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With a Hammer for My Heart
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With a Hammer for My Heart

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  90 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
You never know what will fall from the sky...In this remarkable novel, George Ella Lyon creates characters rich and vibrant as the Kentucky landscape they call home, touching that secret place in all of us where we wait for love's transforming power...You never know what will fall from the sky...
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 9th 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1996)
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Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book and am left feeling very grateful. Grateful that I am a reading person, grateful that I am still of sound mind and body and able to hold a real book and read it with capable eyes and last but not least, grateful for writers like George Ella Lyons. This is what reading is all about. Reading a book that hits you in the gut and keeps you alive and fresh.
This book shivered me timbers. Read it. I trust that you too will quake.

Some gems:

Mom. Drives fast. Cooks fast. Makes beds
Rebecca Brothers
When will I ever learn? The best prose is poetry, and this book is just that. Lyon’s novel is told from multiple perspectives, those of a young girl, Lawanda, getting ready for that time in high school when college plans loom large, and her extended family, including a Mamaw who has visions of Jesus herself. Yes, herself. We meet Lawanda as she schemes for college expenses through the innocence only a sheltered teenager could muster: she thinks selling magazines will earn her enough money to fin ...more
Jen Selinsky
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lawanda Ingle is fifteen years old, poverty-stricken, and living in Cardin, Kentucky. She dreams of going to college once her high school education is complete. In order to raise some money, she decides to sell magazines to her neighbors. After Lawanda ventures to a place where she was forbidden to go, she meets and befriends Garland, a reclusive alcoholic who lives in two busses. When her parents find out about her relationship with the old man, they are extremely displeased. Despite their obje ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book all the way through and it almost lost me, but perseverance certainly paid off and it earned five stars. Mrs. Lyon has an incredible talent of drawing the reader in, changing course and tying all together.

This book was rated as a young adult read and it certainly would fit that. However, I think it would take a mature reader to understand the larger concepts. A wonderful read that ties in compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and all of those things which make us bette
Tina  M
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love the Kentucky heritage in this book. I got to had a small group writing class with this author, George Ella, and it was wonderful. I learned some fabulous writing strategies from her. I liked her very much.
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book gave great insight into some of the trials and tribulations of Appalachia. Anyone who has experience with Appalachian culture and/or the people of Appalachia must read this book!
This is a dark story of mental illness, war-torn families, religion and coming of age. The young heroine of the story befrinds a WWII veteran who lived through a very tough tour of duty in the war, became angry and bitter, and lost his family and friends. Through the trials and tribulations that come about as a result of this friendship, forgiveness and healing are attained. This is a book that causes the reader to think and think deeply. In my opinion, not too many works of fiction achieve such ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
It was pretty good. I say that because I believe that it was well written and that GEL had a lot of intention in writing it and obviously put a lot of effort into its creation. But it didn't make me feel anything. I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters, didn't really identify with anyone, and never really thought about the book when I wasn't reading it. If I didn't have to read this for a class, I would've never picked up the book.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
"With a Hammer for My Heart" is a really uneven book. Told from multiple viewpoints with distinctive voices, the story examines the collateral damage to those we love as we face the battles of life. At times, I loved the characters and the story, at other times I wanted to give up on the book. The writing was so inconsistent that it really detracted from the story. I don't think I would recommend the book, but it wasn't a bad book, just not something I would encourage others to read.
This took a while for me to understand because George Ella Lyon wrote in a distinct and different style of writing to what I am used to.
I also was trying to figure out the relationship between the young girl and the recovered reclusive alcoholic. I felt the tension of possibly something else going on.
Great look at parts of Kentucky that I love to visit and see.
I would compare this book to "The Summer of My German Soldier" and some others that I had read.

Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This will be the book for this year's Northern Kentucky One Book One Community program!
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
This is the One Book, One Community title for Northern Kentucky this year.
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The characters were all too real and touched my heart!
Sep 22, 2008 rated it liked it
A bit unusual, but I enjoyed it.
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George Ella Lyon is a Kentucky author who has published in many genres, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels, and articles.
More about George Ella Lyon...

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