

In this book, we follow a boy named Joe as he deals with the loss of his father and a drastic change in his life in his teenage years... as he grows up. It's a really good book that celebrates a life well lived with loving relationships over a life lived grandly and a
Tolstoy said that all happy families are the same. Recently I was thinking that maybe that is why there are no books written about happy families or nice people. I was wrong, Lorna Landvik has written one!

We meet the main character Joe Andreson in 1971 at the start of his senior year in high school. Joe is the only child in a normal, happy family. Joe is 14 when his father dies in the crash of a private plane flown by a friend and Joe's life is turned upside down. Joe and his mother,who is a mus
Nov 23, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Landvik creates a world loosely based on Minneapolis/St Paul in the recent decades and follows the unlikely relationship between Joe and Kristi, over the years through high school and into adulthood. The story really isn't 'about' their relationship, but that is a thread that keeps the story of Joe (main focus) and the story of Kristi (secondary) together. Joe is an eminently likeable character who, at the beginning of the tale is a high schooler whose father had died a few years earlier. He and ...more
Monica Lee
Vivid characters? Check.

Stunning plot twists? Check.

Minnesota setting? Check.

What more could one ask for in a book? Well, a story arc? Would that be too much to ask?

I appreciated Lorna Landvik's turn of phrase in "The View from Mount Joy," especially such gems as "The old woman looked at me, her blue eyes full of the life the rest of her body seemed to have given up on," but I guess I have just too much A personality to appreciate the journey without a good destination. "Mount Joy" presented an
Jennifer Lindsay
Sep 29, 2009 Jennifer Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, midwestern
What a surprisingly great read this was. I read most of it and finished it on my travels to Portland, Maine, on Friday. I got to the airport early, had two flights and a long layover in NYC and had this treat of a story to read. Surprisingly great read because it was deeper than I thought it'd be. The title for one ... at the beginning when I was reading about teenage Joe I thought the title was just a silly sexual inuendo of his time with Kristi, and maybe it was, but as I read on, I learned th ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The best word I can come up with to describe this book is "weird."

It tells the tale of Joe Andreson, starting in high school through college graduation and beyond, with details of his childhood sprinkled throughout. It also describes his relationships with his mother, his aunt, and his friends Kristi, Kirk, and Darva. Later, we learn about how he came to be a grocer, a father, and finally, a husband.

What should have been an interesting tale of one individual's life turned into a crazed descript
Susan E
Mar 27, 2008 Susan E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-read
I've read all of Lorna Landvik's books, after a woman at the hospice house where I work said Patty Jane's House of Curl was one of her all-time favorite books. And, I'm the sort of reader that once I get hooked on someone's writing, I tend to read everything they have written and continue to write (with a few exceptions... Anne Rice lost me awhile back, as did Sue Miller).

This story has a male, first-person narrator, which doesn't always work for me when a woman is the author. And for the first
Feb 20, 2008 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Lorna Landvik book I've read, the first being (pay attention, Julie!) Patty Jane's House of Curl (a long time ago). Just spotted this one at the library and picked it up. I liked it alright--Landvik does a good job of writing from a man's perspective, despite being a woman--but as Julie noted about "Patty Jane's...", there is a lot of melodrama--and I also found lots of typos/editing errors. Am I just seeing more of these now in books, or am I getting better at spotting them? ...more
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Jun 09, 2010 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading Lorna Landvik books. I suppose they kind of qualify as "beach reads" or something. She's humorous and the story is always good, with a few surprises thrown in, but the stories don't necessarily stick with me very long after I'm done.

This story follows Joe Andreson from high school through mid-life. He had dreams for his future, but things didn't turn out the way he anticipated. Instead of a career as a journalist or a hockey player, he works in a grocery store. While in high scho
Dec 17, 2008 Indra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time not being annoyed with much of this book, and I am a fan of two of Landvik's previous books. (Haven't yet read a couple of them.) Pretty much everything about the Kristi character was hard to believe and/or take. She didn't fit in with the Joe character once he turned the corner and grew up, which I wasn't sure he ever truly did. Certain aspects of the story were given more airtime than others--I would have liked to hear more about Darva and Joe's friendship, and Jenny seemed t ...more
Ellen Marchessault
I enjoyed another Landvik book, so I picked up this one. Took me a little bit to get used to a female author writing in a male voice; especially a teenage male voice! I enjoy stories like this that cover the character's whole life. The story resonated with me since Joe was virtually the same age that I am. My only complaint is that Joe was almost too likable; he didn't seem to have any flaws.
Oct 18, 2007 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What or where is Mount Joy? It is a state of mind (joy) for more than one of the characters in Lorna Landvik’s latest offering.

Our story begins when Joe Andreson and his widowed mother move to Minneapolis. At his new high school, Ole Bull, Joe meets the young women who will become a big part of his life. Darva Pratt is the intelligent and artsy outcast with whom Joe has a platonic relationship; Kristi Casey is the cheerleader who treats Joe to sexual favors.

As Joe, Darva, and Kristi graduate, t
Jul 09, 2015 Dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying listening to this book. I listened to half of it while weeding my garden yesterday. It was enjoyable having this fast moving book to listen too. The characters are interesting. This is our book club selection for July. The story didn't seem to come to an end. But I guess they all lived happily ever after.
Barb Hansen
This is a sweet story starting in the 1970s and following a young man as he grows into his life and loves. The characters were interesting and often endearing. She captures some of the culture of the 70s pretty effectively. It took me back a bit. Enjoyed it for a light read.
Interesting story lines and great character development, although it wrapped up a bit too quickly at the end for me, with most of the characters 'living happily ever after'. I love some of Landvik's books, this was a good read, just not my favorite.
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Lorna Landvik is a mother of two and wife of one. She is the author of eight novels, including the best-selling ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS, PATTY JANE'S HOUSE OF CURL and OH MY STARS. Also an
actor and playwright, Lorna has appeared in many stage productions. She is a new and passionate neophyte to the practice of yoga, which is a fine antidote to her long established practice of lounging.
More about Lorna Landvik...

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