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The Land of Decoration

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  3,006 Ratings  ·  552 Reviews

A mesmerizing debut about a young girl whose steadfast belief and imagination bring everything she once held dear into treacherous balance

In Grace McCleen's harrowing, powerful debut, she introduces an unforgettable heroine in ten-year-old Judith McPherson, a young believer who sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith. Persecuted at school for her beliefs and struggli

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2011)
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Dora Santos Marques
A minha opinião em vídeo:

Uma excelente surpresa!
Um livro com uma criança mas uma história muito adulta e pesada.
Nicola Mansfield
Jun 03, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it liked it
Reason for Reading: Very intriguing plot captured my interest.

This is a tough book to review. I loved parts of it and disliked other parts of it. Mainly, I adored the main character, 10yo Judith, in whose voice the narrative is written. She is naive and not always a reliable narrator but we are given events from her point of view as she sees them happen. I read the book very quickly over two days and had a hard time putting the book down. Parts of it were just lovely, other parts I heartily disa
Esta é uma história contada por Judith McPherson, uma menina de 10 anos. Como todas, ou quase todas, as histórias narradas por crianças, o ambiente é ternurento e quase sempre nostálgico. "A Menina Que Fazia Nevar" não é excepção.
Judith é uma menina doce, apesar de todas as adversidades que tem enfrentado, tem uma relação distante e complicada com o pai (um religioso fervoroso), a mãe morreu e Judith sofre de bullying na escola. São os dias tristes e solitários de Judith que a levam a criar a "T
Feb 15, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is a strange one.

It begins wonderfully with a child invoking the story of creation of the world in seven days, recorded in the book of Genesis, as she creates her own model of the world.

I learned that her name was Judith. That she was ten years-old. That her mother was dead and that her father was bringing her up on his own. That he was a member of an Evangelical Christian sect that believed that the end of the world was nigh.

Judith was terribly isolated, and sadly I was not at all surp
Telma Oliveira
Adorei a personagem principal, a forma como ela questionava tudo e a sua enorme imaginação, ,muito fiel aquilo que uma criança de 10 anos é.

Fala de temas difíceis como o bullying, religião, e sobre a relação entre um pai e uma filha e como estes tentam superar a perda da mãe desta menina . É um livro que nos faz pensar e refletir, com o qual diferentes pessoas poderão chegar a diferentes conclusões.

No entanto, achei que a alusão a religião foi um tema demasiado recorrente, tornando-se demasiado
Dec 25, 2013 Mafi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Não acho que seja um livro tocante, no sentido de emocionar e comover o leitor. A narrativa é brilhante, fala de temas difíceis e actuais mas a autora optou por construir uma narrativa que incita à reflexão e ao pensamento do leitor, pois sendo um tema tão subjectivo e pessoal, as interpretações sobre a estória da pequena menina que fez nevar podem ser as mais variadas.

Opinião completa aqui - http://algodaodoceparaocerebro.blogsp...
Mariana Pereira
A minha opinião em vídeo, deste livro fantástico:
Ian Young
Apr 03, 2012 Ian Young rated it it was amazing
The Land of Decoration is a first novel told in the voice of a young girl who has been brought up as a member of a religious sect; Grace McCleen is a young writer who was herself brought up in a similar environment. Of course, most authors draw deeply on personal life experiences as they write, not surprising since writing about events and circumstances you know is likely to be easier and more realistic. However, sometimes the parallels between events and a novel and the author’s own life seem p ...more
Joanne Sheppard
Feb 12, 2013 Joanne Sheppard rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books of last year was Among Others by Jo Walton, in which a lonely teenage misfit struggles with her own (self-perceived, at least) ability to perform potentially harmful magic. Grace McCleen's The Land of Decoration has a similar premise in some respects. Narrator Judith, who is bullied and ostracised at school and whose widowed father has brought her up as a member of a fundamentalist Christian sect which appears in all but name to be the Jehovah's Witnesses, is desperate ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 10, 2012 Luanne Ollivier rated it it was amazing
Every year there seems to be a book that stays with me long after I've turned the last page. And when someone asks me for a good book recommendation, it's the first one that comes to mind. The Land of Decoration - a debut novel by Grace McCleen is one of those books.

Ten year old Judith McPherson lives in England with her father, her mother having passed away. She attends school, but is bullied and isolated, primarily because of the religious beliefs that she and her father follow.

And sometimes
Dec 29, 2011 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a story of many parts encompassing the frequently fraught relationship between a father and his daughter set against a backdrop of manic religious fervour and the stress of strike action with a pinch of fantasy thrown in for good measure - a heady mix indeed!

Ten year old Judith McPherson leads a rather isolated life with her widowed father. Their routine revolves around their strong religious conviction that the End Times are approaching fast but such faith won't be a match for the bulli
Mar 30, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional debut novel that I could not stop reading in spite of the deep anguish and the maternal protection that the main character invoked in me until I reached the wrenching conclusion.

The story is narrated by Judith McPherson, a ten year old that is intelligent and articulate far beyond her years. She lives with her widowed father John in a neglected home in a dying and decrepit town economically supported by the one local factory.

She and her father belong to a small, fundament
May 22, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
The Land of Decoration, from the Book of Ezekiel, is a better world, the "promised land", the way 10-year old Judith McPherson wishes the world to be. It's a world Judith has created from the junk she finds, and the reader can see her creation, beginning with the opening paragraphs of this debut novel------

"IN THE BEGINNING there was an empty room, a little bit of space, a little bit of light, a little bit of time.

I said, I'm going to make fields, and I made them from place mats, carpet, brown
Apr 26, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing
The Land Of Decoration
Grace McCleen

My Quick Thoughts...

Judith lives with her her room she has this sort of replica world.  She uses junk to create this decorated place.  She calls it her Land Of Decoration.

My Thoughts After Reading This Book...

Oh my goodness!  What a precious character 10 year old Judith is.  She is sweet and funny and thoughtful and heartbreakingly achingly sad.  She lives with her father and they follow a weird religion which causes them to not celebrate holidays
Mar 15, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Ten-year-old Judith McPherson (her given name hints at her fierce mythic power) has a secret: God speaks to her. Loudly. The rigid yet salvific God of the sect that rules the McPherson family's lives turns out to be considerably more unpredictable when chatting with young Judith, and Judith is learning that using "divine" power has consequences that no ten-year-old could predict.

Grace McCleen's debut novel is fascinating, disturbing, funny, troubling. Does God really talk to Judith, or have the
Sep 01, 2013 Mehmet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning I assumed that I was venturing into the life of a very young prophetess, which was quite engrossing nonetheless. Although I can't be certain whether the voice that spoke to her in her head either belonged to the author's idea of God or the Devil himself, or, and quite possibly, it was merely the main character's overactive imagination, given that the conversations were pretty lifelike and lacked all sorts of divinity. Still, with all of this dubiousness, I must admit that I like ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorei. Foi um livro que me fez pensar bastante , é uma história muito pessoal, se procuram magia, uma leitura simples e sentida este livro é o ideal.
Falando sobre assuntos muito interessantes e por vezes dolorosos/complicados : Religião e Bullying, este transporta-nos até um mundo mágico feito de coisas que são lixo para a maior parte das pessoas onde Judith conseguia encontrar força e um refúgio onde podia esconder-se do mundo.
Ilenia Zodiaco
Apr 14, 2013 Ilenia Zodiaco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europea

"Il posto dei miracoli" è la storia semplice di una bambina straordinaria. So cosa state pensando. Non ne possiamo più di superbambini inoppurtuni e saputelli che si comportano come trentenni misantropi, vantando una superiorità morale e spirituale (qualcuno ha detto "L'eleganza del riccio"?). I bambini nella fiction sono sempre un rischio. Ed è per questo che, per me, bisogna riconoscere alla McCleen un doppio merito: quello di aver scritto una storia bellissima e quello di aver creato una prot
Aug 02, 2016 Kirsty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Land of Decoration is told from the first person perspective of ten-year-old Judith McPherson. Her narration is childish at times, infused with buckets of naïvety and a wry humour which it seems she has adopted in order to make the situations which unfold around her lose much of their terrifying seriousness. She asks questions of the kind which inquisitive children of her age revel in – what dying is like and how long someone can breathe underwater, for example. Her observations on life work ...more
Dec 15, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to LOVE this book. It has all the markings and reviews that lead me to believe this would be another ROOM; one of my favorite books, at least in the last five years. Ultimately, I just liked this book. It swayed back and forth between a three and a two, and given the ending (no spoiler here) it fell flat on two, almost crushing it with its weight.

Issues with writing and execution: the two main characters both lacked depth. Issues with general construction, and sequencing abound,
Alex Templeton
Oct 02, 2012 Alex Templeton rated it really liked it
I didn’t anticipate that this novel, about a 10-year-old girl who believes that she has been given the power to perform miracles, would be so suspenseful, but I zoomed right through it. Judith McPherson belongs to what can probably best be described as an end-of-days cult of Christianity; those beliefs have made her a bullied pariah amongst her classmates. She spends her free time using bits and pieces others have cast off to make a model world in her room, that she calls the Land of Decoration ...more
Oct 01, 2015 Krennu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luin Grace McCleenin kirjan Ihana maa. Se kertoo nuoresta tytöstä Judithista, joka uskoo Jumalaan. Judithia kiusataan, joten hän rakentaa huoneeseensa pienoismaailman paetakseen todellisuutta. Yhtenä päivänä Judith huomaa, että hän voi tehdä ihmeitä, joten hän toivoo pahoja asioita kiusaajalleen. Seuraukset ovat kamalat, joten Judithia aletaan kiusata pahemmin.

Tein mielipidetekstin kiusaamisesta. Mielestäni kaikenlainen kiusaaminen, väheksyminen tai syrjiminen on todella paha asia, sillä kiusatt
Aug 13, 2014 Stef rated it it was amazing
This stunning, beautifully told novel explores intention, faith and creativity. When a lonely, motherless young girl with an emotionally closed-off father experiences an excess of cruelty at school, she turns to The Land of Decoration, a world she's constructed in her bedroom out of found objects. When she notices correlations between the land she's created and reality, she realizes she has the power to create what she calls "miracles" and believes she is God's Instrument. As could be expected, ...more
Heather Noble
May 05, 2012 Heather Noble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't work at all for me. It had no sense of time or place - could have been the seventies, could have been Wales or somewhere North with hills. The joyless religious sect stifling the lives of Judith and her father reminded me of the more than just a Baptist religions I came into contact with as a child but to me the plot, the setting and the characters were just contrived stereotypes in a story that failed to convince.
Jun 22, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: Miriam
Well, that was...thought provoking! Though the story was often painful to read, it was equally engrossing and strangely resonant. I say "strangely" because I didn't have any idea what was going on and I still don't!
Aug 20, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Ten-year-old Judith and her dad John belong to an unpopular religion that’s never named but bears a striking resemblance to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

People regard the Witnesses as a cult. It’s an emotive word. It suggests an organisation that strips away the free will of their members. I would counter that all religions require their congregants to—of their own free will (important point here)—subjugate their own will in favour of what their particular god says they should do. (Just think of evangeli
Apr 01, 2012 Shana rated it it was amazing
"The Land of Decoration" I read in one day about a week or so ago. I've been wondering ever since I read it, what I should say in my review in regards to it. The story has really stuck with me. I don't think I've ever wrote a review this long.

This book starts out with the 10 year old protagonist Judith McPhersen. Judith lives with her father in only what could be called a very lonely and dysfunctional house (to put it mildly) in what is described as a very poor & seedy part of town. Judith's
Mar 16, 2017 Marta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La nostra protagonista è Judith una bimba di dieci anni; la sua non è una vita semplice, si trova a combattere contro un padre che non la ama ed ha dovuto quindi crescere molto in fretta e nell'ambito scolastico ad essere giudicata e bullizzata. Viene da una famiglia molto credente e questo la rende diversa dagli altri e come molto spesso capita quando la diversità non viene compresa viene ridicolizzata e porta all'emarginazione.
Per fuggire da questo mondo che non è quello che lei vorrebbe ne ha
Ruth Browne
Sep 12, 2013 Ruth Browne rated it really liked it
The Land of Decoration reads nothing at all like a first novel. A whimsical naivety enlivens the first few chapters, but soon slips, skews and develops into something much darker and stranger. Not once does the story lose its taste for wonder, finding beauty in the smallest things and most unlikely places. The secret is Grace McCleen's eerie sense of balance. She is capable of presenting an event, an emotion or an idea with all its majesty and horror intact. Consequently, her novel is possessed ...more
Sam Sattler
Apr 07, 2012 Sam Sattler rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-novel
Grace McCleen has written an extraordinary debut novel. The problem is that it is difficult to speak of The Land of Decoration without inadvertently spoiling its impact for future readers. I am, however, going to give it a shot.

The book’s central character is little Judith McPherson. Judith is a precocious ten-year-old whose life centers around her belief that she and her father are living in the end days. Because time is running out for the world, Judith and her father regularly knock on the do
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Grace McCleen was born in Wales and grew up in a fundamentalist religion where she did not have much contact with non-believers. Her family moved to Ireland when she was ten, where she was schooled at home. When Grace and her family moved back to Britain she went back to school and her English teacher suggested she apply to Oxford.

She studied English Literature at Oxford University and The Univer
More about Grace McCleen...

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“Miracles don't have to be big, and they can happen in the unlikeliest places. Sometimes they are so small people don't notice. Sometimes miracles are shy. They brush against your sleeve, they settle on your eyelashes. They wait for you to notice, then melt away. Lots of things start by being small. It's a good way to begin, because no one takes any notice of you. You're just a little thing beetling along, minding your own business. Then you grow.” 18 likes
“Once there was a man and a woman. When they met sparks flew, meteors collided, asteroids turned cartwheels and atoms split. He loved her from here to eternity, she loved him to the moon and back. They were two peas in a pod, heads and tails and noughts and crosses.” 7 likes
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