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As It Is On Earth

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Recipient of the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for "Literary Excellence in Debut Fiction", and nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize.

Four centuries after the Reformation Pilgrims sailed up the down-flowing watersheds of New England, Taylor Thatcher, irreverent scion of a fallen family of Maine Puritans, is still caught in the turbulence.

In his errant attempts to es
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Paperback, 311 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Fomite
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4.04  · 
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 ·  26 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Set in the fall of 1999, the novel is narrated by Taylor Thatcher. Maine-born, Mayflower-descended, Taylor is 30, a professor at a university in Hartford, Connecticut. In the last months of 1999, Taylor's mundane life is oriented around academia -- a conference he's organizing, classes he's teaching -- while his emotional life dances back-and-forth between ignoring and embracing his family's history, familial secrets, emotional scars, and unacknowledged desires.

The danger of such narrow, selfish
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Sam Sattler
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-novel
As It Is on Earth, Peter Wheelwright’s debut novel, is among the richest - and most challenging - novels I have read in a long while. The author’s prose style is one that I often describe as “dense,” in the sense that there is a tremendous amount of related information and detail packed into and around the book’s basic plot.

The Thatcher family’s story is New England’s story. The family, having been in Maine for twelve generations, has helped to write much of the state’s history. They are an old
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Scott
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to talk with Peter Wheelwright, for The Brooklyn Rail, about his brilliant debut novel. Here is some of it, and please do follow the link:

Peter Wheelwright is now officially a Renaissance man, a real triple threat. This is not to say he’s a song-and-dance man. Then again it seems there is nothing the man cannot do. Wheelwright is an accomplished architect, and an Associate Professor at Parsons the New School for Design, who also happens to have work in the Collection of Architectur
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Aimee Jodoin
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
After a divorce, young history professor Taylor Thatcher begins to take a deeper interest in his rich family history of Maine Puritans, arriving in New England on Mayflower and settling on farm land for generations. Traversing the landscape of his past, Taylor prepares for his birthday, which he shares with his younger half-brother, Bingham, and which happens to fall on Columbus Day of 1999. At this family reunion, he must confront both his past and those who covered up family secrets, while sim ...more
Lisa Dolan
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wheelwright’s debut tome, AS IT IS ON EARTH, is a beautifully crafted story of the human condition.

Mr. Wheelwright gets it right as he shares Taylor Thatcher’s story. Taylor Thatcher’s life as son, brother, lover, friend, college professor, unravels for readers as we are expertly exposed to his past to make sense of his present. It is a present we, as readers, quickly become comfortable in. In many ways, this is every person’s story. The struggle to reconcile all that came before, the legacy o
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Jane
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
The weight of history, family secrets, guilt: this is a fine recipe for any New England novel. It is familiar territory in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton, both masters at peeling back layers of convention and self delusion. The literary heir to this tradition, Wheelwright has written a finely-nuanced first novel, one well worth the read. It fascinates me to see a writer "grow" a story from his own experience. With good gardening, strong architecture and more than a dash of al ...more
Fran
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As It Is On Earth
Author: Peter Wheelwright

The intricate design of a carefully woven tapestry can often tell the story of a person’s heritage, history or family from start to finish. Each piece of this perfectly captivating mural on canvas depicts the many generations of a family, their lives, their struggles and their story. Author Peter Wheelwright’s tapestry dates back to the Pilgrims and a family from New England whose lives span twelve generations and whose story is so interesting that it al
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Getevel
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Lippert
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I guess you can't really call a winner of the PEN/Hemingway award for a first novel an "undiscovered treasure," but that's what this short novel felt like to me. Wonderfully and smartly written, it's the story of a northeast family with skeletons in the closet: some dark secrets, mostly unspoken, that both bind and tear at the relationship between two brothers. Wheelwright artfully describes the landscape and history of the region, primarily Connecticut and Maine, and also offers a sometimes hil ...more
Jenna P.
Feb 24, 2014 marked it as gave-up
Shelves: giveaway
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Shortly after I won the giveaway I was actually messaged on goodreads by the author himself. He congratulated me on winning but said based on the books I already had shelved, he didn't think this book would be to my taste. I ignored that, though, because I'll try anything once. Often you don't know what you like until you've tried it.

In this case, however, the author was right. it wasn't my cup of tea. And it could be I just haven't expan
...more
Mary Ahlgren
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Although some of the book is slow going without much reward, it has enough spark to speak to the reader of much that is worthwhile. I think I may reread it in an few months,now that I think more positively of Taylor Thatcher. Took me the whole book to get to that place. Bin, on the other hand, and his world view, saved this first reading.
Carol Cantrell
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Not an easy book to read, the characters are incredibly complicated and following the ins and outs of this family and their relationships is not for the faint of heart. It's worth it though. An excellent first effort I look forward to the next.
Stephanie
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book was captivating from the beginning. The journey the main character takes takes you through a captivating journey of discovery of a family history. Another book which hasn't returned to my book shelf as I have other's asking to borrow it on a regular basis/
Alexa
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful - I loved it.
Dilys Myhill
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This novel took me quite awhile to read, there was a lot of information to digest to be any different, but worth sticking with.WON THIS ON GOODREADS GIVE-AWAYS.
Karl Nehring
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Ending was a bit of a letdown, and the main character seemed to act and think older than his early-30s age, but overall it was an engaging read.
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Peter Matthiessen Wheelwright is an architect and Emeritus Professor at The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York City. His design work has been widely published in both the national and international press. The Kaleidoscope House, a modernist dollhouse designed in collaboration with artist Laurie Simmons is in the Collection of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art.

He co
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