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The Fence My Father Built

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  988 ratings  ·  77 reviews
In The Fence My Father Built when legally separated Muri Pond, a librarian, hauls her kids, teenage Nova and eleven year-old Truman, out to the tiny town of Murkee, Oregon, where her father, Joe Pond lived and died, she's confronted by a neighbor's harassment over water rights and Joe's legacy: a fence made from old oven doors. The fence and accompanying house trailer horr ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Abingdon Press
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  988 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There are a lot of stories out there to be told, and there are a lot of storytellers for that matter. There are some stories I like, some a lot. There are some stories I don’t care for as much. And then, sometimes there is a story that reaches me on a deeper, more personal level. The Fence My Father Built is one of those stories.
There was a lot about this book that I was able to relate to. I grew up with an alcoholic father, who now has liver disease (I should note that he has been clean for se
Nora St Laurent
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Linda Clare pens a heart warming and sensitive story about a woman, Muri Pond, whose whole world has been turned upside down with her pending divorce. An Aunt she hardly knows seeks her out for help; help in keeping the property that belonged to her father—the father she never remembered meeting. She had hopes of meeting him someday but learns from her Aunt, her father is dead.

Muri brings her two teenage children to stay with her Aunt while she tries to understand the lawsuit agains
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it

The teaser on the back cover of The Fence My Father Built reads, “This is the story of finding your way home—even when home is a trailer in the middle of nowhere.”
And what a story this is. Muri Pond’s parents divorced when she was a small child, and she has spent her life dreaming about reuniting with her father. When she decides to take the journey to eastern Oregon to find him, she takes her less-than-eager children with her. Her fifteen-year-old daughter would be a handful for two par
Myra Johnson
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
From the first time I saw the cover of this novel, I was intrigued by the oven-door fence and knew it had to be a unique story. Linda Clare weaves several plot elements into a cohesive and engaging whole. The story begins as young mother Muri Pond sets off on a new life in the aftermath of her pending divorce. The father she never knew has recently died, leaving Muri his property in the remote Central Oregon high desert (I didn't even know Oregon had high-desert country!). There, she starts to l ...more
Linda S.
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
My debut novel is the story of finding your way home. All her life, Muri Pond dreamed of finding her biological father. Now it's too late. Joseph Pond has recently died, willing her his remote central Oregon high-desert property to his citified daughter, who'd rather research than ranch. When Muri hauls her kids out to her inherited property, she's confronted by a troublesome neighbor and her father's legacy--a fence made from old oven doors. Muri must rediscover her roots and the faith her dad ...more
Feb 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
I could tell it was terrible after the first 5 pages, but forced myself to read another 70 pages since it was a book club pick (a book club I still have high hopes for despite this selection). Boring stereotypical characters, a plot line out of any Lifetime movie and Christian propaganda shoved down the reader's throat. I can't read another page!
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting story line - neighboring property owners fighting over land and water rights, combined with a daughter's struggle to learn more about her father. The fight for water & land reminded me a tiny bit of Erin Brockovich, but all in all this story fell a little flat. I would have preferred more meat, more substance. More insight into the relationship between Muri & Rubin, especially at the end of the book. I'm not too much of a fan of open endings, which is how their relationshi ...more
Christy Lockstein
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare is a poignant novel about finding where you belong. Muri Pond is taking her two children, Nova and Tru, home to her father's home in the desert area of Oregon after the loss of her job and the end of her marriage. She grew up never knowing Joseph Pond, but after his death, she finds she has nowhere else to go, so going to his home makes sense. Until she finds out that his home is a trailer with a group of cobbled together additions and is occupied by h ...more
Valerie Waters
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this story. I did feel it was a little repetitive of her feelings. I did like how strong she was. I didn't like the vagueness of Muri and Rubins relationship. I wish she would have gotten more into that. I also felt like at some places the wording was weird. But overall it was a good story. I guess it gets 3.5 stars. Maybe 4. Maybe I'm being a little harsh?!?
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, religious-theme
A good story about a family struggling to find identity and a home. When I began this novel, I did not know that it had a spiritual plot. That did not bother me, but maybe God's answer to prayer was a bit too fast and sped the story to conclusion for my taste.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
There were parts of this book that I found very interesting regarding the Native American heritage but there was a lot of other mini-stories that pulled me away from enjoying the book as much. It was okay but I won't re-read it at another time.
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a story about a woman who didn't know her father growing up and trys to settle his estate after he dies. It was an okay story and kind of slow. However, the book ends abruptly and doesn't bring closure to a couple of the story lines in the story.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I couldn't get past the first 50 pages...
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Muri Pond is in the midst of a divorce from Chaz when she receives word of her father, Joseph Pond’s, death and the issues surrounding her inherited property. The land she inherited consisted of a dilapidated trailer where her Aunt Lutie and Uncle Tiny live, where they cared for Joseph until he died, as well as a creek and the legal problems surrounding the creek (‘liquid gold’). She arrived with all belongings and her two children, Nova, 15, and Truman (Tru), 11. Attitudes clashed between mothe ...more
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Fence My Father Built was an interesting look into a different lifestyle and culture pertaining to water rights, land ownership and Native American burial grounds. It read like a woman's fiction novel, which was probably the author's intent. The author also used pretty creative descriptions at times, almost giving the story a bit of a literary feel. Nicely written.

I enjoyed the parts of the story where Muri read the journal that her father had written in before he died. I also lo
Donna L.Hodgdon
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Story of finding oneself, family +God interesting story of what is important in life , family and one s roots
May 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Author: Linda S. Clare
Publisher: Abingdon Press
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0073-6
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary women’s fiction

Muri Pond is starting over. She’s lost her job as a school librarian, lost her husband to another woman, lost her home, and now she’s on the verge of losing her sixteen-year-old daughter, Nova. Then she learns that her father, Joseph Pond has died, willing his high-desert property to Muri.

Christie Hagerman
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this author! The poor mom in this story, Muri, is dealing with some serious junk--divorcing her cheating husband, handling a rebellious teen daughter, losing her job, finding herself homeless. Add to that the death of the father she'd just begun to search for and not seen since early childhood, and this gal's got major stress. She drives out to recently-deceased Dad's home to meet her aunt and uncle and try to connect with her heritage, and finds herself in the middle of a Hatfields-and-M ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: america
12/11: Kindle. Enjoyed.

Amazon Book Description:
In The Fence My Father Built, when legally separated Muri Pond, a librarian, hauls her kids, teenage Nova and eleven year-old Truman, out to the tiny town of Murkee, Oregon, where her father, Joe Pond lived and died, she’s confronted by a neighbor’s harassment over water rights and Joe’s legacy: a fence made from old oven doors.

The fence and accompanying house trailer horrify rebellious Nova, who runs away to the drug-i
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is probably more like 2.5 stars, but since that isn't an option, I gave it a 3. I almost put it down after the first few chapters because it seemed to kind of drag, but I'm somewhat glad I stuck it out. Things I did like were Mur's family dynamics, the small town life, and learning a little bit about Native Americans.

The things I didn't enjoy were the fact that it seemed like a lot of stuff was going on without tons of details.
**Slight spoiler***
For example, Muri got
Elise Jensen
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I got this book free for my kindle, and I have to say that if I had realized it was Christian fiction, I probably would have bypassed it. That said, I'm not sorry I ready it, despite the slight heavy-handedness with the Christian themes...I know I was never the target audience for this kind of book.

Religious content aside, my overall opinion of the story was that it was a very, very good draft. I've seen in the reviews that quite a few other people seemed to feel, as I did, that the story wasn'
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a good story. There were a few places in the book where I felt there was missing information--that the plot just sort of jumped out of nowhere. But all in all, I liked it. I read it with genre in mind--and this isn't a genre I read: Christian Fiction. But, the blurb was intriguing, the cover made me wonder, and the premise was good.

I particularly like the character, Lutie. Very well-written, fully fleshed out, as was Muri.

I don't know anything about the author, but
C.J. Darlington
3.5 stars. This book has a great, Hallmark Channel movie type of premise. And who doesn't like that once in awhile? That said, I don't feel like the story delivered quite as much as I hoped. The plot revolves around a nasty rancher bent on taking the water rights, and the land, of our heroine who's just coming to grips with her father's death. The problem is, nothing much beyond that seems to happen in this story. Yes, there's a rebellious daughter angle, a slight romance, Native American themes ...more
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It was well-written and flowed along with an easy grace letting us come to know the hearts of many warm-blooded and realistically drawn characters. It touched my heart in so many ways. Having times in my own life when everything that mattered to me seemed to fall apart or desert me all at once, I could really identify with how lost and alone she was. I was glad to cheer her on as she found the courage to persevere through it all for the late father she hardly knew and i ...more
Nancy H Vest
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book hard to follow at times. Some places didn't have enough information, and others had too much. The characters were interesting and believable. One character that I didn't care for was Rubin. He was too carried away with romance for the amount of time he and Muri spent together, and personally, I would have been concerned that he was a possessive stalker guy if I had been Muri.

I very much liked how Muri grew during the story and how her daughter matured, too. The two
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Muri never knew her father while he was alive and she thought he didn't care. But when she went "home" after his death, she found his diary that told how much he loved her. I never understood why they didn't have a relationship during his lifetime. He was an alcoholic, so maybe the mother wouldn't allow it, but I would think he would have visitation rights. Nothing was what she expected, and at first she and her children don't think they belonged here. But over time, Muri discovered and shared h ...more
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Dee Renee by: Free at
Shelves: 2014, ebooks
I downloaded this book to my Nook when it was free from, and the story synopsis appealed to me. The story was entertaining as Muri searches for a safe place for herself and her children after she had a reduction in force at work and she is legally separated from her husband. The location of high desert in Oregon was unfamiliar to me.

The story is entertaining but I can't give it more than 2 stars for I believe it will be forgettable. I recommend it only to readers of this chick-lit genre.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
It seemed quite a slow read for me. Definitely not a page turner Although I was terribly interested to see how the story would unfold.
The Christian theme was not heavy handed to me and in fact I would have preferred to have an actual display of the Gospel and how to come to Christ. It would have been nice to Lutie's conversion story at the least.

Not a bad book, but might be in need of some tweaking.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of quality writing and some passages that I highlighted because they were so clever and well done. I am a big fan of stories about American Indians, and this one had a character that was interesting and intriguing. I also really enjoyed the central character and the way she related to her kids and her quirky aunt and uncle. What kept this from being a four-star book for me was that some of the plot elements happened too easily and too quickly.
Amy Naron
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I got this free on my Kindle. I really enjoyed it. The only complaint I have is that some things were repeated as if they were new. For instance, the lawyer saw the evidence twice but the 2nd time he saw it, he acted surprised. This was a bit confusing. Some dialouge also seemed repetitive. Other than that, the book was interesting, a fast read and made me want to Google map central Oregon. I like visuals. ;)
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