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Where Yesterday Lives

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4.2  ·  Rating details ·  2,872 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
At thirty-one, Ellen Barrett has already won a Pulitzer prize. Sadly, though, her skill as a journalist far surpasses her ability to sort out her troubled past, so she's less than eager to return to picturesque Petoskey, Michigan, for her beloved father's funeral. When she most needs comfort, her husband is distant and her siblings antagonistic -- and the solace an old swe ...more
ebook, 234 pages
Published September 30th 2009 by Multnomah (first published June 30th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jerry
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen Kingsbury's writing, story, and characterization were all fabulous, as usual.
Jennifer Lombardi
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

I LOVED this book and I will tell you why. The very FIRST page is captivating. You immediately want to know who this guy is and what is going on. That continues ALL the way through. I was absorbed in the characters. I wanted to know WHY they were the way they were. I wanted to know if they would be able to work it out or not. Not once did I get bored or want to put it down!

The way the author wrote this story was amazing to me. Just as I was getting to know a character and really want to know the
...more
Chantel
I really wanted (and tried) liking this book, but it just wasn't for me. Although there were some parts that I did enjoy in this book. I just thought the book dragged in a lot of areas and I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Even though this wasn't my favorite I would like to try another book from this author.
Veronica
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: veronica
Stopped reading this one bc it kind of offended me as a Catholic. Starts out by saying the girl became a Christian, then mentions later she was raised Catholic. Last I checked, Catholic are and always have been Christians. Also implies that Catholics do not pray - what?! Kind of annoyed by the author's ignorant point of view. End rant, end book.
Valerie
Out of all the Karen Kingsbury books I've read this is one of my least favorites. The story line dragged.
Kari Coleman
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: Where Yesterday Lives
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Date Finished: July 18, 2008
Pages: 416

If you have never read a book by Karen Kingsbury before, I strongly suggest you pick one up. I was introduced to her books a couple years ago and every time I read one, the same thing happens... I cannot put it down. I started this book Friday evening and was so involved in the world of the Barrett family, that I did not want to leave, so I continued to read page after page until I finally finished somewhere
...more
LadyCalico
Jun 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so bad that it makes me ill that I wasted good money on it. The story just doesn't ring true, and the phoniness of the characters with their unrealistic responses really grated on my nerve. So Ellen's supposed to be responsible for her idiot sister's rape (exactly how makes no sense at all) so everybody still hates her many years later, and all the other gutless morons let the idiot sister run roughshod over them no matter how idiotically bad the idiot behaves. The idiot sister, al ...more
Michelle Robinson
I wish I had not made such a harsh statement about Jane in my updates. She was horrible. I know she had reasons but the hate and bitterness she had were over the top. She and Aaron both seemed to be stuck in very adolescent stages of development. I understand why but it was still hard to listen to after a while.



I thought the ending was a little too pat for such a miserable dysfunctional group and it did not feel realistic.
THe mother was a paragon, there is no way I could have been as patient as
...more
Ellen Taylor
Mar 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I read this on recommendation from a good friend, who counts Kingsbury as one of her very favorite authors, and was sorely disappointed.... If one more person cried, I thought I would strangle them through the pages! Yes, a father's funeral is very sad, and old family hurts seem to inflame emotions during stressful times, but the week with the Barretts gave me a headache... I don't feel sorry for people who are hurt and want their friends/family to read their minds as to the reasons... talk, peo ...more
Kristi
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story gave me so many emotions. All the books by Karen Kingsbury have so far. There was laughter, crying, anger, and so much more. This story was so heartfelt.
Ellen Barrett overcame so many things in this story. It reminded me a little of a Nicholas Sparks book I read. Which this one came out first but I read his first. But they ended completely different. I think everyone should read Karen Kingsbury books. They are just THAT good.
Inspirational, heartfelt, heartwarming, sincere, breathtak
...more
Erin
Jul 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who thinks Karen Kingsbury only writes about perfect families should check out this book. Then again, if they read this one they might not read any of her others. The inter-family fighting is so strong in this book that I actually had to put it down and step away from it for several days. There are so many similarities between this book and the Baxter family - except that Baxters don't hate each other. I would suggest you skip this title and move straight to "Redemption".
Julie Horner
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our "yesterdays" are always there, buried. When they resurface, questions become too involved. Too many thoughts and how to sort them out?

Ellen's dad passes away suddenly. She has to go home to Michigan to plan the wake and funeral with her mom and other siblings. The siblings don't get along. Each has their own version of why.
Stefanie

I didn't appreciate the thinly veiled Catholicism bashing, and didn't appreciate the author's viewpoint coming through her characters that Catholics don't believe in the Bible, but the general story was good.
Michelle
Feb 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if this was written by a ghost writer or really by Kingsbury, but I hated this book. I usually really like her books but this one is tough to read because the family story is so unplausible and people's reactions to events are anything but normal.
April
Too much self involvement.
PJ
I am not "wowed" by Karen Kingsbury. This one dragged on and on. It could have been a much shorter book if she had just gotten to the point!! It was finally enlightening at the very end but I had kind of lost interest by then. I just wanted to get finished. Sorry to those Karen Kingsbury fans but I've read a few of her books and still not a big fan.
AlegnaB †
I didn't like this story of a dysfunctional family. I didn't like some of the main characters, and I got tired of the arguing. I finished it because it was an audiobook, which meant I wasn't wasting time while reading it, and I was reading it for a challenge.
Tami Hayes
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have tissues ready. Especially if you read it on a trip to your father's memorial!
Andrea Vrtikapa
Wonderful Christian themes throughout this book. I loved the faithfulness of the dad and all the lessons his children learned from him.
Lynsey Corwin
What an interesting book this has been........... It is a story of 4 girls and 1 boy 5 kids............................ It is a story of the one girl Ellen Barrett who works as a journalist at the Miami Times. She recieved her Journalism degree from The University of Michigan. Her father John Barrett was the person that Ellen always looked up to. Her dream was to work at the Gazette after she graduated.
Ellen had 3 other sisters and a brother. Her sisters names were Megan,Jane,Amy, and her brot
...more
Delinda Mauney
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Maybe because of the family issues involved. I have read some reviews that state it is ridiculous because a married Christian woman would meet up with an old boyfriend and almost have an affair. Really?

In the book Ellen was struggling with her marriage due to reasons unknown to her at the time (or she did not take time to see them). When she went back home for her father's funeral with all of her siblings and things were very strange there with one sister being a hateful brat,
...more
Barbara
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen Kingsbury seems to be an expert at fully involving you emotionally in her character's lives. Family relationship dynamics, dealing with grief, the lasting effects of severe trauma, and the healing and growth that openness and forgiveness can bring are some of the major themes of this novel. Karen seems to have a gift of creating characters that seem so real they almost feel like they are personal friends, and the circumstances and choices they deal with are those which we all confront at t ...more
Tima
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ellen is a top-notch reporter who lives a very busy life with her husband Michael. At the news of her father's death she flies home to be with her mother and four siblings. But the tension between them is eating everyone alive. Her husband didn't join her claiming work and now Ellen is fighting the temptation of a former flame.

The story centered on the week leading up to the funeral. It was frustrating and heartbreaking. Frustrating because the siblings in the story didn't seem to real. The fam
...more
Karen
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many things that I love about this book-- one being that the setting is in Petosky, MI-- northern Michigan is one of my favorite places on earth!! Another being the draw that the character feels to her first love-- I think that is a topic that is often not explored with Christians-- women nor men-- if they are Christians and married-- any mention of former lives is often taboo. But the reality is, bonds are formed with people we've once dated-- especially if the relationship wasn't ...more
Susan
Mar 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was about a family who lost their father and returns to their hometown for the funeral. Their are five siblings, four sisters and a brother, and their is much sibling rivalry with this dysfunctional family.
They are all trying to come to terms with their loss.

The book takes you into their past when they got along with each other and shows you how the tension grew amongst them. They were a religious family but and they drifted apart so did their beliefs.

Ellen the eldest is trying to come to te
...more
Andrea
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm on pg 176 and I don't know if I want to finish this book. So far it's about a failing marriage, grown siblings who get together to plan their father's funeral and all they can do is fight about each other's past offenses. I think, knowing this author, she'll bring it back around to forgiveness, returning to their faith in God, etc, but I'm not sure it's worth my time in the meantime. Too much drama! Too much contention!
Update: I decided to finish this book since I was pretty sure the author
...more
Liz
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen Kingsbury is such an easy author to read and relax with. This book starts right off with the sudden loss of a father, leaving five adult children to grieve. But through the struggles that lead up to the funeral, and the flashbacks, you are moved to appreciate why family members are all the way they are. My siblings and I were debating if we should have a 40th Anniversary Party for my parents. This book sealed the deal. I realized we should make sure we honored them for their years of love ...more
Linda V.
Family dynamics are a confusing, frustrating, and memorable. I got tears in my eyes a couple of times, which isn't the norm for me. It's my hope to feel a story and get attached to the characters. A few pieces of the story surprised me, and I liked that. It was better written than the Take One series and the Leaving series. I was irritated by how often the author told us that it took place in Petoskey and told us route numbers and street names while the characters were traveling. Not to be rude, ...more
Stacia
May 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who needs a cry
This was a good book. Kind of sad, so if you're in that kind of mood or need a good cry, than this is a great book for that.

One thing I didn't like in this book was Karen's theology. The parents were Catholic and the daughter(s) turned Protestant. The parents somewhat disapproved of this change... however, the father still went to Heaven and was a wonderful man. While the Catholic/Protestant wasn't a main theme I felt an underlying theme was Catholics and Protestants are the same... they're not
...more
Kimmy McLain
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kimmy by: Marilyn Wilson
I just finished reading this powerful, emotionally moving book. It is about a family from Petosky, Michigan, whose husband, and father dies unexpectedly. This book digs deep into each of their lives. They had grown apart over the years and being back together for a week to plan for their loving fathers funneral, sparks many emotions and things from the past. They find away at the funeral services through each sibblings eulagies to mend their relationships. This book brings one, Ellen into tempta ...more
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Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. In addition, it was recently announced that Roma Downey and MGM Studi ...more
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“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” 11 likes
“The years go by too quickly to waste them in silent prisons of hate.” 2 likes
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