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The Oak Leaves (The Oak Leaves #1)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  858 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Two time periods—Regency 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 Talie ...more
Kindle Edition, 406 pages
Published August 3rd 2011 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,019)
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Sarah Anderson
Aug 12, 2008 Sarah Anderson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Jane
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
...more
Margaret
Aug 29, 2011 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Jennifer Nelson
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
...more
Jen Hayes
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
...more
Nancy Baker
Oak Leaves - definitely a part of the mighty oak
A very touching story of the boundaries of love, blind faith and acceptance. I loved the interaction between present day and generations ago. Having spent much time doing genealogy, I found the secrets uncovered while exploring a family's past fascinating and exciting. It was only when I finished the story and read the close ties between the story and the author's personal experiences that the reality of the story hit home. A great book of faith an
...more
Debbie
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
...more
Melissa
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
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
...more
Marianne
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
Cafelilybookreviews
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
...more
Natalia
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
...more
Kathleen
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
...more
Booksintheburbs
•Target Audience: Adults (of all ages)
•Pace of Book: Steady pace throughout
•Writing: Easy to read
•Profanity: None
•Sexual Content: none, just hugging and kissing
•Violence: None
•Christian Element: yes
•My Rating: An excellent cupcake with sprinkles AND a cherry on top, 5/5
•Thoughts on plot: I loved how the present story was interwoven with the past story of Talie’s family. The Regency period is one of my favorites, so I really enjoyed the historical component to the book and felt that it was rather
...more
Priya
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
...more
LeAnne
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 them—one with fragile X syndrome, a genetically passed form of autism. There are two stories here—one 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 a ...more
Leigh
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
Faydra
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
...more
Kathy
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
...more
Brandy
"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
Olya
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
Amy Heflin
Took me a bit to get into this book but when I did I loved it. It does go back and forth between centuries but it was easy transition between chapters. I am not thrilled on the names chosen for the book, Cosima, Beryl and Christabelle, very hard names to read.
Sherry Sheehan
good book intertwining two generations of the same family (a woman in modern Chicago and her great great great grandmother in Ireland/England). Difficult to get into at first (which is why I gave it 4 stars), covers difficult material about fragile x syndrome and how people react to adversity in all forms. Author has a son with fragile x syndrome so is speaking from experience.
Maribel reyes
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
Melissa
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
Keely
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
Sue
I highly recommend this book, not only because it is a great story but because of the message behind it. Until I read "Oak Leaves" I never heard of the genetic disorder/disease called Fragile X. This is a heart warming story of a young couple trying to figure out why their 16 mo. old son isn't developing as he should. The young mother finds an old 1854 family journal amongst her father's possessions and begins the journey to understanding it takes faith as well as medicine to cope with a family ...more
Melissa
I got this book on my kindle a while back due to the fact that it was free and the description of the book sounded interesting. That being said, I did not realize that it was a Christian book (not normally the type of book I would read- though I do admit that I have read other books of this genre in the past) and was a little put off at first. But I kept reading and was pleasantly surprised because I ended up liking the author's style of writing once I got past the religious aspect of the book. ...more
Debie Orrell
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
...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
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More about Maureen Lang...

Other Books in the Series

The Oak Leaves (2 books)
  • On Sparrow Hill (The Oak Leaves #2)
Whisper on the Wind (The Great War, #2) Bees in the Butterfly Garden (The Gilded Legacy, #1) Look to the East (The Great War, #1) On Sparrow Hill (The Oak Leaves #2) Springtime of the Spirit (The Great War, #3)

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